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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
GOOD MORNING
The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning: A make-or-break day for the Euro, the end of the shuttle era, and a practical tip to avoid getting attacked by a lion…

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

1. #EUROZONE: It is, literally, a make-or-break day for Europe’s single currency as the heads of 17 Eurozone member states meet in Brussels to try and find a way of dragging the bloc out of a debt crisis that’s threatening to break it up entirely. There’s been a small boost ahead of the meeting, with ringleaders France and Germany agreeing a ‘common position’ after talks yesterday.

2. #ENDA KENNY: Even before yesterday’s well-received Dáil speech on the Cloyne report, the Taoiseach’s popularity is up – to an all-time high, in fact, with his highest approval rating in his nine years at the helm of Fine Gael. The Irish Times’ opinion poll has bad news for him too, though – despite FG’s steady showing, the majority of voters are dissatisfied with the government’s performance.

3. #CLOYNE: Despite the public outcry in the wake of the publication’s report, and the Dáil’s all-party motion yesterday, the Holy See has still yet to respond – though an obviously heartbroken (but isolated) Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has spoken of how a “cabal” of clerics are destroying the church with their actions.

4. #COURTS: A 22-year-old man is due in Balbriggan District Court this morning charged with a serious sexual assault on a teenage girl last Saturday. The assault took place in broad daylight, at 2:30pm, at a public park in Swords – which would have been full of families and children at the time.

5. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: David Norris will this morning announce that he’s changing tack in his bid to win a presidential nomination – launching a new drive to get nominated by 20 members of the Oireachtas. He’s holding a briefing this morning to announce his progress so far – ironically, a day after FG candidate Gay Mitchell showed some unease at how his party’s councillors were blocking Norris’s nomination.

6. #SPACE SHUTTLE: It truly is the end of an era this morning – as Atlantis touches down in Florida to bring an end to the age of the Space Shuttle. The four-man crew of STS-135 will touch down shortly before 11am and we’ll have live footage of it here from 10am or so.

7. #JOBSWATCH: A little bit of good news this morning. RTÉ News reports that bio-pharmaceutical manufacturer Sangart is creating 120 jobs in Cork, with up to 125 more during construction, while Allianz Worldwide Care is hiring 50 in Dublin.

8. #YUMMY: Don’t want to get eaten by a lion? Don’t wander out on a full moon. PA reports a study in Tanzania which shows that lions are particularly aggressive just after a full moon, with an analysis of 500 attacks showing that lions are better hunters when it’s dark – and that the full moon means they’re more likely to be hungry.

9. #EXTRAVAGANCE: Yesterday we told you about how an Abu Dhabi billionaire had carved his name in letters over a mile wide. Today, he’s got a rival: one of Malaysia’s richest men has just spent €3.4 BILLION the world’s most luxurious yacht, which is so luxurious its hull is plated with solid gold.

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