Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at Thursday's papers.

The X Factor contestant Janet Devlin is pictured on all of the local papers. She was back home for a flying visit to switch on the Christmas lights in Omagh.

All other stories focus on different issues.

The Belfast Telegraph carries a large figure as its main headline - £164. That's how much more people in the public sector earn each week than their counterparts in the private sector, according to the story.

The Irish News leads with a businessman's graphic account of being robbed in his home on the Derry/Donegal border.

"In every room they put me up against a wall and put a gun to my head," he tells the paper. He adds that the three masked men threatened his wife and baby daughter.

The big story for the News Letter is an account by the ex-wife of Colin Howell of her marriage to the man who is serving a minimum 21-year sentence for the murder of his first wife and the husband of his former lover.

There is very little consensus on a lead story in the London papers.

Cancer Cash wasted on NHS salaries, says the main headline in the Daily Telegraph. It says the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, is blaming the previous Labour government for wasting money on bureaucracy instead of patient care.

The The Independent reports on what it calls a new reign of terror in Libya, as thousands of people are illegally detained by rebel militias.

For the Daily Mail, the big story is a claim that so-called green taxes are to rise every year to fund a shift to wind, solar and nuclear power.

The Guardian focuses on the evidence given by Kate and Gerry McCann to the Leveson Inquiry.

The Daily Express, meanwhile, is outraged at figures showing that membership of the European Union is costing the UK £50m a day.

On a less serious note, the Times marks the centenary of the opening of Harry's bar in Paris.

Harry McElhone from Dundee opened it in 1911, and over the years it has played host to legions of the rich and famous. Customers included Humphrey Bogart, Gene Kelly, Coco Chanel, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway.

The bar invented cocktails including the bloody mary, and George Gershwin composed 'An American in Paris' on its piano.

Finally, a runner beats his best time without even taking part in a race.

The Daily Telegraph reports that when a running club's website announced that Neal Goldsmith had smashed his personal best, his friends called to congratulate him.

But he had pulled out of the race because he had a heavy cold. What had happened was that an electronic timer in his shoe had switched itself on as he reached the start line.

Thirty-nine minutes later, when he wandered back to the same spot to congratulate the winners, the timer switched itself off and put him in 20th place.

He has owned up to the organisers about his stroll to the finish line.

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