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The 9 at 9 Nine things you should know this morning: the Taoiseach signs EU Fiscal Treaty, research reveals Ireland’s gender pay gap, and Ian Bailey is to sue the State.

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you should know with your morning coffee…

1. #REFERENDUM: The Taosieach Enda Kenny and 24 other EU leaders have signed the Fiscal Compact treaty in Brussels this morning in order to begin the ratification process, pending the approval of the Irish electorate.

All European leaders, bar Britain’s David Cameron and the Czech Republic’s Petr Necas, signed the treaty today

2. #ECONOMY: Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said that despite ongoing uncertainty in the eurozone there had been some positive developments in the country’s export outlook since Budget 2012 was announced, which he said was partly down to “favourable exchange rate movements.”

His comments came just one day after a European Commission document warned that – given Ireland’s reliance on an export-led economic recovery - the country may need a ‘mini-budget’ later this year if the State’s main trading partners slip any further into recession.

3. #EQUALITY: A new study has suggested that Irish women earn 17 per cent less than Irish men, on average. The EU Commission research cites a number of reasons for this – including gender discrimination, undervaluing women’s skills and a relatively small number of women in senior positions, reports RTÉ.

4. #BELFAST: A man aged in his 30s has died after being shot in Belfast city centre at about 9.30pm last night. The deceased is thought to have been shot a number of times.

PSNI investigators have said they believe the killing was premeditated but do not believe there was a sectarian motive behind the attack.

5. #IAN BAILEY: Former journalist Ian Bailey is to sue the State for damages after winning his challenge against extradition to France yesterday in order to face questioning on the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996.  The State also faces multi-million euro bill after Bailey’s legal team was given leave to apply for costs at the “highest level”, the Irish Examiner reports.

Last night, Bailey said his life became “absolutely hell” in the ten years after he was accused of involvement in the murder.

6. #JOBS: A home care provider says it plans to create 25 new full-time and 520 part-time jobs over the next nine months. Comfort Keepers says it is seeking trained carers , care managers, HR administrators, qualified healthcare trainers and office co-ordinators.

7. #SYRIA: China and Russia have joined other members of the UN Security Council to express their “disappointment” over Syria’s refusal to permit a senior UN humanitarian envoy access to the country, despite repeated requests. More than 7,500 people are thought to have died since the uprising began almost one year ago.

The 15 nations on the Council have released a statement deploring “the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the country.

8. #OHIO: A 17-year-old male has been charged over a shooting spree at an Ohio high-school this week, in which three students died and two others were injured. TJ Lane has been charged with murder as a juvenile, which would result in a significantly lower sentence if convicted, however prosecutors are attempting to have him tried as an adult.

9. #NESTLÉ: Nestlé Ireland has announced it is to remove all artificial ingredients from its range of confectionery, which includes Kit Kats, Smarties and Aeros. The confectioner says it will replace the artificial ingredients with fruit, vegetable and plant concentrates due to customer concerns over additives in food products.

Does the use of artificial ingredients influence your food choices? Let us know in our mini-poll.

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