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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: Gaddafi ordered campaign of mass rape, ICC claims; horrific allegations of abuse emerge at Rostrevor – and the most breathtaking picture from space you’ll see all day.

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

1. #MASS RAPE: Libyan soldiers were given Viagra as part of a campaign of mass rape of hundreds of women overseen by Muammar Gaddafi, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has claimed.

2. #CHARGED: A man has been charged in connection with the murder of student Eoin Ryan, whose half-naked body was found face down in a barrel in Clare on Tuesday morning. The court heard that Joe Heffernan, 31, of Barefield, Co Clare, replied “I killed the devil” when he was charged. He is in need of medical attention.

3. #NURSING HOME: A garda investigation into allegations of abuse at the Rostrevor nursing home is underway. It’s emerged that it was only after several allegations of abuse of the residents that HIQA intervened to close the home down. Only last August, HIQA inspectors visited the home and concluded that residents were being cared for in a “respectful, caring and dignified manner”, the Irish Independent reports, as disturbing details of the nature of the abuse carried out by a male member of staff known as ‘P’ are revealed in today’s papers.

4. #NORRIS FOR ARAS?: Senator David Norris has written an open letter to his supporters “clarifying” his views on everything from abortion to pederasty.

5. #TORNADO: A tornado ripped through a farm in Derry yesterday, forcing ten farm workers to rush to their safety, the Irish Times reports.

6. #ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: The Irish state could save €80 million in health costs every year, if Irish people halved their alcohol consumption, according to a study published in the Irish Medical Journal.

7. #DREXTING: Gardaí have issued another warning about the dangers of driving while texting – but this time they say teenage girls and young women are the worst offenders, the Irish Times reports.

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8. #BAILOUT: The state has conceded it is seeking a smaller reduction on the bailout than the 1 per cent it originally sought, the Irish Times reports. Germany is now insisting that Greece’s private bondholders must share the burden. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said Germany and France now want any country wanting another bailout to offer collateral on its state assets: in effect, they want the ability to take over government owned assets from Ireland, Greece, and Portugal in return for the cash they are giving them in bailouts, if the cash is not paid back.

9. #SPACE: But take a break from all that for a moment and lose yourself in this striking photograph by astronaut Paolo Nespoli from his mission to the International Space station. The photo shows the shuttle Endeavour  docked at the ISS, and the batch – which was released yesterday – is the first of its kind. See more like it here.

Image by Paolo Nespoli/NASA

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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