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The 9 at 9 Nine things you should know this morning, including: Central Bank warning, Taoiseach vows a “one-off” vote on fiscal compact, and a chicken nugget that fetched $8,100 on eBay.

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you should know with your morning coffee…

1. #INVESTMENT: The Central Bank has issued a warning about the Elliot & Laurence Consultancy Group, an unauthorised US investment firm operating in Ireland. The Bank said it is a criminal offence for the company to offer services here, and has warned clients of the group that they will not be eligible for compensation under the Investor Compensation Scheme.

2. #REFERENDUM: This morning, the Cabinet will discuss a draft timetable for the holding of a referendum on the fiscal compact – a vote which the Taoiseach yesterday vowed would be a “one-off”. Ministers are reportedly divided on whether to press ahead with a vote before June, or to delay a ballot until the autumn instead.

3. #JOBS: Ten new jobs are to be created at a new clinical research facility opening at Cork’s Mercy Hospital, which will see an investment of €9 million from the Health Research Board and University College Cork.  The positions will be related to the improvement of cancer, heart disease and bowel disease treatments.

4. #BROADBAND: The Government is expected to approved the roll-out high speed broadband to all secondary-level schools later today. The contract to install broadband in the first round of schools is expected to go out to tender by September, with subsequent installations continuing until 2014, RTÉ reports.

5. #SUPER TUESDAY: Voters in ten states will vote today on who should be the Republican Party’s nominee to contest the US presidential election. In the biggest day of the campaigns so far, the ten states will consider whether to back Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul to face up to the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama this November.

6. #RUSSIA: Four of Russia’s opposition leaders were arrested last night for alleged violation of public order regulations – just hours after Vladamir Putin secured his third term as the country’s president. Thousands of anti-Putin protests gathered in St Petersburg and Moscow calling for fair elections after the presidential outcome, and hundreds were arrested.

7. #SYRIA: Chilling, secretly-taped footage has emerged from Syria, which apparently shows evidence of medical workers torturing patients in a Homs state hospital. Reports of patients being electrocuted, whipped, and beaten follows a call by US Senator John McCain for the United States to begin airstrikes against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

More than 7,500 people have been killed in a brutal crackdown against a rebellion that began last year.

8. #NUCLEAR: US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have downplayed differences of opinion following their meeting concerning Iran’s nuclear programme yesterday – however both were agreed that the country should not be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.

Obama asserted there was still time for diplomacy with Iran over the issue, while Netanyahu promised that Israel would defend itself – alone if it needed to, reports the Guardian.

9. #REALLY? A woman in Nebraska, USA, has sold a three-year-old McDonald’s chicken nugget on eBay for $8,100 (€6,140).

Why? Because it resembles George Washington… apparently.

via eBay

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