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The 9 at 9: Sunday

Nine things you should know this morning…

Image: shoothead via Creative Commons

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

1. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: Seán Gallagher has extended his lead in the latest presidential election opinion polls but the Sunday Independent reports today that another swing in the favour of former front runner Michael D Higgins could happen as a result of transfers. A Quantum Research poll for the newspaper revealed that Higgins has greater support in terms of second preferences.

2. #EUROZONE: European leaders are meeting in Frankfurt today to work a comprehensive plan to solve the ongoing debt crisis in the euro area. There are several contentious issues to figure out – including how to expand the EFSF, Europe’s rescue fund, and how to deal with the Greek bailout. Yesterday, the zone’s finance ministers said they were near a deal to strengthen the capital reserves of the area’s banks to protect against losses on Greek debt.

3. #LIBYA: The interim government in Libya is to declare the country’s liberation later today in front of about 10,000 people in Benghazi, the birthplace of the revolution which saw the ousting of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. As Libyans continue to celebrate on the streets, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has told the BBC that he wished Gaddafi was captured alive and he could be the prosecutor in his trial.

4. #BANKING: It may be difficult to prosecute individual bankers or institutions on commercial criminal charges relating to the financial crisis unless they are tried in front of specially-trained jurors (instead of ordinary citizens), the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) James Hamilton has told the Sunday Business Post. Any such changes to the formation of a jury would require a referendum.

5. #ALLEGATIONS: In the same interview with the Sunday Business Post, Hamilton revealed that new research has shown that some 9 per cent of all rape allegations made to the Gardaí are found to be false. However, the retiring prosecutor said his own experiences did not bear the findings out.

6. #TUNISIA: Today, Tunisians have started voting in their first free elections since they gained independence from France in 1956. The election has come following a popular uprising which saw the ousting of president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 and sparked a series of similar revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East.

7. #FALLING: A dead German satellite has entered the earth’s atmosphere but scientists are not quite sure where its fragments could land. However, the German Aerospace Centre believes that Europe is safe. Phew!

8. #RWC2011: Here’s a surprising fact – the All Blacks have not won the Rugby World Cup in 24 years. The New Zealand team is hoping history will repeat itself this morning as the last time they won was against France in New Zealand in the inaugural world cup. Kick-off is at 9am and Adrian over at is following all the action for you on the live blog.

9. #WINNING: There are some happy faces at this morning as the website picked up two awards at last night’s Irish Web Awards. We won the gong for Best Online Only Publication, as well as the Grand Prix award. We want you to smile with us this morning so to help raise your mood, take a look at this cover of Stand By Me by a group of unknown street artists from around the world.

Watch it to the end – we promise it will make you feel good.

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