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The 9 at 9: Saturday

Good morning. Here are nine things to know before you start your day.

Image: Number nine image via Shutterstock

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

1. #CROKE PARK: Talks are due to recommence today with the government seeking some €170 million in savings from public sector pay, RTÉ reports. Proposed savings would include a reduction of overtime and weekend payments as well as an extension of the working day. Yesterday the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) said it would not be returning to talks unless “rational proposals” are offered.

2. #FOSTER CARE: Two reports from the Health Information and Quality Authority have expressed concern that children are being put at risk because foster carers are not being vetted, the Irish Examiner reports. The reports also warn that families chosen to care for children who need specialised care are often picked simply because they are available.

3. #CHILD BENEFIT: Some 400,000 families may face a tax on children’s allowance with some families losing up to €53 a month, according to an expert report obtained by the Irish Independent. The report recommends a two-tier model that would see the basic level of pay lowered with families on the lowest income getting a top-up.

4. #GARDA CUTS: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has arranged to meet with the central executive of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) on Wednesday morning to discuss the proposed cuts to garda pay. This follows a strong statement from the GRA this week questioning Callinan’s awareness of the impact the cuts will have on his force.

5. #MATER HOSPITAL: The final Labour Party vigil will take place outside the Mater Hospital today as the new emergency department is due to open this weekend. The weekly event was established as a protest against conditions in the emergency department but with the news that it is moving to the new, highly improved, Whitty Building, the vigils will continue no longer.

6. #SHOOTING: Two men have been shot in north Belfast last night just 200 yards from a paramilitary style shooting earlier this week, The Irish News reports this morning. Locals reported hearing up to ten shots fired and one of the men, believed to be in his early 20s, is thought to be seriously injured.

7. #EMPLOYMENT: Multinationals in Ireland have seen a 15 per cent growth in employment in the past five years, according to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland. US investment has increased 25 per cent in last 5 years, bringing total investment in Ireland to over $188 billion.

8. #FACEBOOK: Social networking giant Facebook has announced it was hit by a ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack last month but said it found no evidence that user data was compromised, AFP reports. The company said in a blog post that malware came from an infected website of a mobile developer.

9.  METEORITE: A rescue and clean-up team of around 20,000 people has been sent to the Ural mountains in Russia following a meteor shower which blasted the area injuring some 1,200 people, BBC reports. The shockwave from the blasts blew out windows with most of the injured suffering from glass related wounds.

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