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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

The nine stories you really need to know as you sit down with the first coffee of the day…

Image: Gareth Simpson via Flickr

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know to kickstart your day.

1. #FINANCE BILL: The Dail is due to vote on an important second stage in passing the Finance Bill today. However, the fact that Michael Lowry, Jackie Healy Rae and the newly independent Mattie McGrath may be on the brink of voting against the Bill could block it from breaking through that stage today.

2. #FF LEADERSHIP: A second important vote – for Fianna Fail anyway – takes place today. The party will vote on four contenders, Micheal Martin, Brian Lenihan, Eamon O Cuiv and Mary Hanafin, to lead them into General Election 2011. An extra TD will now be voting as Jimmy Devins, the TD for Sligo-North Leitrim who resigned the party whip in 2009 over withdrawal of cancer services in Sligo, returned to the party fold last night.

3. #GE11: The Dail may not yet be dissolved but the election campaign promises have started in earnest. Former Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue has vowed to publish the details of his expenses, in full, on his website if he is returned to the Dail by voters.

Meanwhile, the daughter of Jean McConville, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA, will not in fact run against Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams in Louth. Helen McKendry’s husband Seamus told The Irish Examiner that she was withdrawing her name from the race.And in other nominee news, the Irish Independent is suggesting that Brian Cowen’s brother Barry might run in the Laois-Offaly constituency if Brian decides not to contest the next election.

4. #ISRAEL: Ireland is in the bad books with the Israeli government. The Jerusalem Post says that Ireland is intending to upgrade the Palestinian delegation in Dublin to the status of a “mission”. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that such a move would be consistent with what he calls Ireland’s “longtime” bias in the Middle East.

5. #BANK CRISIS: The Central Bank’s Patrick Honohan has told Reuters that “if he were a betting man” he would bet that the loan losses in this country may well be bigger than estimated in stress tests last year.

6. #ROADS: Three people have died in three separate road accidents. A woman was hit by a lorry in Bantry, Co Cork, a man was killed just outside Omagh, Co Tyrone in a single-car accident and another woman died after she was hit by a car in Waterford city.

7. #MICHAELA: The five suspects provisionally charged in relation to the death of Tyrone woman Michaela McAreavey on her honeymoon in Mauritius will appear in court today. Detectives in Mauritius have told TheJournal.ie that they will be applying to have all five remanded in custody for another week as police conclude their investigation. They deny reports that one of the suspects will be released today because another suspect has withdrawn a statement he made against him.

8. #EMIGRATION: Seven out of ten people under the age of 25 believe they will have to emigrate in the next year because they will not be able to get work here, according to a study by the Youth Council of Ireland.

9. #MAD COW: A cow which escaped from a mart in Ennis, Co Clare managed to knock down a Garda and at least three members of the public as they tried to recapture it. The animal was so wild that attempts to put it down were abandoned – and it is now penned in a field while the ISPCA decides what to do with it.

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