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NI newspaper review: Threat to UUP MLA and teaching jobs plan

image captionDoug Beattie is a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann

A threat by the south-east Antrim UDA to Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie features in a number of the newspapers on Wednesday morning, with Mr Beattie saying he will be paying "no heed to terrorist bully boys".

The Belfast Telegraph and Irish News say it is the second threat that Mr Beattie has received this year.

The south-east Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA) is a loyalist paramilitary faction heavily engaged in crimes such as drug-dealing.

Mr Beattie believes he was targeted because of recent comments in the media where he criticised loyalist drug dealers.

He said he treats the threats "with utter contempt" and they would not stop him "speaking out".

The other story which receives widespread coverage is the live televised address by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill after tougher Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News says Mrs Foster and Ms O'Neill "sounded alarm bells" in their address.

However, the newspaper reflects that the ministers emphasised that they did not want a second lockdown.

image copyrightNews Letter
image captionFront page of the News Letter on Wednesday

The News Letter reports that Mrs Foster stressed that the reopening of many hospitality venues would continue with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

The Belfast Telegraph says the people of Northern Ireland were urged to make "one big push" to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The statement by the NI ministers followed one by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who warned of tougher measures if people did not stick to the new rules.

Elsewhere, the News Letter highlights comments from the the commissioner for older people, Eddie Lynch, who has urged everyone associated with care homes to be "ultra vigilant" with regard to Covid-19.

His comments follow Department of Health figures which indicate on Wednesday morning there are 28 confirmed outbreaks in Northern Ireland care homes, with a further 13 suspected.

"It is concerning to see the number of Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes increasing again as we sadly know just how vulnerable older people are to this deadly virus," he said.

image captionCommissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch has said those associated with care homes need to be vigilant with regard to Covid-19

The Irish News says up to 300 new teaching posts are to be created "as part of a drive to help disadvantaged children catch up with learning lost during lockdown".

It says that Education Minister Peter Weir is expected on Wednesday to finalise details of the £11.2m Engage programme.

The scheme, which was announced in the summer, is aimed at reversing any negative impact Covid-19 has had on pupils' learning.

Finally, the Belfast Telegraph reports that a County Armagh man has survived the first week of the return of The Great British Bake Off.

Portadown man Mark Lutton is now based in Liverpool and fell in love with baking after visiting an Edinburgh pie shop while at university.

The newspaper reports that Mr Lutton's "showstopper" was a 3D spiced ginger cake bust of his "celebrity hero" Charles Darwin.

Related Topics

  • Michelle O'Neill
  • Coronavirus lockdown measures
  • Arlene Foster