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The 9 at 9: Monday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: Blow to Norris’s re-entry hopes, Hurricane Katia hits Ireland (literally), and proof that Spongebob literally makes you stupid…

Image: Oscar Ray Tuohy

EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #RACE FOR THE ARAS: David Norris’s potential bid to re-enter the race of the presidency has taken another hit – after Fianna Fáil whip Seán Ó Fearghail said TDs and Senators can’t back him on a one-by-one basis. His comments followed those of Senator Thomas Byrne, who had yesterday dismissed reports that the party would ‘turn a blind eye’ to individual members helping in getting Norris nominated.

2. #TALK TALK: Jobs minister Richard Bruton today visits the Talk Talk call centre in Waterford, as efforts continue to find alternative work for the 575 staff set to be laid off next month. Workers at the plant have ruled out a strike – but have spoken about how they only recently trained the workers who are now taking their jobs.

3. #MEGAN’S LAW: Justice minister Alan Shatter is proposing to introduce a version of the controversial ‘Megan’s Law’, which would give Gardaí the power to inform parents if a registered sex offender is living near them. The Irish Daily Mail says the legislation is to be published soon and has been given a cautious welcome by opposition parties and the Rape Crisis Centre.

4. #HURRICANE KATIA: The west coast has been battening down its hatches, as Ireland faced heavy winds overnight with the arrival of Hurricane Katia. Mayo seems to have borne the heaviest gusts, with wind speeds of 110km/hr registered at the weather station in Belmullet at 8am this morning. The hurricane has already claimed its first Irish victim: Cavan man Thomas Clarke was swept out to sea in Maine while attending a wedding there.

5. #THINK-IN: Fianna Fáil begins its annual think-in in Tallaght today – a year on after Brian Cowan’s infamous ‘gargle-gate’ interview which many see as the first step in his downfall as party leader. The Sun reports that the party is now so hard-up – a reported €3m in debt – that attendees have to pay for their own bed and breakfast. Economic issues will dominate the two-day meeting.

6. #EUROPEAN UNION: Britain’s chancellor George Osborne has said senior officials from the EU, Germany, France and Italy have remanded a successor to the Lisbon Treaty, believing the current formation of the EU isn’t equipped to deal with the financial crisis. Osborne told the Daily Telegraph he expected a new treaty to be live by 2013 – potentially meaning the onset of another divisive referendum campaign here.

7. #LIBYA: Muammar Gaddafi’s son al-Saadi has fled Libya for Niger – marking the fleeing of yet another high-profile figure from the previous regime. The move comes as the National Transitional Council sets up offices in Tripoli and promises to have an interim government appointed in ten days.

8. #REFUGEES: Australia has proposed the reintroduction of a previous agreement with Malaysia, in which it only accepts refugees from that country if Malaysia will accept some of its asylum seekers in return.

9. #SPONGEBOB: An American study has confirmed what we all may have expected: SpongeBob SquarePants is making children stupid. Kids who watched just nine minutes of the Nickelodeon cartoon  “were significantly impaired in executive function”, according to a study from the American Academy of Paediatrics.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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