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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Nine things to know this morning…
Mar 15th 2012, 8:40 AM 7,829 30

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

1. #OIL: Will we all be rich? Ireland’s first commercially viable oil well has been confirmed off the Cork coast by energy firm Providence Resources. The well is flowing oil at almost double the rate anticipated, the company said.

2. #NOONAN: Finance minister Michael Noonan is due to meet his French counterpart Francois Baron today in Paris. RTÉ reports that talks are expected to focus on Ireland’s economic prospects as well as the Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes.

3. #EDUCATION: No Irish universities now rate anywhere in the world’s top 100, according to new rankings released today. This marks a sharp decline since 2009, when Trinity ranked 43rd and UCD 89th.

4. #PRISONS: A new report on the state of Irish prisons has said almost every jail in the country is now over capacity. This is leading to a “pressure cooker” atmosphere, according to the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice which prepared the report.

5. #BUS CRASH: The bodies of 22 children and six adults killed in a coach crash in Switzerland will be flown home today. A number of the victims’ remains are yet to be identified as investigators struggle to find the cause of the crash.

6. #SYRIA: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad sent country music videos and song lyrics to his wife as his forces mounted a bloody crackdown on the country’s uprising, personal emails seen by the Guardian reveal. Meanwhile Asma al-Assad shopped online for luxury items, including a chocolate fondue set.

7. #EARNING A CRUST: Laid-off construction worker Simon Stenson – who started a bakery business in Mayo after two years of unemployment – will now see his own bread eaten by US president Barack Obama on St Patrick’s Day, according to the Irish Examiner.

8. #REPOSSESSION: The Laois man who successfully defended his home from a sheriff arriving to repossess it – and became a YouTube sensation in the process – has been evicted on the second attempt. Lee Wellstead told the Irish Daily Star: “They cut the locks and took possession.”

9. #MORTIFIED: A teenager has been released with a warning in Arkansas after a phone prank went horribly wrong, the Associated Press reports.  The 15-year-old girl sent a text reading “I hid the body… Now what?” to a random number – which turned out to be the cellphone of a local cop.

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Michael Freeman


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