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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: Controversy over Cowen’s dinner with three Anglo execs rumbles on; Michaela’s family fly her body home, and Jedward shortlisted for the Eurovision.

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

1. #COWEN: Alan Gray, the economist and Central Bank board member who attended the meal with Brian Cowen and two Anglo executives, and another who had resigned from the board just months earlier, has insisted the affairs of the bank were not discussed at the dinner, which took place in July. Meanwhile, reports this morning suggest that that senior ministers and backbenchers are furious with Cowen over the revelations – and that anger is likely to be expressed at a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting this morning. Speaking to Newstalk this morning, Mary O’Rourke dismissed rumours of a heave.

2. #MICHAELA: The body of murdered Irish woman Michaela McAreavey is to be flown home tonight with her family and husband John, for a funeral next week. Police in Mauritius have said that two of the three men charged have confessed. According to the BBC, a lawyer for one of three has said his client has made a statement to police. Raj Theekoy, accused of conspiracy to murder, is said to have implicated two other men charged with murder.  If they are found guilty, the men could face up to 45 years in jail. Meanwhile, Mauritian officials have held a crisis meeting to look at ways to minimise the damage to the economy.

3. #BABY: A seriously ill baby, who is the son of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has been given a blood transfusion against the wishes of his parents, the Irish Times reports.

4. #BAILOUT: Eurozone finance ministers will discuss a reduction in the 5.7 per cent interest rate charge on the Irish bailout, the Irish Times reports.

5. #TUCSON: The first of the funerals of the six dead from the weekend shooting in Arizona will begin today. The funeral of Christina Taylor Green is to take place in Northwest Tucson later today. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has attacked as a “blood libel” suggestions that political rhetoric contributed to Saturday’s fatal shooting.

6. #DRUMM: The Irish Independent reports that former Anglo boss David Drumm has secured a legal agreement blocking gardaí from access to confidential documents which are about to be revealed in the US.

7. #BRAZIL: Floods and landslides have killed at least 270 people in Southern Brazil, and the death toll is expected to rise considerably, Reuters reports.

8. #DEAD ANIMALS: An unusual explanation has been found for the latest mass bird fatality. Residents of Constanta in eastern Romania found dozens of dead starlings on the outskirts of the city on Saturday. They alerted authorities, fearing the birds had died from avian flu. But local veterinary officials decided the starlings had, in fact, drunk themselves to death. They died after eating grape ‘marc’ – the leftovers from the wine-making process.

9. #JEDWARDVISION: Jedward have been shortlisted for the Eurovision, alongside Nikki Kavanagh, the Vard Sisters, Don Mescall, and a new boy-girl band signed to EMI, according to the Irish Daily Star.

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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