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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 19 January 2021
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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you really need to know as you start your day.

1. #EUROZONE: Emergency EU meetings are being held today amid growing concern over the economies of Spain and Italy. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will address both Italian houses of parliament today as his finance minister meets with Eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg.

2. #FINGLETON: Former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton has been asked to return a €11,500 watch he received as a gift when leaving the bank two years ago. The bank’s new owners Anglo say they want the watch back, along with the €600,000 Fingleton received as part of a €1 million bonus upon his departure.

3. #EGYPT: The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak opens in Cairo today, amid heavy security. Mubarak, who resigned under intense public pressure in February has been charged with corruption and ordering the killing of protesters. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

4. #TIGER KIDNAPPING: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has called on gardaí to investigate the circumstances surrounding this week’s tiger kidnapping of an An Post employee in Drogheda, Co Louth. He also wants gardaí to check that An Post followed the correct procedures for dealing with such an incident. Around €500,000 was stolen.

5. #LENNON: A 24-year-old man has been arrested in Scotland over alleged Internet sectarian offences. The BBC reports that the man allegedly set up websites where hate messages against Celtic’s Neil Lennon are posted.

6. #HACKING: ComReg says the number of reported incidents of phone hacking have increased dramatically this year, the Examiner reports.

7. #US: Following an eleventh-hour debt deal, the US has retained its Aaa credit rating. However, ratings agency Moody’s has warned that rating could still be downgraded in the next 12-18 months, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration is facing a partial shutdown as negotiations over a bill to avert an FAA shutdown were suspended, the AP reports. Around 4,000 FAA staff are now on leave, but air traffic controllers, fortunately, are still at work.

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8. #RATE MY PRIEST: People in Germany can now rate their priests according to a range of criteria including the quality of church services and the priest’s credibility, Reuters reports. So far, Pope Benedict XVI has a rating of 3.82 out of a maximum 6 points.

9. #WHAT’S IN A NAME? Two young men from Nottingham have paid homage to their love of sci-fi in an interesting way – by changing their names to the longest names in the world. Kelvin Borbridge and Daniel Knox-Hewson are now known as Baron Venom Balrog Sabretooth Vader Megatron Vegeta Robotnik Magneto Bison Sephiroth Lex Luthor Skeletor Joker Grind and Emperor Spiderman Gandalf Wolverine Skywalker Optimus Prime Goku Sonic Xavier Ryu Cloud Superman HeMan Batman Thrash respectively.

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