Catch-up with what you've missed with our morning briefing

Good morning. Here’s everything you need to know before you start your day.

Catch-up with what you've missed with our morning briefing

IRELAND

A new MRBI poll reveals that General Election 2016 is a wide open race. There is bad news for the Coalition as Fine Gael is down two points at 28% since the end of November, while Labour remains unchanged at 7%.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has rolled back on plans for a €2.5bn ‘rainy day fund’ for any shocks to the economy and admitted this will not be part of Fine Gael’s specific spending promises in the election campaign.

Local authorities have slapped a €78.3m bill on three government departments and agencies for the cost of winter storms — and the final bill is expected to be a lot higher.

SIPTU is calling for the HSE to reopen its invitation to the union's members to take part in forums about the overcrowding crisis in hospitals.

A Limerick mother has sought to delete the digit’s ‘666’ from her baby’s PPS number because they have links in scripture with the ‘devil’ and the enemies of God.

An appeal over the sentence handed down to a Norwegian man who raped his girlfriend in her sleep will be heard later this morning.

WORLD 

A judge has refused to throw out the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, sweeping aside a former district attorney’s claim that he granted the comedian immunity from prosecution a decade ago.

Australia is resisting mounting international pressure not to deport child asylum seekers, with a minister warning that allowing them to stay could attract more refugees to come by boat.

SPORT

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has called for an immediate reaction from his side after accusing them of an unacceptable performance in the 3-0 defeat at Everton.

Michael Ryan believes his Tipperary senior hurlers are “almost public enemy No.1” and the team everybody still loves to beat.

BUSINESS

115 jobs are being created at Belfast International Airport. The 85 full-time and 30 part time positions are across the airport's operations, including on-site food outlets, taxi operations and private charter flights.

The makers of a new Pierce Brosnan film were the biggest beneficiaries of the Government’s new tax relief for movie and television productions last year.

ANALYSIS

Now the date has finally been announced, we face a fairly short election campaign that will be split into what campaigners call the air war and the ground war, says Theresa Reidy

LIFESTYLE

So another study has found Ireland has one of the world’s lowest breastfeeding rates. It didn’t surprise Andrea Mara as hospital midwives are run off their feet and there is little HSE help when you return home.

VIDEO

For the very first time the winner of a Cork Person of the Month award has been given to someone who wishes to remain anonymous. But his work is known to multitudes.

VIRAL

The election has been called, the Dáil has been dissolved and TDs are readying themselves for the three-week reelection campaign. But before they could get out of dodge, Paddy Power took to the streets of Dublin to remind TDs of their bar tabs.

So apparently, a turkey walked through security at San Francisco International Airport in California because it had every right to be there (yes, a turkey!).

TECHNOW

GAMING: After a "last minute delay" back in January, Gone Home will launch in Europe on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 12.

MOVIES: On January 30, a selection of Harry Potter fans got a behind-the-scenes glimpseat the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

TECH: Apple is rumoured to be hosting an event in March, which could be packed with announcements, and has apparently settled on a date.

SHOWBIZ

It looks like Sylvester Stallone’s second Oscar nomination has made him rather nostalgic. The actor is showing off some of his favourite pictures from the original film.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by an environmentalist alleging Shell’s proposals for meeting the estimated €20m reinstatement costs of the Corrib gas terminal site, after the gas runs out, fail to comply with planning conditions.

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War of Independence Podcast

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Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

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