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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019
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The 9 at 9: Saturday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: more ‘secret’ bank bonuses, the return of the cold snap, and growing threats of war in Korea.

Image: billsoPHOTO via Flickr

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

1. #BANK BONUSES: The staff of Ireland’s ailing banks have received €44m in total in bonuses since the government introduce its bank guarantee scheme – which later forced it into paying out billions in recapitalisation, the Irish Times reports.

The Irish Independent adds, meanwhile, that one senior Bank of Ireland official was paid a ‘secret’ bonus of €500,000 in the last few days, without the knowledge of Brian Lenihan.

2. #BRRR: It’s back with a bang. The cold weather returned overnight across the north-west, west and midlands, with moderate overnight snowfall being frozen by sub-zero overnight temperatures.

Public transport services remain largely unaffected, and most airports are open (though there are some cancellations at City of Derry). Passengers should still check with their airlines, however, as some UK airports are closed.

3. #BAILOUT: In an unlikely pre-election boost for Fianna Fáil, an Irish Times poll has revealed that a majority of voters welcomed the EU-IMF bailout – with the 51% of voters in its favour including the majority of voters for Fine Gael and Labour – who opposed the bailout – as well as FF.

A majority of respondents also said, however, that Ireland had sacrificed its economic sovereignty in taking the assistance.

4. #BANKING REFORM: President Mary McAleese has summoned the Council of State to meet next week and discuss the constitutional implications of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill 2010.

McAleese declined to give the Bill an early signature yesterday, and will now consult the council – including all former Taoisigh and Presidents, as well as the presidents of the High and Supreme Courts – to discuss the bill, which Labour says gives the Minister for Finance powers akin to those of a ‘one-man legislature’.

5. #NOEL DEMPSEY: The retiring Minister for Transport has spoken of how he felt “relief” when the procedure of finalising the EU-IMF bailout was concluded. In today’s Irish Independent, Dempsey tells Áine Kerr that the period since the beginning of the banking crisis had been “almost a blur”.

Many of today’s papers also speculate as the value of Dempsey’s pension, with many concluding that the retiring Meath West TD will earn over €300,000 in his first year out of politics.

6. #KOREA: Fears are growing globally that the Korean peninsula stands on the brink of an all-out war after Southern troops continued preparations for artillery drills near the countries’ border today – a move which the North says it will consider a provocation.

7. #TAX CUTS: Sadly, we’re talking about the United States. Barack Obama has signed into law an extension to tax cuts first introduced by George W Bush – despite having admitted he wanted to end them.

Accompanied by Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Obama extended the tax cut deal in attempts to increase the cashflow in the economy.

8. #COURTS: The High Court has reserved judgement in Ian Bailey’s appeal against a French request to have him extradited over his suspected role in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

9. #EUCO: Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s week went from bad to worse yesterday. At the two-day European Council meeting in Brussels, officials had set up a ‘Tweetwall’ showing the messages being sent by citizens tagged with the #Euco hashtag.

The wall had to be plugged out shortly after the trial started, however, when Italian opponents of the embattled PM flooded the hashtag – and thus the wall – with messages alleging that Berlusconi was a paedophile with Mafia links.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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