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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know by 9am: How do you solve a problem like Kevin Cardiff? How do ministers claim a little-known €3,500 tax rebate? And what is the USA’s top export?

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know before 9am…

1. #KEVIN CARDIFF: The government will today begin contemplating how to react to Kevin Cardiff’s rejection by the European Parliament’s committee on budgetary control, which yesterday opted not to recommend him – by a single vote – to the European Court of Auditors. Cardiff can still be approved by the parliament as a whole, but may withdraw his candidacy. Ireland’s current member Eoin O’Shea will today attend an Oireachtas committee to brief it on the court’s work.

2. #HEALTH: The Irish Daily Mail has obtained a document it says is being circulated among HSE managers – which outlines plans to close 840 beds and close 12 community hospitals and nursing homes. The document comes as HSE chief executive Cathal Magee prepares to go in front of an Oireachtas committee to update it on healthcare plans.

3. #DIRTY LAUNDRY: Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has condemned the political expenses regime, after uncovering details of how ministers can claim a €3,500 tax rebate… for laundry expenses. Ministers from outside Dublin are entitled to claim an allowance for a ‘second residence’, which may be a hotel – and those claiming unvouched expenses can get a €3,500 rebate in respect of their laundry bills.

4. #LEAGUE TABLES: Michael Noonan might be preparing to wield the knife in the Budget but he’s been given a quick boost in advance – with the Financial Times releasing its latest league table of EU finance ministers. Noonan is ranked 10th out of 19, coming third in terms of his political clout – bettering Brian Lenihan who was bottom of the same table last year.

5. #COMBUSTION: State pathologist has poured cold water (sorry) on the theory of spontaneous human combustion – saying it’s a “myth”. Reports from Gareth Naughton carried in some of today’s broadsheets describe how Prof Cassidy rubbished the theory at Dublin Coroner’s Court yesterday, saying the theory hadn’t been valid for 500 years.

6. #EUROZONE: New Italian premier Mario Monti today holds his first meeting with Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy – in the aftermath of yesterday’s disastrous German bond auction. ‘Merkozy’ are expected to show strong support for Monti, who is in charge of bringing in tough economic reforms – but the meeting will likely also discuss the Eurobond proposal, which Monti backs but Merkel doesn’t.

7. #LEVESON: The ongoing inquiries in the UK today holds its most high-profile day of hearings so far – hearing testimony from author JK Rowling, actress Sienna Miller, and former motorsport chief Max Mosley. An unnamed party who has previously taken out a so-called ‘super-injunction’ will also give evidence.

8. #MORTGAGES: Fixed-rate mortgage holders have been advised to look closely at the fine print on their mortgage deals – because they may be entitled to switch to a tracker and save cash. says many people who took out mortgages at the height of the credit bubble are now exiting an initial 5-year window, after which they can switch to a tracker.

9. #THANKSGIVING: It’s Thanksgiving day in America – and to mark it, the UK arm of its public TV broadcaster PBS has held a survey charting the US’s top exports. The list, carried in the Daily Mirror, includes Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, The Simpsons, Kellogg’s cereal and Levi’s jeans.

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