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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…Gilmore seeks urgent Vatican meeting, Troika chiefs set to deliver verdict, great news for Sligo design students, and a date with Justin Timberlake.

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

1. #CLOYNE The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is seeking a meeting with the Pope’s ambassador to Ireland following the publication of the Cloyne report. Justice minister Alan Shatter said that the Vatican’s response to allegations of abuse was a ‘matter of some seriousness’ while the report, which was published yesterday, described the Vatican as ‘entirely unhelpful’.

2. #BILLS Bord Gais has confirmed that it’s raising its electricity prices by 12 per cent from next month, and now energy experts are warning that ESB and Airtricity are set to follow suit. Bord Gais has also said that it expects its gas prices to go up from October, and the rise could be as high as 30 per cent.

3. #TROIKA The Troika chiefs from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank are gearing up to present their report on their latest review of Ireland’s economic progress. They’ve spent the last few days examining Ireland’s efforts and are due to give their verdict later. The quarterly reviews are being carried out as part of Ireland’s bailout deal. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told Sky News this morning that he’s confident in the measures Ireland has put in place to reduce the deficit.

4. #CLEVER A team of students from Sligo IT has taken top honours at the Microsoft Imagine Cup in New York. Team Hermes won the top prize in the Software Design for designing a device which plugs into a car and monitors dangerous driving and the potential for an accident. The device makes use of cloud technology and the team hopes that it could save lives.

5. #MORTGAGES There’s some good news for those hoping to secure a mortgage for the first time. It’s reported this morning that the cost of securing a home loan for the first time has fallen by half when compared to five years ago, according to the latest EBS/DKM affordability index. A new home costs a couple 13 per cent of joint income today, compared to 26.4 per cent in 2006.

6. #FIREBALL Five men have been killed in what’s been described as a ‘fireball’ following an explosion in Lincolnshire in England. Locals say the explosion took place in a unit which is used to brew illegal vodka. It’s reported that a number of shops in the area had been raided in recent weeks over the sale of illegal alcohol

7. #MUMBAI The death toll from yesterday’s terror strike in Mumbai has now risen to 17. Another 131 people were wounded in the attacks, which were the worst since 2008 when 166 people were killed. Indian police say they have no leads on these latest bombings, which shook three separate neighborhoods within minutes of each other during the busy evening rush hour yesterday.

8.#IPAD RIVAL Amazon is gearing up to release its own iPad rival in October. The Android device is expected to have a nine-inch screen but won’t have a camera. Apple and Amazon have had some bitter clashes with the iPad maker suing the online store over the trademark on the name ‘App Store’. However one analyst has described the two companies as ‘frenemies’ who rely on each other.

9. #DATE NIGHT Remember how we told you a few days ago how you could win a date with actress Mila Kunis, just by asking her? Well now you could spend a night in the company of Justin Timberlake if it takes your fancy. Kunis agreed to a date with a US marine after he posted a video from Afghanistan on YouTube asking for a date to a dance in the US in November. Timberlake urged his movie co-star to accept and now another marine, Kelsey De Santis has turned the tables on Timberlake and asked him to ‘hit her up’…

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