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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. #SYRIA: No major violence is reported in Syria this morning as the deadline for the UN/Arab League-brokered ceasefire came and went at 4am (Irish Time) this morning. The Syrian government of President Bashar Assad pledged to halt fighting against the Syrian rebels following months of conflict which has claimed more than 9,000 lives, according to the UN.

2. #HEARING VOICES: More than a fifth of children aged 11 to 13 are said to hear voices according to a study by the British Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers carried out psychiatric assessments of almost 2,500 children, aged between 11 and 16, in Dublin and determined that between 21 and 23 per cent of those between 11 and 13 experienced auditory hallucinations, the Irish Times reports.

3. #HEALTH: The government is expected to come under fire at the Irish Medical Organisation begins its annual conference in Killarney, Co Kerry today. Cuts to staff and funding in the health service are likely to dominate the agenda with some €2.5 billion cut from the health budget in the last three years and thousands of staff having sought retirement this year.

4. #ROADS: Gardaí are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a six-year-old boy in Limerick yesterday evening. The boy died after being hit by a car at Farnane, Murroe at 5pm last night.

5. #TRAYVON: A man in Florida has been charged with second degree, unpremeditated murder over the death of the black teenager Trayvon Martin who was shot dead as he walked home from a grocery store in February. George Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defence after the 17-year-0ld had attacked him in a case which has sparked fresh debate about race in the US.

6. #20TH CENTURY: Small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland are using outdated and traditional methods of communication, such as faxes, instead of embracing more modern technology, a survey has found. Research by DG Group says that 25 per cent of SMEs “do not understand” digital marketing and says that many are “stuck in the 20th century”.

7. #SUED: Apple and major book publishers are being sued by the US government over the pricing of e-books. The Department of Justice is accusing Apple as well as the likes of Harper Collins and Penguin of colluding over the process of e-book sales which they have moved to a model where publishers rather than sellers set the prices of books.

8. #NOT PAYING: An Offaly man has said he is going to stop paying his taxes as he is fed up with the money being used for what he deems to be poor services and the bailing out of banks and bondholders. Self-employed Patrick McGreal says he will not file tax returns and will look to avoid paying VAT where possible. What do you think of his stance?

9. #ABANDONED PUPPIES: A man in the US has been charged with abandoning animals after he left a suitcase with six puppies inside it beside a rubbish bin. He was caught after he left a tag with his contact information on the bag. Three female and three male bulldog-mix puppies were discovered by passers-by and now Howard Davis faces a court appearance in Ohio tomorrow.

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