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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. #MAHON: The Dail is set to begin a three-day debate on the findings of the Mahon Tribunal into political corruption today. This morning sees the first cabinet meeting since the report was released last week.

2. #ROADS: Two people have died after the vehicles they were travelling in collided near Bansha in Co Tipperary last night.

3. #DEATH PENALTY: A new report from Amnesty International has found that although the number of countries which carry the death penalty dropped last year, there was a surge in executions in the Middle East. The report also says that China carried out more executions than any other country in 2011.

4. #SOUTH AFRICA: One Motherwell Township rugby player has drowned and five of his teammates remain missing after they were swept out to sea on Sunday in South Africa.

5. #REFUND: Thousands of people who were mistakenly charged a payment protection insurance are expected to be given refunds after the Central Bank discovered the error, the Examiner reports.

6. #SPEECH: While his resignation was being tendered to Fianna Fáil yesterday, Bertie Ahern was in Nigeria for a keynote speaking engagement. His former cabinet colleague Brian Cowen, meanwhile, has compared the 2008 economic crisis to multiple plane crashes happening in the same place at the same time in a speech to Washington’s Georgetown University.

7. #JOBS: IT company Sogeti has announced the creation of 65 new jobs at its Dublin and Galway offices over the next three years.

8. #MISSILES: North Korea has reacted angrily to comments made by US President Barack Obama regarding what Pyongyang says its a peaceful mission to launch a satellite on board a rocket. South Korea and the US claim that the project is a front to allow Pyongyang to test  long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

9. #WOHOO: Some good news this morning: eating chocolate could help you stay slim, according to new research which found “favourable metabolic associations” with the food. In a new body mass index report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers say they found that people who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than people who ate it more rarely.

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