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A boy plays pool during a competition exclusively for left-handed people, in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China. ChinaFotoPress/Photocome/
Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Monday

In your fix today: Dublin Fire Brigade faces a staff crisis, the regal origins of the Laois bog body, the girl who sleeps 23 hours a day, and what it’s like to see snow for the first time…

EVERY EVENING, brings you a round-up of the day’s biggest news stories, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed.

  • Dublin Fire Brigade could be facing significant staff shortages if it is forced to cut overtime in a bid to cover its funding shortfall. There’s a €1.7m budget deficit this year and the service is already understaffed by at least 55 – and by potentially as many as 150.
  • Up to 1,000 jobs could be lost in Ireland if the credit card company MBNA cannot be sold. The company’s parent, the Bank of America, announced earlier today that it was dropping its international credit card operations.
  • The bog body recovered in Co Laois last week could, in fact, be that of a former Irish king being deposed by his people. The ‘bag’ they thought the body was contained in has actually turned out to be the body’s torso.
  • New documents released by the German government have revealed that its West German predecessor was willing to hand over West Berlin, in exchange for some East German territory, if it helped to avoid having the city partitioned for good.
  • David Cameron has challenged Britain to confront “a culture of laziness, irresponsibility and selfishness” which led to the riots that ravaged England last week. “Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face,” Cameron admitted.
  • Nick Leeson has filed his weekly column – in which he argues that the herd mentality that led to those riots is exactly the same one that led Ireland into the financial mess it’s found itself in now.
  • A sign of the times? Irish students are 12 times more likely to communicate over Facebook than via email. Only 6 per cent said they would still opt for the latter as a first resort – though 75 per cent would go through Facebook first.
  • Hosni Mubarak was back in court in Cairo today, but that’s the last we’ll (literally) see of him – because the judge has banned live television broadcasts from the trial.
  • An institute in Los Angeles opened an art exhibition at a hotel last weekend, trying to find buyers for its collection. One of the works did leave… but not in the way intended: a Rembrandt drawing was stolen, despite top security.
  • America’s presidential hopefuls have been trading more barbs today – with buoyant Republican hopeful Michele Bachmann hailing the Tea Party as being good for America, while Barack Obama went on the offensive by saying Republicans need to be “balanced” and accept some tax increases.
  • Ireland’s international soccer captain and all-time leading goalscorer Robbie Keane has wrapped up a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy. It’s not clear how the deal will effect Keane’s international career, but the Tallaght man says the move is “a dream come true”. Wait, that sounds familiar…
  • 21-year-old Lily Clarke regularly misses her birthdays. Why? Because she suffers from a rare condition that causes her to sleep for around 23 hours a day – and sometimes for months at a time.
  • Finally today, here’s a video shot by Dubliner Ro Tierney, filmed and edited in Wellington, New Zealand earlier today. It doesn’t often snow in some parts of New Zealand – and certainly not in central Wellington – so the response of the citizens is really something to see.

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