What the papers say


Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

The death of a teenager is the subject of the main headlines in the Daily Mirror and the Irish News.

Darlene Bell was found dead in Glenford Park in Newtownards, apparently after inhaling the contents of an aerosol. But as the papers report, she was staying in a nearby residential care home at the time.

The Irish News says it has prompted a warning from the director of Barnardo's in Northern Ireland about "the fragility of children in the care system".

The Daily Mirror reports that the Strangford MP, Jim Shannon, has called for an inquiry into how a young girl had been found dead "in a park a few hundred yards from the care home where she was being looked after".

In a comment column, the paper agrees that questions need to be asked about how the system failed her.

Less serious matters occupy the headline writers at the Sun and the Belfast Telegraph.


Both lead with the fact that the Earl and Countess of Wessex had to make do with pub grub on Rathlin Island after a hotel cancelled their lunch. The Telegraph calls it "a farce".

The News Letter, meanwhile, reports that Presbyterian leaders are divided over a proposal that ministers should donate their bonuses to a proposed hardship fund for savers with the troubled Presbyterian Mutual Society.

A glum-looking Brian Cowen is pictured on the front of the Irish Times. The Taoiseach was photographed while listening to the findings of the first official reports into the causes of the banking crisis in Ireland.

As the paper reports, they criticised what they called "misguided government economic policies, a weak system of financial regulation and poor bank lending".

The Irish Independent says Mr Cowen is "on the rack" and the reports will now be used by a commission of inquiry into events.

But the paper comments that the blame has been spread around so evenly between the government, the regulators and the banks that it may still be possible for the guilty parties to hide in the crowd.

The papers in London have plenty to say about the latest UN sanctions against Iran.


The Daily Telegraph sees signs of an international consensus taking shape. It says President Obama deserves credit for bringing Russia and China into line, even if it meant a dilution of the measures originally planned.

The Times says it sends an important signal to Tehran that many countries find its nuclear programme unacceptable. But the Independent warns that Iran has proved adept at getting around sanctions.

The US President may have won the Telegraph's admiration on that issue, but it's a different story where the BP oil spill is concerned.

The paper says he's been accused of "putting his boot on the throats of British pensioners" after his attacks on the oil company wiped billions off its value. That, in turn, has affected pension funds with investments in BP.

Finally, the players are not the only people in training for the World Cup.

Several papers report that the Brazilian referee for England's first match on Saturday has been taking a crash course in English swear words so that he knows when he's been insulted.

The Times says he and his officials have been studying a list of 20 obscenities. They tell the Guardian: "We can't do this in 11 languages, but we at least have to know the words in English."

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