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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you need to know with your morning coffee…

1. #BUDGET: As much as €700million will be cut from the Department of Social Protection in next month’s budget – almost a third of the total Government spending reduction, Harry McGee reports in the Irish Times. However, Minister Joan Burton has this morning rejected the report, saying she is “very confident we’re not talking about a figure like that”.

2. #ITALY: Embattled Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he will not run in the country’s next general election, after yesterday promising to resign. We’ve been looking at what comes next for Italy as it struggles to avert a financial crisis which could spell danger for the eurozone.

3. #ACCOUNTING ERROR: Taoiseach Enda Kenny has defended senior civil servant Kevin Cardiff’s nomination to the European Court of Auditors, insisting Cardiff is “very well qualified”, according to the Irish Daily Mail. The Irish Independent reports that several Irish MEPs have joined voices criticising the move, which comes after Cardiff’s department miscounted €3.6billion.

4. #GUM: Scientists at University College Cork have developed a non-sticky chewing gum that could save councils and schools thousands of euro in cleaning costs. The gum made from biodegradable proteins is chewy enough to blow bubbles – but disintegrates after 45 minutes in the mouth, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

5. #IMF: IMF director Christine Lagarde has warned the world economy faces a “lost decade” unless swift and united action is taken. She told an audience in Beijing that richer economies have a “special responsibility” to boost economic confidence, Bloomberg reports.

6. #ALCOHOL: The number of young people treated for alcohol abuse in Ireland has more than doubled since 2005, increasing by 145 per cent according to a new report from the Health Research Board. The study also shows that overall cases rose by 42 per cent in the same period, the Irish Times reports.

7. #EQUALITY: The owners of an off licence in Draperstown, Co Derry have promised not to discriminate among their customers, the Irish News reports. Regional Wines was contacted by the North’s Equality Commission over a sign saying “Due to theft foreign nationals must produce ID”.

8. #MISSION TO MARS: A Russian space mission which it was hoped would send an unmanned probe to one of Mars’s moons has failed just minutes after its launch. The Phobos-Grunt craft was designed to send soil samples from the planet back to Earth, but its engines never fired, the AP reports.

9. #WHAT’S IN A NAME: There has been a rise in people changing their name this year, Sandra Murphy reports in the the Irish Daily Mail, with more than 400 people paying €32 to officially change their identity in court. The names picked included Moon Grace, Pixie and Ulysses.

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