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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Nine things you should know this morning…

Image: yoppy via Creative Commons/Flickr

EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #MICHAELA: John McAreavey, the husband of murdered schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey, is giving evidence in the trial of her accused killers in Mauritius today.

The trial has now entered its third week. The 31-year-old has not yet been allowed into the courtroom during the trial because he was scheduled to give evidence.

2. #RIP: Two Irish men have died in incidents in Spain and Australia.

Mark Ferguson from Rathkip in Ballina in Co Mayo died after a fall from a balcony in Barcelona in the early hours of Monday morning. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Tomás Maguire from Ardara in Co. Donegal was killed when the vehicle he was driving crashed 200km south of Perth on Monday.

3. #JOBSWATCH: Concerns have been raised regarding 180 jobs in Cork after management at Pfizer called staff to an emergency meeting this morning. The company posted a 19 per cent drop in the company’s global profits in Q1 of this year.

Meanwhile, management at Bus Éireann is meeting with unions today to discuss cost-saving measures at the company. Last Friday, Irish rail - another CIE firm – announced 450 redundancies.

4. #GOOD LUCK: D-day has arrived for Leaving and Junior Cert students, with State examinations beginning in 4,786 exam centres around the country this morning. Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has wished all 116,774 third and sixth year students “the best of luck”, saying that the next two weeks will be “the culmination of all their hard work”.

5. #OLYMPIC FLAME: The Olympic torch will arrive for a relay run in Dublin city centre today, as it continues its journey to London for the 2012 games.

6. #ECB: The governing council of the European Central Bank is to meet today to discuss a potential cut to its main interest rate.  Some analysts have predicted a 0.25 per cent cut – which would be good news for mortgage holders – however most do not expect the cut to come into effect until next month.

7. #DIGICEL: Mobile company Digicel, founded by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, has announced profits of over $1 billion for the year ended 31 March. Digicell Group Ltd, which comprises 30 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, said that its operating profits grew by 13 per cent in the last year, reports the Jamaica Gleaner.

8. #GAY MARRIAGE: A US appeals court yesterday upheld its decision to strike down a California law banning gay marriage, in the latest step in the dispute’s expected path to the Supreme Court. Opponents of the ban have hailed the ruling as a “victory for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples in California and around the nation,” while proponents vowed to take the case “promptly” to the nation’s top court.

9. #RECORD JUMP: A base jumper has broken a world record after launching himself off the top of Shiving – a 6543 metre mountain making up part of the Himalayas. Valery Rozov, 47, hit speeds of 125 mph within seconds of jumping off the cliff.

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