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The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know by 9am: New ministers from north and south of the border meet for the first time today; more protests on the way in Syria, and the unthinkable…a Father Ted rip off.

Every day, brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee.

1.#NORTH-SOUTH The new cabinet and its northern counterpart will hold their first meeting at Farmleigh in Dublin today. Irish government ministers and the new Northern executive will likely discuss economic recovery and a commitment by the previous Irish government to part-fund road access to the North West. The Taoiseach and co. will be making the trip to Farmleigh on their trusty bus.

2.#BAILOUT Officials involved in Ireland’s rescue package have expressed concern that the government might not go ahead with pushing through difficult reforms set out in the EU-IMF bailout plan. The ECB president says he’s confident that Ireland can avoid the same fate as that which has met Greece. John Claude Trichet says Ireland’s bailout plan can work.

3.#RTE The Director General of RTE has said that the station’s highest earners will have seen their wages slashed by 30 per cent by 2013. The move means Pat Kenny will have seen a reduction of €285,000 in his wage packet, while Joe Duffy will be facing a drop of €122,000 on his 2008 salary.

4.#LEAVING CERT It’s day three of Leaving Cert 2011 and today will see students sitting down to exams in Geography and the first Maths paper. Junior Cert Students are also sitting Maths and Geography today, as well as Environmental and Social Studies. Two-hundred-and-eighty prisoners are among those taking the state exams.

5. #IMF Today is the last day for nominations for the top job at the International Monetary Fund. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is still tipped to take it, with candidates from Mexico and Kazakhstan also in the running. Meanwhile, could Hillary Clinton be heading for the corner office at the World Bank?

6.#SYRIA Russia and China are leading the opposition to any UN sanctions against Syria. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal are backing a draft resolution condemning Damascus for its crackdown on anti-government protesters, but Russia and China are expected to veto. Brazil has warned that any draft resolution against Syria could inflame tensions in the region. Meanwhile demonstrators say they will stage more protests today.

7. #PALIN More than 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin’s emails from her time as the governor of Alaska will be released later today. Copies of the correspondence were requested back in 2008 in order to find out more about the little-known candidate for vice-president. The New York Times and The Washington Post are among news outlets planning to crowd source the juicy bits.

8.#ASBOS FOR CATS Cats in several suburbs of Sydney are being put under a curfew in a bid to halt attacks on native wildlife. Vulnerable possums have been targeted by household pets and people are being asked to keep their moggies indoor after dark.

9. #FATHER TED Creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews have reportedly expressed ‘dismay’ at a Father Ted rip-off heading for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A group of actors will recreate some of the show’s most memorable moments, including the Craggy Island disco and a rendition of the Eurovision hit My Lovely Horse. See for yourself….

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