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The 9 at 9: Monday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: IMF chief to appear in court later today to face attempted rape charges; Michael Noonan travels to Brussels for finance summit; and 27 people die in gruesome Guatemala attack.

Image: Seth Anderson via Creative Commons

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #EU: Finance Minister Michael Noonan is in Brussels for a two day meeting of EU finance ministers, where discussions are expected to centre on the repercussions of recent sexual assault accusations against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and growing concerns about Greek public debt. An agreement on the question of Ireland’s bailout interest rate is not anticipated.

2. #STRAUSS-KAHN: The court appearance of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was charged with attempted rape yesterday, has been delayed until later today pending the results of a medical examination. John Lipsky has been named as acting leader of the IMF.

3. #GROUND RENT: There have been fresh calls for the abolition of ground rents following the revelation that the state is continuing to make payments for more than 50 properties – including Dublin Castle and Government Buildings – to figures such as the Earl of Pembroke and Duke of Leinster.

4. #AIRPORTS: Three regional airports may close due to lack of funding, it has been revealed. Galway, Sligo and Waterford airports are facing the prospect of closure as early as next year following a government decision to discontinue subsidising their operations, a report has indicated.

5. #QUANGOS: More than 300 people across the country are sitting on at least two state bodies, an investigation by the Irish Examiner into overlap within publicly funded quangos has revealed.

6. #QUEEN: President Mary McAleese has described the visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth to Ireland, which begins tomorrow, as an “extraordinary moment in Irish history”. McAleese said that Ireland and Britain were forging a new future that would be “very, very different from the past”, RTÉ reports.

7. #TRAGIC: A 12-year-old boy has died after falling from a scrambler motorbike in Belfast last night, the BBC reports.

8. #GUATEMALA: Twenty-seven people have been killed in gruesome massacre in northern Guatemala, in which most of the victims were beheaded, the Guardian reports. It is understood the 25 men and two women were murdered after 200 raiders entered the town of Caserio La Bomba, near the Mexican border.

9. #PLANKING: An Australian man has died after falling from a seventh floor balcony while apparently taking part in the internet craze known as planking, Brisbane police have said. The practice involves a person lying flat on their stomach in unusual or sometimes dangerous positions before photographs of their exploits are posted on social networking sites, The Australian reports.

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