Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

The Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter report on the death of County Down woman Carla McAdam.

She died in the seventh month of an ectopic pregnancy, where the foetus develops outside the womb, after being sent home from hospital five times.

At the inquest, the coroner criticised the absence of dialogue between staff at the Ulster Hospital, concluding that at no point did the doctors stop and ask - why is Carla ill?

The family says that their pain at losing Carla has been exacerbated by the lack of a direct apology from the South Eastern Health Trust.

The Irish News has some questions for Ards borough council.

It wants to know why the council spent £3,000 of ratepayers' money replacing brand new strimmers.

The official explanation is because they vibrated too much. That was established after a hand/arm vibration assessment was carried out.

"Couldn't someone have checked on that before the strimmers were purchased", asks the paper? Either way, it concludes, strimmer policy needs a shake-up.

Cabinet resignations are top story in the Irish Times.

Four cabinet ministers resigned last night to pave the way for the reshuffle planned by Brian Cowen.

The paper says the move is designed to thwart efforts by the Green Party to block the reshuffle. But some Fianna Fail backbenchers expressed doubts about the wisdom of making new cabinet appointments at this late stage.

One rural TD said it was "like throwing holy water on the toaster after it has gone on fire". Sketchwriter Miriam Lord advises prospective ministers to steer well clear - "even if Biffo sidles over with a come-hither look and dangles the keys of a Mercedes under your nose, just say no".

Both the Times and the Independent report on the opening of "the world's dearest address".

The long-awaited One Hyde Park development is finally open, complete with silk curtains, private cinema, butler service and golf simulators.

It seems that homes for the ultra-wealthy from overseas are booming in London's swankiest postcodes. All very well, says the Times - but it's in marked contrast to the gloom overtaking the rest of the UK property market and the rising tide of unemployment.

The cartoon shows a couple of prospective buyers viewing one of the flats - one says, 'from here we can look down at disaffected youth'.

The Independent looks at the coffee that's bigger than the human stomach

It comes from Starbucks, the American coffee giant, which the Independent describes as "an identikit global chain serving half pints of coffee-flavoured frothy milk".

This new coffee, known as the Trenta - meaning thirty in Italian - is 63% larger than the chain's previous largest size, and contains 916 millilitres of liquid. The human stomach has an average capacity of 900 millilitres.

The Independent thinks it's a ruse to drum up business in the fattest major nation on Earth, where one chain of grocers sells soft drinks in three-pint cups.

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