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The 9 at 9 Nine things you should known this morning…

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

1. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: A government minister has launched a stinging attack on Sinn Féin presidential candidate Martin McGuinness, saying that installing him in Áras an Uachtaráin would mean putting a “terrorist in the Park”. Environment minister Phil Hogan also told the Sunday Independent that having McGuinness as head of State would make Ireland look like a “banana republic”.

2. #CUTS: The scale of government spending cuts in the upcoming Budget may have been accidentally revealed by justice minister Alan Shatter. Shatter admitted to the Dáil his department had been told to slash 15.7 per cent from its budget – which would mean overall spending cuts of €2.5billion if it was extended across all departments, the Sunday Times reports.

3. #OCCUPY WALL STREET: More than 700 people have been arrested in New York after protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement tried to stage a march across the city’s landmark Brooklyn Bridge, the Guardian reports. The demonstration, which came after allegations of police brutality at previous protests, was aimed at highlighting wrongdoing in the finance industry and has sparked copycat actions in other US cities.

4. #WELFARE: The level of welfare benefits mean an unemployed couple with four children have no incentive to take a job paying €28,000 a year or less, according to Department of Social Protection figures. The Sunday Times reports that a €28,000 wage would leave such a family with no more money and they would lose out on benefits such as rent supplement.

5. #MORTGAGES: Banks could be given more responsibility for mortgage debt under new plans to be submitted to the government. The Keane Report will propose that homeowners unable to keep up payments be allowed to stay on as tenants, and that lenders should actively engage in debt settlement, reports the Sunday Independent.

6. #ALCOHOL ADS: High-profile events such as the Oxegen music festival and the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival could be in trouble if new proposals to ban drink industry sponsorship of arts and cultural events are carried through. According to the Sunday Business Post, a national steering group is likely to recommend a ban on outdoor billboard advertising for alcohol alongside the sponsorship restrictions.

7. #KIDNAPPING: A group of kidnappers have successfully escaped to Somalia with their captive – a 66-year-old disabled French woman named as Marie Didieu – after carrying her off from her house near resort island of Lamu off neighbouring Kenya. Kenyan coastguards yesterday engaged the gang in a gun battle, but the rescue attempt failed, AFP reports.

8. #HIRING FREEZE: The HSE has admitted that its recruitment ban – introduced to cut costs – is not saving the health service any money. The executive’s HR director has said increased bills for agency workers brought in to cover staff shortages mean payroll costs are not dropping, and also said an early retirement scheme had failed to make savings, the Sunday Times reports.

9. #RIHANNA: The farmer who last week told pop superstar Rihanna to ‘put more clothes on’ during a video shoot on his land near Bangor, Co Down, has since received supportive emails from “all over the world”, he told the Sunday Times. DUP councillor Alan Graham added that he had no hard feelings, saying Rihanna was “welcome to come and visit me anytime, provided she has some clothes on.”

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