Blessed are the meek: Peter Robinson resigns temporarily as Northern Ireland first minister while investigations into his role in his wife Iris's sex, money and politics scandal continue. Whether he has the moral authority to continue is debatable, but letters of support pour in and the DUP leader's "human side" is hailed. Compromising positions of another kind come in to view as the prospect of DUP electoral meltdown looms should the assembly fall over devolution of police powers... Meanwhile, blessed are the poor: Bernard McNamara, once feted as the country's most successful property tycoon admits he is "no longer a person of significant net worth" and does not have enough assets free of debt to repay €62.5m to private investors who formed part of his consortium to buy the €400m Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend. He can, however, pay back about €100,000 a month. He gets until 2pm on Wednesday to work out a deal... The church enters the technological age as Church of England canon David Parrott doesn't quite sign God up to Twitter, but does bless our tweets. Once, the tools of labour being presented for blessing might have been ploughs. Today, the congregation raise their iPods, their iPhones and their laptops. "May our tongues be gentle, our emails be simple and our websites be accessible," Canon Parrott urges. Amen to that.
More snow, rivers of slush, wet roads, sleet, some hail and heavy rain – it's like we're living through a dictionary of precipitation. But drinking water is cut off because they can't generate enough water in our reservoirs to meet demand. John Gormley and city managers blame domestic tap runners. But an even bigger cause is our antique water system. Burst water mains have added to the 47% of water that leaks out on a good day. Is it all a Green conspiracy to make us realise how precious our drinking water is and to speed up plans to install water meters and charge by the litre?... An earthquake hits Haiti at 5pm local time. The 7.0-magnitude quake, close to the earth's surface, is followed by two large aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.6. The quake is no respecter of rank: the presidential palace and the tax office, the hq of the UN peacekeepers and the World Bank collapse, but in this sprawling city of slums, it is the poor who die in their tens of thousands.
Matthew Price of BBC News describes the indescribable, as one of the first to L'Hopital de La Paix in the ruined Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, where the dead, the dying and the surviving are brought: "A man with wide eyes stares at a passing stranger. A relative moves to lift the sheet covering his two broken legs, as if there was any need to emphasise the suffering here. A woman lies on an unfolded cardboard box. There is a pool of her blood slowly collecting below her waist. She needs help – so does everyone." Denis O'Brien, whose Digicel communications corporation is a huge player in the Caribbean, immediately donates $5m, more than the €3m released by the EU... Bernard McNamara's stoic acknowledgement of the collapse of his once €1.5bn empire – "I'm broke" – somehow seems part of a world which contains completely different definitions of success or failure, comfort or pain.
Aid is organised from every corner of the world but many will die waiting for it. The US sends an aircraft carrier and massive medical and food aid. China, just recovering from its own earthquake disaster, sends in search and rescue teams. Europe, Canada, Venezuela and Australia all rush to help. Ireland dispatches a team of disaster experts to assess what we can give, where it is needed and how we can get it there at greatest speed... Light on the horizon, perhaps, for little bands that can barely get on a radio playlist let alone have their albums launched in an adulatory fanfare, with the BBC admitting it was wrong to give "undue prominence" to the launch of U2's last album.
"You will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten," President Obama tells stricken Haitians. But the infrastructural damage and logistical logjam means survivors have still to see the promised aid. With a history of violence and corruption, fears grow that, without a police force and with the UN peacekeepers badly affected by the quake, social unrest may follow... Meanwhile some u-turns are good turns. Mary Harney's decision to introduce a €9.7m cervical-cancer vaccine for schoolgirls shows common sense can prevail. If enough girls take it up, it could mean the end of 70% of all cervical cancers in this country.
"If you ask my mother and father about my pay they'd say it was too high"
Stephen Hester, new boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, ruefully agrees a lot of people believe bankers are overpaid as he defends his stg£1.2m salary and potential to earn over £10m over three years
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