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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Nine things you need to know this morning: European airports pushing to cut passenger backlog; AIB could be nationalised today; UN to investigate treatment of Bradley Manning; and a Ryanair pilot has reported seeing something in the air over Norway…

Image: ian.poley via Creative Commons

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #BRRR: European airports are still trying to help thousands of passengers to travel home today after thousands of flights were cancelled due to snow and ice. Ryanair and Aer Lingus are running extra flights today to try to clear the backlog. AA Roadwatch says that motorists should drive with caution as compacted snow and ice have created hazardous conditions on roads around the country.

2. #BANAMA REPUBLIC: The Irish Examiner reports that 16 senior NAMA staff members are paid over €200,000 a year – more than the salary of a government minister.

3. #AIB: The state could own an over-90% stake in AIB by the end of today if the bank agrees to receive a €3.7bn injection, the Irish Independent reports. The Irish Times says Brian Lenihan will use new bank rescue legislation and the money will come from the National Pension Reserve Fund. AIB could be de-listed from the stock exchange as a condition of its second bailout.

4. #DRIVING: Some drivers were so drunk when stopped by gardaí this winter that they fell out of their cars, according to the Irish Independent. Slightly over 220 drunk drivers were detected between 26 November and 20 December, 2010 – eight fewer than last year.

5. #RETAIL: The bad weather is taking a toll on retail figures, according to the organisation Retail Excellence Ireland, RTÉ reports. Retailers expecting an almost 7% drop in sales compared with this time last year. Shoppers are now focusing on price and functionality, rather than brand.

6. #CORK: One of the teenagers who survived a sledding accident in Cork at the weekend has attended the funeral of her best friend, Aoife Downey, 15, who died in the incident. The Irish Examiner reports that Chelsea Noonan was seriously injured in the accident, in which four teenagers aboard a home-made sled struck a tree.

7. #NUCLEAR: The US Senate has approved a nuclear weapons treaty between the US and Russia called the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Under the agreement, strategic nuclear warheads deployed by each country will be reduced to 1,550, the BBC reports.

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8. #UN: The UN’s Office of rapporteur on torture has confirmed is is investigating claims that Bradley Manning, suspected of providing confidential US information to WikiLeaks, is being mistreated while in detention.The Guardian reports that Manning, a private in the US army, faces court martial some time next year.

9. #SANTA SIGHTING: A Ryanair pilot flying over Norway has reported seeing an unidentified flying object in the air some 200km south of Oslo. Reporting the incident, Ryanair was told that aviation experts had received a number of similar reports. An increasing number of reports is expected right up to 25 December.

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