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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know as you start your day.

1. #HEALY-RAE: Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has told that he knew nothing of the thousands of calls placed from Leinster House in support of his bid to win a reality television show. Over 3,600 calls were made from the phone of an elected member of Leinster House to vote for Healy-Rae to win, according to the Irish Daily Mail.

2. #WINNING: More medal successes for Team Ireland at the Special Olympics on day two of the tournament in Athens, with Mary Gavin taking silver in the women’s 100m backstroke and Peter Oxley winning bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke.

3. #BABIES: Ireland recorded the highest birth rate in the EU per head of population in 2009, according to the ESRI. That year, 76,021 babies were born in the state. Meanwhile, the Examiner reports this morning that rising obesity levels are contributing to a growing number of complex births. Another major factor in complicated births is fertility treatment, which is resulting in more multiple births.

4. #INJURED: Fermanangh GAA player Mark McGovern, 20,  is in a coma after being seriously injured in an off-the-ball incident during a match at the weekend. McGovern is in the States with the Ulster Club San Francisco and was playing in his first game when the incident occurred.

5. #GREECE: Despite Greek Prime Minister Papandreou calling for national unity in support of his government’s controversial austerity package, Greek trade unions are this morning beginning a 48-hour general strike to protest the plan. The Greek parliament is due to debate and vote on the measures tomorrow, which if passed would cut €28bn from the country’s budget over the next five years.

6. #BURMA: Burmese authorities have deported the Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh – on the same day she arrived in the country. Yeoh, who plays Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in an upcoming film, is apparently on a government blacklist.

7. #SLIGO: An investigation has been launched into a helicopter crash yesterday evening in Co Sligo. The two people on board escaped without injury, but serious damage was caused to the aircraft.

8. #FLOTILLA: Israel’s prime minister has withdrawn a press office statement from his government offices warning foreign journalists of severe sanctions if they reported from the Gaza flotilla, Haaretz reports.

9. #DESPERATE MEASURES: One man was so determined to see Kasabian play a sold-out festival in the Isle of Wight that he broke into a police car, stole a policewoman’s uniform and then attempted to pass himself off as a police officer. The Telegraph reports that he actually managed it quite well… for a while.

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