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Dublin: 15°C Saturday 18 September 2021

The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you should know this morning…

Image: Ramón Cutanda López via Creative Commons

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

1. #OPINION POLL: A new political  poll of Irish voting intentions has revealed that Sinn Féin are now the second most popular political party in the country.

The Ipsos MRBI poll, published in this morning’s Irish Times, shows that Fine Gael would be in the lead (35 per cent) if voters were to cast ballots in an election tomorrow, followed by Sinn Féin (18 per cent).

2. #TALK TALK: One of the largest employers in the southeast, Talk Talk, will close its Waterford call centre today with the loss of 575 jobs. The company announced its decision in early September – giving staff just one month’s notice – and rejected requests from the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise extend the notice period.

3. #DISSECTIONS: The bodies of approximately 400 dead babies taken from mother-and-baby homes from across the country were dissected in universities, without the knowledge or consent of their mothers, up until the 1960s, the Irish Examiner reports. The Adoption Rights Alliance has called for a state inquiry into the matter – and into the practice of administering experimental vaccines to infants in such homes.

4. #LEGAL AID: The number of people securing legal aid has increased significantly because of the recession, according to the latest report from the Legal Aid Board. The board says it is the fourth year in a row in which it has seen an increased demand for assistance.

5. #ECONOMIC FORUM: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to launch the second Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle today, with 270 delegates scheduled attend the two-day event, RTÉ reports. Discussions will centre on securing foreign direct investment and strengthening the Irish economy.

6. #AER LINGUS: Aer Lingus says that a boost in long-haul flight bookings increased passenger numbers by 5 per cent in September, compared to the same month last year.

7. #US: The United States Senate has delayed a vote on a currency bill which would impose sanctions on countries that are  seen to be keeping their currencies low artificially – most notably China. Differences between the Republican and Democratic ranks means the vote will now be cast next week.

8. #SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s Commission on Gender Equality has condemned the failure of police to track down a suspected homophobic serial killer after the deaths of five gay men in Johannesburg. The men were all murdered over the past 18 months, reports the BBC.

9. #WHEN GEORGE MET SILVIO: As one of the most famous faces on the globe, actor George Clooney has no doubt had his share of unique experiences. Nevertheless, Clooney has described meeting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as one of the “most astonishing evenings” of his life, reports the Telegraph.

Clooney had intended to discuss the possibility of Italy sending helicopters to help with relief efforts in Darfur, however 75-year-old Berlusconi was allegedly more interested in pestering his new-found friend to stay and party. Berlusconi also showed the actor one of his prize possessions: his bed. The weirdest bit? It was a gift from Vladimir Putin.

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