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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know this morning….

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning cup of coffee, or tea….

1. #IOWA From the rural US state of Iowa, dramatic developments in the race for the White House overnight as socially conservative former Senator Rick Santorum appeared to beat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the caucus only for it to emerge that in fact Romney won by just 8 votes. It was the first test of strength of the Republican candidates battling to face Barack Obama in the autumn.

2. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE A new website has been set up to allow people to pay the household charge before the end of March deadline with 700 already having paid the €100 tax, RTÉ reports. It comes as the campaign against payment of the charge steps up with a national protest scheduled for ten days time. Over a dozen TDs have indicated they will not pay the controversial levy, which will eventually be replaced by a property tax.

3. #RAIL FARES As rail fares go up by at least 6 per cent today for commuter and DART services, it has emerged that a technical fault means that over 50 new train coaches remain out of action, some of which were delivered for duty as far back as May of last year. Rail Users Ireland said that the situation was “unacceptable”. Iarnród Éireann denied it was withholding rail carriages.

4. #UNHAPPY Irish people are the least happy in Europe and among the lowest for happiness in the rest of the world according to a global poll that has been carried out every year since 1977. The Red C poll measured the gap between those who say they are happy and unhappy and while global net happiness is at 40 per cent, Ireland’s net happiness is at just 20 per cent.

5. #CITY CENTRE Dublin city centre should be developed for the primary benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and those using public transport according to a draft report ‘Your City, Your Space’ which says that more than half -a-million people access the city centre every day. With projections indicating that the figure will rise over the next right years, there will need to be a “reallocation” of road space, the Irish Times reports.

6. #WEATHER The stormy weather which cut power for thousands and felled a number of trees across the country will continue today. Met Éireann has a gale warning in effect for today with the east coast expected to be the worst affected by the high winds. Yesterday Malin Head station recorded a new windspeed record of 126km per hour.

7. #LAWRENCE The two men who murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack 18 years ago will be sentenced at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning. Gary Dobson and David Norris were yesterday found guilty of the murder in a case which only came about after a number of landmark changes in the British legal system.

8. #CAT MEAT Police investigating the death of a billionaire Chinese tycoon believe it may have been caused by cat meat. Forestry company-tycoon Long Liyuan died last month after a business lunch where he consumed the local delicacy – a cat meat hotpot, AP reports.

9. #ON-AGAIN Developments this morning from the world of Sinead O’Connor who has informed us on Twitter that she is back with husband Barry Herridge whom she ended her marriage to after just 16 days just over a week ago. She tweeted this morning to reveal: “Yay!!! we decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend again an stay married but we did rush so we gonna return to b friend g friend”

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