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The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you need to know this morning…

Image: helixdmonster via Flickr

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

1. #SUMMIT: The UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond are in Dublin today to take part in the British-Irish summit at Dublin Castle as well as meet with President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other ministers. The summit will focus on the issue of youth unemployment which has risen sharply in the UK in recent months.

2. #HOUSEHOLDERS LAW: A new law comes into effect today which will allow householders to use reasonable force in defending their home without fear of being sued or facing criminal prosecution. The law aims to protect people in their dwelling from assault and to protect their own property. It comes after the infamous case of farmer Padraig Nally who shot dead trespasser John Ward in 2004. He was later jailed before being found not guilty of manslaughter.

3. #MISTAKES: Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has admitted this morning that the government “made mistakes” in its Budget announcements last December. It now appears that cuts to resources for some disadvantaged schools are likely to be reduced in the coming weeks following pressure from the opposition and some members of Quinn’s own Labour party.

4. #SUICIDE: Bank employees working in debt collection should be given training on suicide awareness, a Labour senator has suggested. Lorraine Higgins said that banks have “moral and legal responsibilities to customers” and said she had spoken to people who were “despairing” over the treatment they received from banks whom they owed money to.

5. #AFGHANISTAN: Two of the four US marines who are seen in a controversial video urinating on dead Taliban corpses have been identified, BBC News reports. US authorities are investigating the video which has drawn widespread condemnation including from the Taliban but the group said that it would not affect the political process in the war-torn country.

6. #PAKISTAN: The Pakistani president Asif Al Zardari has returned home from a short trip to Dubai amid growing fears that there could be a military coup in his country. Tensions between Pakistan’s traditionally strong military and the government have been ratcheted up a notch in recent months in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces.

7. #IPHONE: Apple has ended its sale of its ubiquitous iPhone in China after fights broke out outside its store in Beijing just as the latest model, the iPhone 4s, was about to be launched. The crowd threw eggs and scuffles broke out with police as the company later said that it was not opening its store to ensure the safety of its customers and employees.

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8. #CHART SENSATION: She is merely days old but already Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter has become the youngest person ever to appear on a Billboard chart – the internationally recognised music rankings. Dad’s newly-recorded studio cut “Glory” is officially billed as “featuring B.I.C.,” who is heard breathing, crying and cooing on the song.

9. #FRIDAY THE 13TH: Happy Friday the 13th. It has been a long-held superstition that the day holds back luck, there’s even a name for it – friggatriskaidekaphobia. Theories abound as to just why this is the case but one thing we know for certain is that we’re guaranteed at least one Friday the 13th annually but this year we have a total of three. So, watch out for those ladders and broken mirrors and let’s be careful out there.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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