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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know by 9am: 2,000 jobs to go at AIB, Japan declares the maximum nuclear alert level at Fukushima, and the demise of the Coco Pops mascot?

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know by 9am.

1. #AIB: AIB has announced its intention to shed 2,000 jobs between 2011 and 2012 after announcing a dismal set of preliminary results for 2010. This morning the bank announced total group losses of €10.2 billion for the period, having lost €7bn on NAMA transfers and incurring a credit provision charge of €6bn.

2. #JAPAN: Authorities in Japan have raised the nuclear alert level at the Fukushima plant to Level 7 – the highest possible level on the International Nuclear Event Scale of warnings. Only one nuclear alert has ever reached level 7 before: Chernobyl in 1986. Another major aftershock struck the country’s north-east overnight, measuring 6.3 in magnitude, but there are no reports of injuries or any significant damage.

3. #CUTBACKS: The cabinet has signed off on a revised spending programme that clears the way for its jobs budget later this year. Public Expenditure reform minister Brendan Howlin has indicated that government departments may have to rely more on outsourcing certain operations in order to rein in departmental spending. There are also warnings that the Croke Park Deal may need revision if it doesn’t bring in the promised savings.

4. #BULLYING: The father of the late Phoebe Prince, the Irish teenager who took her own life after being bullied at her school in the US, has called for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to education without bullying.

5. #BARACK O’BAMA: US president Barack Obama is set to hold a major rally at Croke Park on Monday 23 May – just a few days after Queen Elizabeth visits the same venue – according to today’s Irish Independent. There is some discussion, however, that the event could be moved to the previous day to ensure a larger crowd. Gardaí have expressed worry, meanwhile, that the visits of Obama and the Queen could eat up most of the year’s security budget.

6. #HOSPITALS: The State has now spent over €1m providing round-the-clock security for a single patient at a psychiatric hospital in Ennis in Co Clare. The man, who has been in care after an assault in 1999, has been given round-the-clock security since mid-2008 at a cost of €1,000 per day, the Irish Times reports.

7. #IVORY COAST: The Ivory Coast’s new president Alassane Ouattara has said his country is now at “the dawn of a new era of hope”, following the arrest of his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo. In a televised address, the president urged his countrymen to show restraint and calmness.

8. #SPACEFLIGHT: Today is the 50th anniversary of the first human-manned flight into space – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on April 12, 1961 when his Vostok 1 craft completed a full orbit of the Earth.

9. #COCO POPSTARS: One of the advertising world’s best-known faces is being given a break – to be replaced with the ever-ubiquitous Jedward. Coco the Monkey is being sidelined after a 48-year stint at the mascot for Coco Pops, with the hyperactive Lucan twins being set to take up the role of chanting the “I’d rather have a bowl of…” slogan. The deal is worth a reputed £180,000 to the 19-year-olds.

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