Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

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

The Irish News reports that the former MP Iris Robinson is in line for a pension pot worth £840,000 "because officials at Westminster have accepted that ill health was her reason for quitting politics".

The paper says the money includes a combined lump sum from Westminster and the Assembly of £58,000 and payments of £42,000 a year for life.

Parades are the big story in the News Letter, after the Orange Order rejected a plan negotiated by the DUP and Sinn Fein for overseeing controversial marches.

The paper says sources inside the Order have blamed hardliners who are opposed to reform.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with the story of how a man "went berserk" - in its words - on board a flight from New York to Belfast.

He was fined for what it calls "five hours of transatlantic terror" after a 24-hour drinking binge.

The manhunt for suspected gunman Raoul Moat in Northumberland dominates the headlines in a number of the papers.


They have managed to get their hands on shots from his family album, showing him from the age of two months through to his teenage years.

But in contrast to the angelic poses, the Guardian says he's now Britain's most wanted man.

His mother, Josephine Healey, has also given an interview to the media, saying that he's not the boy she knew.

She tells the Daily Telegraph that since the age of 19, he's had a different character.

The Times has the horrific story of an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning. The paper says there has been an international outcry.

It condemns it as a medieval act of barbarism and says it's more than a mere judicial punishment - it's an instrument of oppression that allows the Iranian government to control its citizens.

The Guardian leads with the news that food firms are to fund the government's advertising campaign to persuade people to change their lifestyles and as a result the industry won't face bans on fatty, sugary or salty food. But the paper says campaigners have accused the government of rolling over in the face of the food lobby.


The Daily Telegraph stands up in opposition to the government's plans to switch off the analogue radio signal.

The paper says that - judging by its own postbag - it's a subject that causes considerable anger. It believes there's no overwhelming argument for moving to a digital signal, as there was for television, and it says the government is on the wrong wavelength.

It points out that when the switchover happens, around 30 million car radios will have to be replaced at considerable cost.

If you want to win a woman's heart, forget the romantic weekend in Paris.

You don't want to bother with that - instead, do the ironing.

That's the finding of a survey published in the Daily Express, among others.

The Daily Mail says you might also want to take the rubbish out or wash a few dishes, instead of going out for dinner. The paper has a cartoon showing a man and woman on a date.

He's saying to her: "Do you want to come to my place and look at my dusters?"

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