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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 25 March, 2019
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The 9 at 9: Monday

Nine things to know this morning…

Image: chrisstreeter via Flickr

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

1. #WELFARE: No cuts to primary social welfare payments will be made in the upcoming Budget, Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd has insisted. However, he told RTÉ that people who decline to take jobs could see their benefits reduced. The news comes after suggestions that the welfare budget could be cut by €700million.

2. #CRONYISM: The Government has installed at least 20 people with links to Fine Gael or Labour on State boards since March – despite pledging to end political patronage, reports Paul Cullen in the Irish Times. Five out of six judges nominated also have party connections.

3. #ITALY: All eyes are on Italy this morning as incoming leader Mario Monti battles to reassure the markets after the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi. Early indications have been positive, with Italian ten-year bond yields falling significantly.

4. #QUOTAS: Legislation compelling political parties to field at least 30 per cent female candidates will be published in the next few months, according to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. He told the Labour Women’s Conference the figure would rise to 40 per cent after seven years.

5. #COWEN: Several Fianna Fáil ministers urged then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen to step aside ahead of a confidence vote that sparked his downfall, according to a new RTÉ documentary. Both Mary Hanafin and Willie O’Dea said they told Cowen to go for the good of the party.

6. #DINGLE: The controversial Irish-language renaming of the Kerry town will cost tens of thousands of euro in new road signs – as the name is too long for existing ones, reports the Irish Times. Residents voted for the double-barrelled “Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis”.

7. #NEO NAZIS?: A previously unknown fascist group called the National Socialist Underground has been linked to at least nine murders of foreign nationals in Germany, the Financial Times reports. A minister has said the country is facing “a new form of far-right terrorism”.

8. #SMOKING: The number of cigarettes sold in Ireland fell by 10 per cent last year, with Revenue figures showing tax was paid on just over 4.1billion smokes. Price increases are encouraging smokers to cut down on their consumption, reports Breda Heffernan in the Irish Independent.

9. #FACEBOOK: An Austrian law student who reported Facebook to Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner has revealed his reasons for taking on the social networking giant. Max Schrems told AFP he requested copies of all the personal data Facebook held on him and received no fewer than 1,222 pages of information – including material he thought he had deleted.

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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