Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's newspapers.

The potential implications of Wednesday's public sector pension strike are examined. It is the "revenge of the middle managers" according to the Guardian, as border officials refuse to cover for passport checks and the government appeals for volunteers to staff UK borders.

The paper quotes a union official, who says Wednesday will be " a women's strike" as 75% of those involved are female.

Elsewhere, the ongoing investigations of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards are reported widely. Harry Potter creator JK Rowling was giving evidence on Thursday.

The Independent says that she was "driven out of her home" by press intrusion and actress Sienna Miller thought her family and friends were to blame for intimate stories about her personal life that appeared in the papers.

Media lawyer Mark Thomson's words are reported in the Daily Telegraph. He told Leveson on Thursday, that lessons about paparazzi behaviour were not learned after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Sun leads with a story about glamour girl Kate Price who says that a GPS tracking device was found under her car this week.

Locally, public transport costs are totted up. And particularly, the cost to the taxpayer of staff benefits.

Free travel

The Irish News leads with what it terms the "free ride" that Translink families are getting, courtesy of the taxpayer. It is referring to more than 4,500 free travel cards, used by the publicly-funded company's employees' children or partners. An MLA has estimated that the bill for the passes could cost "millions".

"Troubles deaths in legal limbo" is the headline in the News Letter, with reference to cases where RUC officers caused fatalities. A Supreme Court ruling has judged that they are beyond scrutiny.

It is thought that the justice minister could legislate to resolve the situation, but justice committee member Basil McCrea believes it might "be prudent" to find a "political resolution" rather than "pursue expensive investigations."

Good news as the Belfast Telegraph carries on the analysis of the placing of Belfast in the top 20 of the world's must-see places. The listing in the National Geographic Traveller magazine is predicted to bring a big increase in tourists, as the Titanic 100-year commemoration looms, next year.

Tourist spending is the focus in the Republic of Ireland too.

The Irish Times looks to the east as it says that spending by Chinese shoppers now wipes out American dollars. One upmarket Dublin store says that the Chinese have "an enormous appetite for luxury goods" and perhaps surprisingly that the prices in Ireland and Europe are about 40% below those in Asia.

Defamed priest

The Irish Independent is leading with comments from defamed priest Father Reynolds, who was wrongly accused of rape by a woman in Kenya. He says that he forgives the woman and her daughter - who said she had been abandoned - and that he now expects "justice to be done" at RTE, where a current affairs programme made the allegations.

The broadcaster has made a large payment to Father Reynolds and is now investigating why the allegations were broadcast.

And finally, it seems we need more affection.

The Daily Express has the story that people now crave hugs, in fact up to 13 per day. A survey has calculated the time we spend hugging as an hour per month, but a third of people think hugging in the workplace should be avoided.

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