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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know by 9am: Micheal Martin begins his tenure as FF leader; a surgeon who contracted HIV from a patient settles his case, and a hunt is launched for a soldier who left a proposal for his girlfriend on the wrong answering machine.

Every morning, brings you nine things you really need to know before you start your day.

1. #GE11: Micheal Martin is on his first day as Fianna Fail leader; he’s kicked off his tenure by challenging his opponents to a leadership debate, the Irish Daily Mail reports. He also managed to apologise for FF’s mistakes.  The focus has turned to the appointment of his deputy leader, which is expected to happen soon.

2. #AER LINGUS: Eleven days into the dispute, at least 215 – or one in five cabin crew – have been taken off the payroll by Aer Lingus, according to RTE. The airline has begun booking passenges on seats on Ryanair flights, and is leasing six planes from its rival and shareholder, the Irish Times adds. O’Leary has predicted that rival Aer Lingus “will be destroyed” if it gives into unions in the rostering dispute. Meanwhile, management have revealed details of the rosters at the centre of the dispute with crew. A crew member has put their side of the dispute across for readers of

3. #HIV: A surgeon has settled his case against the hospital, the HSE and the State for an undisclosed sum after he contracted HIV from a patient in 1997. His “life stopped that day”, he previously told the court, the Irish Times reports.

4. #WIKILEAKS: Bolivian prosecutors have claimed that the CIA was linked to an alleged terrorist plot in 2009, which lead to the death of Tipperary man Michael Dwyer, InsideIreland reports.

5. #NEIL PRENDEVILLE: Cork DJ Neil Prendeville is to return to his job within weeks, the Irish Sun reports. He has been on leave since November, when he was forced to apologise for exposing himself on a flight from London. However, the Star adds that his return is dependent on the outcome of the garda investigation into allegations of public indecency against him.

6. #SWINE FLU: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says many of those with underlying health conditions still have not been vaccinated against swine flu – which accounts for 90 per cent of flu deaths in Europe. The HSE is urging people to get the vaccine. The Independent reports that a woman with no underlying health problems has died from suspected swine flu in a Cork hospital in the past week. Up to 50 people are being treated in intensive care units for the virus; however the Health Protection Surveillance Unit said there has been a slight decrease in flu activity.

7. #EGYPT: Egypt is braced for further demonstrations following two days of unrest that have left at least four people dead, the BBC reports.  About 700 people have been arrested in a crackdown by police on protestors.

8. #MAFIA: The star of the godfather movies, James Caan, has come out in support of an alleged mafia boss who was arrested in an FBI swoop on the crime gang. He offered to stand bail for Andrew ‘Andy Mush’ Russo, who is godfather to his son, the Telegraph reports. His lawyer, George Galgano, told that Andrew Russo is innocent of all allegations and “has never been accused of murder or even hurting or assaulting another human being”.

9.#DESPERATELY SEEKING SAM: A British soldier serving in Afghanistan left a message on his girlfriend’s answering machine asking her to marry him. Trouble is, he dialled the wrong number. Forty four year old Diane Potts, who got the message, said “I just thought: ‘bless him.’ He sounded so young.”  Now the hunt is on to find the lovesick soldier and his girlfriend.