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The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know this morning…

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

1. #WEATHER The high winds which we have been experiencing for much of the week are expected to calm today. Gusts are expected to reach up to 100km per hour but will ease as the day continues. Motorists are urged to take care while driving on the roads as winds have brought down more trees and debris overnight.

2. #PUBLIC SECTOR More than 7,000 workers have applied for early retirement from the public sector ahead of reductions to pension entitlements which come into effect in March, the Irish Examiner reports this morning. The government is targeting around 9,000 early retirements before the deadline as it targets overall reductions in the public sector of some 23,000 by 2015.

3. #SHOP AROUND A survey has found that over 80 per cent of consumers in Ireland bring their shopping list from one shop to another in order to find the best bargains. A survey for Checkout magazine also found that 23 per cent plan to spend less on groceries than they did last year, the Irish Examiner reports this morning.

4. #IRAN EU member states have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil, a decision which pushed up the price of oil on international markets, BBC News reports. The move has been welcomed by the US which has itself imposed fresh sanctions on Iran amid fears about its nuclear capabilities and its conducting of a number of military exercises near the Strait of Hormuz through which a fifth of the world’s traded oil passes.

5. #MEXICO Thirty-one inmates have died after a fight broke out between gang members in a prison in northern Mexico. Prisoners were reportedly killed with knives and makeshift weapons. Order was only restored when the army was called into the prison to assist officers working there. The country’s fierce drugs war between rival gangs often spreads to prisons.

6. #IRAQ Two explosions have rocked Baghdad this morning and killed at least 23 people. AP reports that the explosion happened in two Shiite neighbourhoods amid fresh concerns that the sectarian divisions between the minority Sunnis and majority Shiites in Iraq will lead to an increase in violence following the full withdrawal of all US troops last month.

7. #RACISM A Nigerian taxi driver has said he fears for his safety while working in Ireland and revealed he receives racist abuse on a daily basis. In a story which makes many of this morning’s newspapers, Bartholomew Omoifo has spoken out following Ennis District Court’s decision to jail a man for nine months yesterday after he assaulted Omoifo and called him a “b****** n*****” last year.

8. #ASSISTED SUICIDE A major report in the UK has recommended that people with terminal illnesses be allowed to end their lives at home with the help of a doctor. The Commission on Assisted Dying says a choice could be provided to some people with a terminal illness who wish to end their life provided stringent safeguards are observed.

9. #INTERNSHIP Finally, here’s something to inspire you if you’re looking for that perfect job. Stephen Cleary wanted an internship with a social media campaign so he launched a six week online campaign in which he talked about his quest for such employment. Then he applied for an internship with sports manufacturing giant Adidas and so impressed were they with his online initiatives, he got hired.

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