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The 9 at 9 In your 9 at 9: Minister in sack threat; the universal social charge is here to stay; the end of LulzSec; the senator and the passport row; and the world’s ugliest dog.

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you really ought to know with your morning cup of coffee…or tea.

1. #SACK ROW The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said he will sack the board of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) by Christmas if it does not stop the bonus payment to chief executive Declan Collier. Following news that Collier is to be awarded €106,000 as part of a performance-related bonus, Varadkar has told the Irish Mail on Sunday he will not reappoint several directors of board next year unless the CEO’s bonus payment is stopped.

2. #SOCIAL CHARGE The universal social charge looks set to remain in place despite the expectation that the controversial measure would be scrapped following a review by the new government, reports the Sunday Business Post. Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has outlined the importance of the €420 million the tax contributes to the exchequer in an interview with the paper.

3. #DRUGS Gardaí have made a number of arrests following the seizure of drugs with an estimated street value of over €700,000 in Cork and Dublin yesterday. In two separate incidents, gardaí arrested two men in Dublin following the seizure of cocaine and cannabis. While a man was arrested in Blarney, Co Cork yesterday following the discovery of a cannabis factory.

4. #DIABETES A major new study has indicated that the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled since 1980. In a study published in the Lancet, researchers in London and the US analysed data from 2.7 million people worldwide determining that the number of people suffering from diabetes has gone up from 153 million to 347 million people. Fast food has been blamed for the rise.

5. #LULZSEC The hacker group behind a number of security breaches on high-profile websites including those of the US Senate, the CIA, Sony and Nintendo has announced it is disbanding. LulzSec gave no reason for the decision which was announced on the group’s Twitter account. A statement said that its “planned 50-day cruise had expired”.

6. #SENATOR It is reported that Senator Mary White was involved in an altercation with staff at the passport office in Dublin this past week. The Sunday Times (subscription) reports that White told the security officer who had asked her to leave that he was “lucky to have a job” and “lucky to be getting paid”. The Fianna Fáíl senator has denied she said those things.

7. #CHINA Another dissident has been released by the Chinese government. Hu Jia, one of the country’s most prominent dissidents has been released from prison after three-and-a-half years. He had campaigned for the environment and AIDS patients prior to his incarceration. His sentence for “inciting subversion” was due to end today, BBC reports, and it follows the high-profile release of artist Ai Weiwei earlier this week.

8. #HEADSCARF A woman was reportedly fired from her job at the trendy clothing outlet Hollister, a subsidiary of Abercrombie and Fitch, in the US state of California for wearing a headscarf or hiqab as some Muslim traditions require. The San Mateo Patch reports that the woman is suing the company after she was told that her headscarf “was not in compliance with the company’s ‘look policy.’”

9. #WORLD’S UGLIEST A 14-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix dog has won the not-so-prestigious title of World’s Ugliest Dog at a fair in California this week. Yoda weighs just two pounds, has short tufts of hair, a protruding tongue and long hairless legs. The dog’s owner thought the pooch was a rat when she first discovered it:

Picture: Associated Press

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