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The 9 at 9 Nine things you should know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you should know with your morning coffee.

1.# WEATHERWATCH: Met Éireann has issued a severe weather warning for the country, advising that winds could hit up to 130 km/hr in some areas – with coastal areas in the north and north-west facing violent storm-force winds. A separate gale warning has been issued for all coastal areas and on the Irish Sea.

2. #SUMMIT: EU leaders are travelling to Brussels this evening to begin a two-day meeting of the European Council, during which ways to save the union’s single currency will be considered. France and Germany are pushing for the establishment of a common fiscal government for the eurozone - however States remain divided on the issue.

3. #ECB: The European Central Bank is expected to make a further cut to interest rates today: while there has been some speculation of a 0.5 per cent cut, most analysts believe it will be closer to 0.25 per cent.

4. #CUTS: The Government is expected to officially acknowledge its u-turn on disability benefit cuts later today. Meanwhile, Catholic bishops are urging the Government to reverse the cuts on child benefit and the fuel allowance scheme, saying that the measures target large families, the poor and the ill, RTÉ reports.

5. #HIT AND RUN: The funeral of 14-year-old Conor Hickey, who died in a hit-and-run traffic incident in Dublin last week, is to take place in Cabra today, RTÉ reports. Gardaí have repeated their appeal for the driver of the car involved to come forward.

6. #CAOLAN MULROONEY: A post-mortem examination conducted yesterday has confirmed that Cork student Caolan Mulrooney, whose disappearance sparked a wide search across the city last week, died of head and torso injuries consistent with a fall, the Irish Independent reports. His death has been classed as a tragic accident.

7. #EBS: Staff at EBS are to ballot for strike action after being informed they will not receive an end-of-year payment - equivalent to a month’s salary - this December. The payment was denied as the new owner of the institution, AIB, is forbidden to grant bonuses under the terms of it bailout agreement with the State. However, staff have argued that the payment is not performance-related but an annual payment that is specified in employees’ contracts.

8. #CHINA: Wang Ziq, a Chinese woman identified as a gangland ringleader, has been executed in China for forcing hundreds of women into prostitution in Chongqing. One of her accomplices, a 35-year-old Filiipino man convicted of drug trafficking, was also executed – despite a clemency appeal from President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines.

9. #PUSUKE: The world’s oldest dog has died in Japan: Pusuke, born on 1 April 1985, was recognised as the oldest dog living by the Guinness Book of Records last year, the Telegraph reports.

The Shiba-mix breed had reached the age of 26 years and eight months. Puske’s owner told reporters that she “would just like to thank him for staying alive so long.”

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