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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

The 9 at 9 Good morning! Here’s some (well, nine) things you should know this Sunday am.

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

1. #FISCAL TREATY: The Government has much work to do to ensure the electorate know what they are voting on during the 31 May referendum after a Sunday Times poll found that just 18 per cent of voters understand the fiscal compact treaty “well” or “very well”.

The same survey shows 42 per cent support for a Yes vote to ratify the treaty.

2. #FRANCE: Polls have opened in France for the first round of the 2012 presidential election when voters are asked to whittle down a list of 10 candidates to just two. Incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to make the cut ahead of the decisive vote on 6 May after apologising for ‘mistakes’ he has made since taking office in 2007.

3. #TIT BONHOMME: Later today, President Michael D Higgins will pay tribute to the people of Union Hall in Cork who took part in an extensive search for fishermen from the Tit Bonhomme lost at sea earlier this year. He will also attend a ceremony to honour the five men who died after the trawler sank near Glandore Harbour on 15 January.

4. #BAHRAIN: The Bahrain Grand Prix is set to go ahead at noon today despite continuing clashes between government troops and opposition protesters. Human rights groups are still calling on Formula One to cancel the race after the death of a demonstrator Saturday.

5. #AMSTERDAM: Dutch police have said that 13 people remain in critical condition after a train crash in Amsterdam yesterday afternoon, reports the Guardian. Up to 60 people suffered severe injuries in the head-on collision as passengers were “thrown around the train…against walls, seats and other people”.

6. #WATER CHARGES: Labour backbenchers have criticised Environment Minister Phil Hogan, branding him a ‘disgrace’, over his handling of the implementation of water charges. The Sunday Times describes dissatisfaction in the ranks over last weekend’s communications fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Business Post claims that homeowners living in an average two-adult, two-child house will face water charges of about €500 per year.

7. #TELEVISION: Tensions between two Irish broadcasters continue to grow, reports the Sunday Business Post, after TV3′s chief David McRedmond sent a “strongly-worded letter” to Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte in which he claimed that RTÉ is “clearly not” capable of reform.

8. #F-BOMB: Irish bishops have demanded a full apology and retraction from Today FM presenter Ray D’Arcy for “insulting” comments he made on air, says the Sunday Independent. D’Arcy told listeners on Friday that ”the Catholic Church, in many ways, has fucked up this country”.

9. #COWELL: Much fuss has been made of details revealed from music mogul Simon Cowell’s upcoming biography this week. However, our favourite tidbit: the X-Factor creator and judge prefers black toilet paper. Ok then, good morning.

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