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Dublin: 21°C Monday 8 August 2022

The 9 at 9: Thursday

Good morning! Here’s what you should know as you kick off your Thursday. (It’s a four-day week, hang in there.)

Image: Jose Gil via Shutterstock

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you should know as you kick off your day.

1. #KOREA: North Korea says it has approved nuclear strikes against the United States – while American and South Korean observers report that missiles are being moved to the east of the country, putting them within striking range of the US pacific island territory of Guam. The US has itself decided to move missile defence systems to Guam in response. The North says the “moment of explosion” is fast approaching. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency has suggested a strike could be attempted on April 15, the anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s ‘eternal president’, the late Kim Il-sung.

2. #DOCTORS: The Irish Medical Organisation’s annual conference gets underway in Co Kerry today, with a heavy focus on the €9.7 million pension settlement paid to its former chief executive. Croke Park 2 and government plans to introduce free GP care will also be discussed, as will be working hours for junior doctors. In a break with usual tradition, health minister James Reilly will not be present: he’s sending the junior minister for primary care, Alex White, is going instead.

3. #TEACHERS: The Teachers’ Union of Ireland is to ballot members on whether they want to pursue strike action if the Croke Park 2 deal is imposed on its members despite their vote to reject it. The government had planned to introduce the deal across the public workforce if it was approved by a majority of ICTU’s public services committee; the TUI voted no by an 86 per cent margin. The INTO, representing primary teachers, opted against a similar proposal at its own conference because it has not yet finished balloting on Croke Park 2 itself.

4. #HOT: Fire services spent hours overnight attempting to extinguish fires on the Little Sugar Loaf in Co Wicklow. Seven units from Bray, Wicklow and Greystones were despatched to the area to control the blaze. It’s not known whether the fires were started deliberately.

5. #…AND COLD: Ireland’s still escaping any more wet weather, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been miserable in some parts. Met Éireann’s data shows that temperatures at Finner Camp in Donegal last night dropped to -11°C at one point. That’s minus eleven. We just thought we’d repeat that: minus eleven. (By 8am it has recovered to -1°C.)

6. #CANNABIS: The Dáil will likely vote later this year on plans to legalise cannabis. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan told the Irish Daily Mirror that he was putting down legislation to regulate and tax the sale of cannabis, with a date in October pencilled in for its discussion by TDs.

7. #GUN CONTROL: State legislators in Connecticut have passed what they claim are the toughest gun control laws in the United States. The measures, which could be signed into law as early as today, include the US’s first state-wide register of people convicted of gun crimes. The state is the home of Sandy Hook elementary school where 26 people were shot dead in December.

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8. #INTEREST RATES: The ECB’s governing council meets in Frankfurt today, when it will decide whether to cut the main interest rate for Eurozone banks. It’s not likely to change the rate from 0.75 per cent, but many suspect that president Mario Draghi could drop a hint about further cuts coming down the line – which would be good news for those on tracker mortgages.

9. #BALD: Bad news if you’re a man who’s thin on top. Japanese researchers believe they have established a link between male pattern baldness and heart disease. However, there’s a caveat: the link only appears to exist if the hair is being lost at the crown, so men with a receding hairline may have gotten off… for now.

  • Over on Meet the real star of the Tom Cruise red carpet… the heater. Plus: Niall got his braces off, and Luke Ming Flanagan comes to Bressie’s aid. Grab a helmet, people, it’s The Dredge…

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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