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

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know with your first cup of coffee…

1. #FLOODS: There has been severe flooding in areas around the country after heavy rain last night, with some motorists forced to abandon their cars and many homes left without power. Some areas of Co Cork have been described as completely inaccessible. We’ve got a full report, dramatic pictures – and if you’re thinking of travelling, here’s how to drive through a flood.

2. #EUROZONE: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due in Brussels today for the latest summit of EU leaders on the debt crisis. German chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled agreement to a €130billion stimulus package for growth – but is still holding out against pressure to share debts across the eurozone, the BBC reports.

3. #PENSIONS: Former taoisigh including Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen will face cuts to their State pensions under new proposals put forward by Brendan Howlin, who said he is targeting those on “Rolls Royce” earnings.

4. #ABORTION: Senator Ivana Bacik has called for the ASAI to be given new powers that would enable it to act on the controversial Youth Defence anti-abortion ads. The pro-life group has slammed her comments as a “demand for censorship”.

5. #COMREG: Telecoms regulator ComReg has launched an inquiry into late-night adverts for ‘chatline’ services on TV3 after allegations that they were a front for prostitution, the Irish Examiner reports. Meanwhile the Government has been urged to make paying for sex illegal in Ireland.

6. #CIRCUMCISION: Jewish and Muslim leaders in Germany have reacted angrily afterthe country’s courts effectively outlawed circumcision of young boys. A judge yesterday ruled that the traditional practice constituted bodily harm, the Guardianreports.

7. #GHOST ESTATE: A Co Kerry town has come up with an inventive way to spruce up its local ghost estate: turn it into an art project. Students and residents of Sneem joined forces to transform the abandoned Cul Fadda estate into street art with paintings and other additions, the Irish Independent reports.

8. #POLICE: Some 130 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of police forces around Europe are due in Dublin today for the annual conference of the European Gay Police Association. Garda staff associations have officially hailed the event, saying it will be “enlightening and informative”.

9. #TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER: US President Barack Obama has received an unexpected boost in his campaign for re-election this November – after 65 per cent of Americans said he would be better than Republican rival Mitt Romney at handling an alien invasion. However, USA Today was unable to reach any extraterrestrials to give their own feelings on the matter…

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