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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this fine Thursday morning.

EVERY DAY, brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #EDUCATION: More students than ever are finishing their second-level education, according to new figures released by Minister Ruairí Quinn. The 90.2 per cent Leaving Certificate completion rate is almost 9 per cent higher when compared with 2001.

2. #BANKERS: The former Anglo Irish Bank has named six of its current executives who earn more than €500,000 each per year – the cap set by the government for those working at bailed-out institutions.

3. #€€€€€: Irish people will be the biggest spenders in Europe this Christmas. That is according to the annual Deloitte survey on our holiday shopping habits, which showed we will splash out an average €965.80 on gifts, food and drink and socialising – in that order.

4. #AOIFE PHELAN: A 24-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of 30-year-old au pair Aoife Phelan remains in garda custody. He was detained for a second time last night following the discovery of a woman’s body near a property on the Timahoe Road just outside Portlaoise.

5. #COURTS: A nine-year-old girl who suffered severe injuries and brain damage during her birth in 2003 is to be paid €11 million, the Irish Times reports this morning. The settlement was agreed after an action was taken by her mother Deirdre Courtney in Kerry. She accused Tralee General Hospital of negligence.

6. #DISASTER: At least 48 people have died in Guatemala following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake yesterday, according to the BBC.

7. #ACCIDENT: Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is in hospital this morning following a collision with a vehicle while he was cycling. His injuries, which include damage to his wrist and ribs, are not life-threatening.

8. #THE BEST: Taoiseach Enda Kenny will travel to Budapest, Vienna and Berlin today as part of Ireland’s preparations for the EU presidency next year. While in Germany, he will pick up the European of the Year award from the country’s magazine publishers’ association VDZ.

9. #ARCHIVES: The National Archives is to launch a new resource which will allow users browse through the wills of 9,000 Irish soldiers who were killed during World War I. Many of the deceased were too young to have wives or children so most of the bequests concern parents, siblings and comrades-in-arms.

  • Over on Which celeb got a dodgy looking tattoo, J-Lo denies getting maid fired, and is R-Pattz R-Pissed?.. It’s The Dredge

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