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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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The 9 at 9: Saturday

Nine things to know this morning, including the latest on the Áras candidates, Mary McAleese’s final official overseas trip, and can your phone tell you the meaning of life?

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.

1. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS Presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon makes the front pages of many of the papers today, after she vowed yesterday to continue her Áras campaign despite the emergence of allegations regarding members of her family. The Irish Times reports that Dana’s sister Susan Stein has said that she stands over allegations made in 2008. Dana will be continuing to canvas in the north-west today. Check out where the rest of the Áras candidates will be spending the day.

2. #OCCUPY A rally in Dublin today will form part of of a ‘Global Occupy Day’ of protests against austerity measures and political and economic corruption. The Occupy Dame Street protest is ongoing in Dublin city centre, while rallys and sit ins are already underway in Sydney and Tokyo.

3. #MC ALEESE President Mary McAleese is in Lebanon today for her final official overseas trip before leaving the Áras. She’s visiting Irish peacekeeping troops at Camp Shamrock this morning and will present medals to 72 personnel who are on their first overseas mission. She’s accompanied by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

4. #EUROZONE US president Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have had a phone conversation about the eurozone debt crisis in advance of a meeting of finance ministers in Paris today. Bloomberg reports that the pair are to stay in close contact ahead of next month’s G20 summit. It’s expected that progress in the crisis will be welcomed at today’s meeting.

5. #GHOST ESTATE A man who’s been squatting in a house in a ghost estate in Tullamore has been given permission by a judge to stay in the home he’s made for himself. The Irish Independent and the Irish Daily Star tell the story today of William Tuohy who has been living in the house for four months.

6. #SYRIA The UN has warned that Syria is heading for civil war as rallies against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad’s continue, and the death toll rises. The Guardian reports that after security forces killed at least 11 people yesterday, the toll has now passed 3,000.

7. #TUNISIA The home of a Tunisian TV station owner has been attacked and protesters have been dispersed using tear gas after a screening of the movie Persepolis was deemed to be blamsphemous by Muslims. The film contains a scene showing a character representing God which is considered sacrilege in Islam.

8. #SPAIN The Irish Independent reports that the body of an Irish man has been found in the Spanish city of Zaragoza. It’s thought that the 19-year-old student, named locally as Shane O’Connor, may have fallen from a bridge while trying to help another man.

9. #SIRI Finally, it’s not clear yet if the new iPhone 4S Siri voice recognition feature will be available in Ireland, but someone who has already got their hands on the latest version of the phone has compiled some of the answers Siri gives to a few bizarre questions, including ‘what’s the meaning of life?’.

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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