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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.

1. #TERM REPORT: Ministers are to be individually assessed on their performance, with Enda Kenny meeting with the ministers individually in the New Year to discuss their portfolio priorities and progress on certain tasks.

2. #CHRISTCHURCH: Several earthquakes have struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, which was devastated by a major earthquake early in the year. No serious casualties or major damage has been reported.

3. #PROPERTY TAX: The Taoiseach has indicated that the proposed property tax will generate around €500 million annually – three times more than the household charge will bring in. The household charge comes into effect in the New Year.

4. #SURVIVOR: A US university student has survived being trapped in her car in the snow for nine days in Arizona. Phoenix police described the survival of 23-year-old Lauren Weinberg as being down to “survival skills or a miracle”.

5.#INQUIRY: The family of the Shane Rogers who took his own life at a Cloverhill courthouse cell two days ago has called for an independent inquiry into his death, RTÉ reports.

6. #MOZILLA: Google is paying $300m a year to retain a three-year contract as the default search engine in Firefox – around three times more than it paid for its last three-year deal, Business Insider reports.

7.#IMPLANTS: French medical authorities are advising 30,000 women who have implants containing low-grade silicone to have them removed as a precaution over potential rupturing, France24 reports. Meanwhile, concerns over the PIP products have spread to Australia, South America and other European countries, including Ireland, where the Irish Medicines Board has advised any women concerned about the issue to contact their surgeon.

8. #GRIFFIN: A UCC student society says it has been given the college’s full backing for a debate featuring the controversial British National Party MEP Nick Griffin. Griffin was recently due to appear at a Trinity College student event in Dublin, but that debate was called off at the last minute over security concerns.

9. #SPACE MYSTERY: A hollow metal ball has fallen from the sky in Namibia. Local police say that a number of small explosions had been heard in the area ahead of the discovery, but that the item poses no danger. Apparently this happens more often than you’d think: the AFP reports that similar items have fallen in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America.

It reminds us a bit of this scene from the Truman Show

(Video via firedgaffer)

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