Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Fionola Meredith takes a look at Tuesday's newspapers

The Belfast Telegraph says that when it comes to suicide, there are always more questions than answers.

The paper carries pictures of the two children whose deaths have left their community in shock, alongside a picture of 31-year-old paralympian Karen Cromie who took her own life last week.

Why they chose the path they did may never be known, says the Telegraph's editorial, and their families are left only with questions.

The paper says that mental health provision here is "woefully under-funded" - although even with unlimited finance, tackling the complex problem of suicide would be a tremendously difficult task.

A warning over school budget cuts in the Irish News.

A quarter of the teaching profession will be wiped out under planned cuts to school budgets - that warning comes from the Irish National Teachers Organisation.

Brian Cowen

£179m is due to be cut from budgets by 2014, and now the INTO says there are 5000 jobs at risk.

That, says the union, would be an "unmitigated disaster" for teachers, frontline staff and children.

The papers react to Brian Cowen's decision to step down.

As the Irish Times notes, it's the end of a 27-year political career.

Mr Cowen said his proudest moment in office was playing a part in the Northern Ireland peace process.

He added that the decision to go was made with "a heavy heart".

The Irish News says that although Mr Cowen's period in office was marked by both lapses in judgement and a lack of political luck, he deserves credit for standing down with dignity.

The crisis in Egypt remains on many front pages.

Both the Guardian and the Times say that Egypt's President Mubarak is "on the brink", after the Egyptian army declared it would not use force to crush the popular uprising against his regime.

Meanwhile, Robert Fisk, in the Independent, has been talking to the leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei - or Egypt's "saviour in waiting" as the paper calls him.

Fisk says ElBaradei resembles "a very friendly, shrewd and bespectacled mouse".

One with sharp teeth though. ElBaradei says that if Mubarak wants to save his skin, and avoid trial, he had better leave Egypt now.

Football's record day has many papers in a state of excitement.

'Football crazy'

So much for the age of austerity. As the Times notes, the January transfer window closed on a frenetic day during which more than £100m changed hands and the record books were rewritten.

"Football crazy" is the Mirror's take on what it calls the "maddest spending spree in Premier League history".

But don't get too indignant at these exorbitant sums, says the Times - after all, they don't come from the public purse.

Quoting Lord Alan Sugar, the paper describes football's tendency to splurge the money it creates as the "prune juice effect, but when it comes out the other end, it helps to keep the economy moving".

And finally, many papers carry a picture of a "lost" tribe in the Brazilian jungle.

An extraordinary photograph, taken from the air, shows a group of red-painted tribespeople, spears in the air, looking up with fear and amazement.

The picture also shows evidence of a thriving, healthy community - you can see big baskets of papayas in the shot.

There are fears that illegal loggers are threatening the "uncontacted" natives.

But the Sun goes for the funny side. It adds a speech bubble to the picture, so the tribal elder appears to be saying - "quick, hide the i-pads".

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