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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

The nine stories you need to know this morning.

Image: Jerome via Flickr/Creative Commons

EVERY MORNING TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know before your morning coffee…

1. #SYRIA: The Russian Foreign Minister is due to visit the Syrian capital to hold talks with government officials today as heavy shelling continues in the city of Homs. Hundreds are reported to have died since the government started shelling the city – a rebel stronghold – last week.

2. #OCCUPY: Galway Airport employees have occupied the Terminal building in protest at the refusal of the airport to pay redundancies. Workers say they will continue to do their jobs during the protest. The company behind the airport, which is due to cease most of its operations later this month, has blamed Bank of Ireland for the reason why redundancies are not being paid.

3. #SEPTIC TANKS: Environment Minister Phil Hogan has reduced the registration fee for septic tank owners from €50 to just €5. The move, which has been welcomed by campaigners, was defended by the Minister this morning, who said that people have “no excuse” not to register their septic tank for inspection.

4. #GREECE: Pressure is increasing on Greece’s leaders today as they try to secure the €130 billion bailout deal needed to avoid bankruptcy. The coalition has been in talks since the weekend to agree on a package of austerity measures – including 15,000 cuts in civil service jobs – that have been demanded by the country’s creditors.

5. #PAISLEY: Former Northern Ireland first minister Ian Paisley remains in intensive care this morning after being hospitalised yesterday for a suspected heart attack. In a statement his wife has requested that the family’s privacy be respected as the founder of the DUP is treated.

6. #HIGH TECH: Every secondary school in the country is to get high speed broadband by 2014, the government has said. Ministers Pat Rabbitte and Ruairí Quinn have announced that the the first 200 schools will be connected by September this year.

7. #CLAMPING: A government committee will meet this morning to discuss regulating the vehicle clamping industry. Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has met with a number of stakeholder groups to discuss what the proposed legislation needs to address.

8. #ABUSE: A senior US cardinal has defended Pope Benedict’s handling of clerical abuse revelations and said that people should be thankful rather than critical of the pontiff. Cardinal William Levada told a conference on safeguarding children that Benedict had been “instrumental” in bringing in new standards to crack down on paedophile clergy.

9. #WHALE OF A TIME: Five killer whales are suing SeaWorld over their ‘enslavement’ at the marine park. The BBC reports that the case is being led by PETA, who argue that the whales deserve the same constitutional protection from slavery as humans.

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