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

ELECTION 2016 

LATEST... Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has repeatedly refused to rule out a post- general election deal with Fine Gael, amid mounting fears of a hung Dáil.

LATEST... The leaders of the country's major parties have accused Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams of directing IRA violence in the past and seeking to endanger jurors today as they waged their first head-to-head debate before the February 26 election.

LATEST... RTÉ’s failure to include Green Party leader Eamon Ryan in two party leaders’ debates to be broadcast this month is fundamentally “unfair, undemocratic, and unconstitutional”, the High Court has been told.

LATEST... For any naïve fool who may have believed that this year’s general election might be characterised by economic and fiscal prudence, these are indeed worrying times.

ANALYSIS... With a more equal gender balance in the Dáil, we might get a more measured political debate, writes Alison O’Connor

SOCIAL... There is little doubt that Twitter has become a key 'weapon' in #GE16 with all of the political parties and groupings availing of its unique potential. Keep track of the Twitter action from the parties, leaders and main players HERE

Visit our #GE16 SECTION for the latest General Election news, views and social content.

IRELAND

Gardaí are monitoring an estimated 80 members of rival feuding gangs as they brace themselves for two funerals next week. It has also emerged two crime reporters have been notified by gardaí of a threat to their safety from organised criminals.

The former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank has dropped his fight against extradition from the US and agreed to return to Ireland to face fraud charges.

It's day two of a 48-hour strike by Luas staff in Dublin, affecting thousands of commuters. The dispute is over a pay claim of up to 54% over the next five years for tram drivers.

The Special Criminal Court is due to begin the sentencing of prominent Republican Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy this morning. Last December the 66-year-old, who lives at Hackballscross in Co Louth, was found guilty of tax evasion following a nine-week trial.

WORLD 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murders of ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake and her two children, police said. Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, was detained by Metropolitan Police officers at Heathrow Airport after arriving on a flight from Ghana.

US presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have battled for the crucial support of black and Hispanic voters in a Democratic debate in Milwaukee that marked a shift in the primary towards states with more minority voters.

SPORT

John Fogarty sees Kilkenny and Tipperary renewing rivalries at the head of a competitive Division 1A

Ninety-five minutes. That is all the time Ireland have had this week to prepare to face France in Paris tomorrow as they bid to get their 2016 Six Nations campaign up and running and win back-to-back in the French capital for the first time in 88 years.

Ed Woodward believes Manchester United could sell some of their unwanted players to China this summer.

BUSINESS

The relief rally that swept through Europe’s stock markets this week came to an abrupt halt, as shares slid for the eighth time in nine days and hit their lowest levels since September 2013.

An Irish IT company has announced the creation of 50 new high-level jobs this morning. Most of new positions will be based at the headquarters of Aspira in Cork, with some at the company's Dublin office.

VIEWPOINTS

The question of the Eighth Amendment touches the most core value of a civilised society, the value we place on human life simply because it is human, rather than because it is strong or healthy or able-bodied or young or self-supporting or anything else, writes Margaret Hickey

LIFESTYLE

Since the 17th  century, Dublin’s Assay Office has been testing the country’s fine metals to ensure that an engagement ring that might pop out of a box this Valentines Day is quality assured writes Ailin Quinlan

VIDEO

Croke Park will have to apply for special permission to host any more concerts this year — after both dates for the highly anticipated Bruce Springsteen concerts sold out in just under two hours.

VIRAL

If you’ve spotted something new on Gmail recently – namely a little red padlock – don’t fear, you’re not the only one.

There was someone a little out of the ordinary spotted wandering around a car park in Limerick yesterday afternoon.

TECHNOW

GAMING: UFC players who enjoyed being able to compete as Bruce Lee in the octagon will be pleased to hear that he returns for UFC 2.

MOVIES: It has been 20 years since Neil Jordan's modern epic Michael Collins appeared in Irish cinemas and in the year of that anniversary, and the centenary of the 1916 Rising, it's the perfect time to celebrate with a reunion.

TECH: Apple is to part ways with Samsung on the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S with Taiwanese chip maker, TSMC, taking sole responsibility of manufacturing.

SHOWBIZ

Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show and listening party for new album The Life Of Pablo drew around 20 million people to the live stream, according to a Tidal press release.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

Gardaí are monitoring an estimated 80 members of rival feuding gangs as they brace themselves for two funerals next week.

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