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The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you should know this morning: as many as 600 jobs are at risk in Dublin; shocking figures reveal new levels of poverty in Ireland; and absenteeism at HSE West costing the state €60m annually.

Image: Katri Niemi via Creative Commons

EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #JOBSWATCH: As many as 600 Dublin jobs are at risk at Irish subsidiaries of Full Tilt, the online poker company. Yesterday the group’s Channel Island regulator withdrew funding, saying that the business has “fundamentally misled” it about its finances.

2. #VULNERABLE: Increasing poverty and desperation are being experienced by people in Ireland – with homelessness, hunger and drug use on the rise, according to charity Merchant’s Quay. In its annual report, the group reveals startling figures that reveal how hard-drug abuse is an issue across the country – not just the capital – and that there is a chronic need for beds and hot meals.

3. #HSE WEST: One in 20 employees of the Health Service Executive West do not show up for work each day – and it is costing the State around €60 million annually, it has been revealed.

4. #PUBLIC SECTOR: New pension legislation aimed at cutting the cost of public sector pensions by 35 per cent has been branded as illegal by the ASTI. The teachers’ union says that the proposals place the burden of cost-cutting on future generations of lower-level public servants, while leaving politicians and judges relatively unscathed.

5. #EASTERN PARTNERSHIP: The Taoiseach Enda Kenny is in Warsaw today attending a summit aimed at enhancing political and economic ties between the EU and six “eastern neighbours” – Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus.

6. #BLACK MARKET: More than 51,000 black market medicines have been seized by the Irish authorities as part of a week-long international operation involving more than 80 countries. The crackdown targeted online-drug sales and confiscated €5m worth of illegally sold medications, according to the Irish Times.

7. #DEBT CRISIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to meet with the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou today to discuss the Greek debt crisis, Reuters reports. There was mixed reaction to Germany’s decision to expand the European bailout fund yesterday, with international investors worried about the possibility of contagion on foot of a potential Greek default.

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8. #SYRIA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned an attack on a US delegation in Syria yesterday, reports the Washington Post. A mob threw eggs and tomatoes at US Ambassador Robert Ford and his aides during the incident, which Clinton described as “wholly unjustified”.

9. #CALL OF DUTY: A 46-year-old man from Devon has admitted to “losing it” after a 13-year-old killed his character during a online game of Call of Duty. Gamer Mark Bradford tracked down the boy – with whom he had been speaking through microphones as they played – and attacked him, scratching his neck, the Daily Mail reports.

Bradford, who has since apologised for the attack, said that the teenager had been “goading him”.

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