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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 Crisis talks continue between Ireland, the IMF, EU and ECB; The High Court will decide if a HIV positive mother should be forced to give her child anti retro-viral drugs at birth; and New Zealand waits for some signal from 29 trapped miners.

1#. CRISIS TALKS: Talks continue today between the government and delegates from the IMF, EU and ECB. Yesterday, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said that the discussions were “constructive” and that the government was seeking “the best possible outcome for the Irish people”.

The Irish Examiner reports that the cabinet had been successful – so far – in ensuring that Ireland’s corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent remained unaltered, however the banking sector is expected to face massive overhauls.

Another item on the agenda causing much speculation is whether the European authorities or IMF will seek to increase cuts contained in the  government’s €15 billion four-year budget plan. The European Commission warned last night that the budget, planned to be published next week, would only be released following a “thorough assessment” from the international representatives, reports the Irish Times.

2. # BALLYCOTTON: The funerals of six-year-old Zoe and two-year-old Ella Butler have taken place in Ballycotton Bay. Some 1,300 people turned out to pay their last respects to the “two beautiful little girls”.

Prayers were included for their father, John Butler, who was referred to as “their loving Dad”. His funeral will take place in Cobh this morning.

3. # HIV BIRTH: Today the High Court will hear more evidence about an application by the HSE seeking an order for the administration of anti retro-viral drugs to an infant due to be born on Monday, RTÉ reports.

The mother of the infant has been confirmed as HIV positive and plans to deliver by caesarean section, however she is concerned that the drugs would pose a risk to her baby.

4. # DISOBEDIENCE: The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) will debate on whether to engage in a campaign of civil disobedience if the government refuses to hold a general election.

RTÉ reports that the union, which condemns the government’s “negligence in the management of the economy”, will debate the motion at a conference in Galway today.

5. # NEWCASTLE WEST: A 31 year-old man is due to appear in a special sitting of Newcastle West district court today after being charged with the murder of four people yesterday, the Limerick Leader reports.

Sarah Hines (25), her children Reece (three years old) and Amy (five months old), and close friend  20-year-old Alicia Brough were found dead in a house in the Hazel Grove estate on Tuesday.

7. # NEW ZEALAND: Tensions are running high in New Zealand, with no contact having yet been made with 29 miners who were trapped underground after an explosion.

8. # OOPS: In the UK, Tory peer Lord David Young has resigned over his comments that people living in Britain “never had it so good”.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said that Young’s comments indicate that the Conservative Party is “out of touch with people”.

9. # KINDNESS: If recent news has been getting you down, just think about Lily Harley. The eight-year-old  from west Cork has chopped off her long auburn tresses so that her hair can be made into a wig for a child with cancer.

Inspired by her own aunt’s battle with cancer, Lily decided to help where she could. Her mother Cammy told the Irish Examiner: “I wasn’t surprised. Lily has always been a giving child.”

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