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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you need to know with your morning coffee…

1. #MARY McALEESE: After 14 years, it’s the final day in office for Mary McAleese before Michael D Higgins is sworn in as president tomorrow.  Her last public engagement will be opening a  building near Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin which will provide accommodation to homeless people.

2. #EUROZONE: As the turmoil continues in the eurozone this morning, France and Germany are reportedly considering a radical overhaul of the eurozone which could include kicking some countries out of the euro. Asian markets have fallen overnight in response to the continuing uncertainty.

3. #BANKERS: Enda Kenny has spoken to the Financial Regulator after three of Ireland’s major banks – Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank – all said that they would not be passing on the ECB interest rate cut to customers, the Irish Times reports.

4. #AIB: AIB is still raising salaries, hiring new staff and promoting existing workers,  a source at the bank has confirmed to The salary increases are viewed by management as a way of “recognising the responsibilities taken on by staff”.

5. #GAZA: Seven Irish activists, who were due to be deported from Israel following their attempt to break the blockade on Gaza, have missed their flight home today. The Department of Foreign Affairs has lodged a complaint with the Israeli authorities demanding that immediate alternative arrangements are made to get them home. The remaining seven activists are due to return home tomorrow.

6. #BUDGET 2012: Several major capital programmes are expected to be axed when the government announces its plans for capital spending for the next four years this afternoon.  The Metro North, the prison at Thornton Hall, and DIT’s planned move to Grangegorman are all expected to be deferred.

7. #NAMA: Paintings seized from property developer Derek Quinlan by NAMA were last night sold at a Christie’s auction in New York to help pay off some of Quinlan’s property debts,  the Irish Times reports.  One artwork by Andy Warhol sold for $782,000 (approximately €573,600).

8. #CRASH AND BURN: Republican Party presidential candidate Rick Perry crashed and burned during a live televised debate last night when he couldn’t remember which agencies he wanted to abolish. Cringe. Watch the video here.

9. #BEVERLY HILLS STROP: Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy has pulled out of hosting next year’s Oscars one day after the show’s producer resigned, the New York Times reports.  Director Brett Ratner, described as Murphy’s “creative partner”, stepped down on Tuesday after using a homophobic insult in an interview while promoting his new film.

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