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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

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

1. #NORRIS: Senator David Norris is expected to give a press conference later today as the controversy over a letter he wrote in 1997 to the Israeli courts pleading for clemency for a friend and former partner who was convicted of statutory rape. Three of the 15 TDs which had pledged to support his nomination have withdrawn that support.

2. #US DEBT: The US House of Representatives has passed measures which will see the US debt ceiling raised by at least $2.1 trillion, but will not raise taxes. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in January, travelled to Washington to cast her vote.

3. #CHILDREN: The Irish Times reports that hundreds of urgent child protection calls are going without  assessment or follow-up because of staff shortages within social services. Social service workers have told the paper they fear some at-risk children could die as a result.

4. #HEALTH: The HSE spent over €1.43 million in keeping a TB patient in hospital for two years against their will. The Irish Examiner reports that the man was suffering from a potentially lethal form of TB and that the HSE kept him isolated in a private room and hired security.

5. #STABBING: A 30-year-old woman is due in court this morning following the fatal stabbing of a man in his 50s at an apartment in Salthill, Galway, at the weekend.

6. #FIX IT: People in the South Dublin area can report issues from graffiti to potholes to the council online via a new website, Fix Your Street. The council aims to respond to those complaints within 48 hours of them being posted and the Irish Times reports that the scheme will be extended to all local authorities after being road-tested (no pun intended…) on South Dublin County Council for three months.

7. #FUKUSHIMA: Radiation levels have surged at the Fukushima power plant, according to readings taken yesterday, Al Jazeera reports. Efforts to completely cool down and close the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant continue.

8. #CHINA: Police in China have killed two men suspected of being behind an attack on a restaurant at the weekend in which six people died. The BBC reports that 18 people died over the weekend in the restive region of Xinjiang.

9. #KINGS: The Kings of Leon have some issues to resolve, according to bassist Jared Followill. The group cancelled their US tour just days after singer Caleb Followill left the stage during a gig in Dallas because of heat exhaustion. However, after the Dallas show, Jared tweeted:

I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.

In an effort to soothe worried fans, he later tweeted: “Don’t jump to conclusions guys. We’re not breaking up.”

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