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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things to know with your first cup of coffee…

1. #MORIARTY: Health minister James Reilly has defended the decision to meet Michael Lowry after he was censured in the Moriarty Tribunal report. It’s emerged that finance minister Michael Noonan also met Lowry, as full details of the Tipperary TD’s discussions with Phil Hogan were revealed.

2. #WEALTH: Irish households have suffered the largest decline in wealth in Europe with an average drop of 23 per cent in three years, new figures from the Central Bank show. The Irish Times reports that wealth rose in half of the countries surveyed.

3. #WAITING LISTS: Almost 178,000 people in Ireland are waiting to be seen by a consultant after a referral from a GP, HSE figures have revealed. RTÉ reports that 300 people have been waiting for more than four years to be seen at a clinic.

4. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE: Several thousand homeowners a day are still paying the household charge almost one week after the deadline. Almost 160,000 registrations are currently at the Local Government Agency waiting to be processed, it’s estimated.

5. #VIRUS: A quick-spreading Trojan virus has infected 550,000 Macs across the world including some in Apple’s home of Cupertino, California, CBC News reports. The Backdoor Flashback virus can download itself to machines running OS X – traditionally seen as virus-free – if the user visits a malicious website.

6. #PRISONS: Close to 5,000 drug seizures have been made in Irish jails in the last three years. The Irish Times reports that by far the largest number of finds – 1,661 – were in Dublin’s Mountjoy prison.

7. #FACEBOOK: A US Marine faces being kicked out of the military because he made unflattering comments about President Barack Obama on his Facebook page. Gary Stein pasted an image of Obama’s face onto a poster for the movie Jackass, the Houston Chronicle reports.

8. #RATING AGENCIES: Credit rating agencies were instrumental in causing the global financial crisis, in the eyes of many economists. So why do countries around the world still tremble before them? We’ve been looking behind the ratings to explain this bizarre situation.

9. #PORN STARS: Irish porn stars have held a protest outside the Dáil, calling for safe sex in business here. Adult actor Mark Williamson told he had been told to “like it or lump it” by producers who wanted unprotected sex in their films.

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