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The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know by 9am: Met Eireann says we should prepare for a white Christmas, while AA warns of 5 hour commutes; the Sun finds heroin in RTE and a cure for the common cough.

Every morning, brings you nine things you really, really need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #BRRR: Met Éireann has said many part of the country can now expect a white Christmas, as the thaw is not expected til late on Christmas day. In the meantime, however, travellers are facing further chaos right across Ireland and Europe as they try to get home in time to enjoy it. And even getting in for work is proving a challenge in some areas today: the AA reports that some Dublin commuters took five hours to get home last night, with delays continuing right up until midnight – and it doesn’t expect things to be much better today. Dublin airport is fully operational but warning that disruption to flight schedules is likely because of conditions in other European airports. Dublin Bus running with curtailments and diversions; Luas, Dart and intercity services running normally. And there’s no let-up in sight: further snow is forecast in many areas today.

2. #DRUGS: The Irish Sun claims traces of heroin were found in the toilet of the main canteen in RTÉ yesterday.  RTÉ has urged the Sun to hand its evidence over to the gardai and said it is awaiting further information and advice. Meanwhile other papers report that RTÉ and the government are at loggerheads after comments made by Drugs Minister Pat Carey. He said that RTÉ, and the media generally, were “very judgmental” about model Katy French, who died from cocaine in December 2007, and it had now “come home to roost in their own case”.

3. #UNMARRIED PARENTS: In its report published today, the Law Reform Commission says parents should automatically get guardianship rights over their children – whether they are married or not. It also makes recommendations for other sweeping changes to family law, including rights for step-parents.

4. #UNFAIR DISMISSAL?: An AIB worker who was sacked for accessing the bank accounts of his colleagues said yesterday he did not know it was illegal, the Irish Times reports. Thirty-eight year old Brian Purcell has taken an unfair dismissals case to the Employment Appeals tribunal. The Tribunal also heard that in the weeks before his dismissal, he had used the bank’s whistleblower mechanism to draw attention to some irregular transactions at the bank.

5. #ASSANGE: The Wikileaks founder has said he is fighting extradition to Sweden, because he believes he would get “no natural justice” there. He told the BBC the two women who had accused him had got into a “tizzy” about the possibility of STDs.

6. #POPE: In his pre-Christmas speech, Pope Benedict has said that sexual abuse in the church had reached a degree “we could not have imagined”. “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred,” the Pope said in a pointed Christmas message to the Vatican hierarchy. “We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

7. #ABORTION: The Irish Times’s Carl O’Brien publishes an exclusive interview with a woman who was forced to travel to Britain for an abortion after she became pregnant while undergoing treatment for cancer. Thirty nine-year-old Wexford woman Michelle Harte told how there was a five week delay in her treatment, while she waited for the hospital’s ethics committee to make a decision, and then had to arrange travel to Britain for the termination. After her return, scans showed the cancer had become much more aggressive and had spread to her brain.

8. #BANAMA REPUBLIC: NAMA has responded to last night’s Prime Time by reiterating that it will pursue developers who transferred assets to their spouses. The programme claimed that developers continued to enjoy “mansions, holiday homes and country estates” that appeared to be beyond the reach of NAMA.

9. #HEALTH: Scientists have discovered a new cure for the cough…and it’s the same cure that’s been used for centuries to treat depression, heartache, boredom, ageing, stroke, memory loss and bad hair days. It’s chocolate, of course.

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