Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

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

The fox attack on sleeping twins in London is all over the front pages in London. There is interest in the local papers too, since the children's mother, Pauline Koupparis, is from County Down.

The tabloids go big on the lurid headlines - the fox attack was like a horror movie, according to the Mail and the Express, describing how Ms Koupparis found the babies bloodied in their cots after the attack.

But there's also some mystification as to why a fox would act like this in the first place.

In the Daily Telegraph, wildlife expert John Bryant says attacks on humans are almost unheard of, a view shared by naturalist Terry Nutkins.

Mr Nutkins added that if a fox was to blame, it was probably a cub that panicked on finding itself trapped in a bedroom.

Anti-depressants

Several papers focus on the court ruling over the Bhopal gas leak. Thousands died in the world's deadliest industrial accident, and the land around the Indian city was poisoned.

Yet, as the Times reports, 25 years later, the guilty men walk free. An Indian court convicted seven former employees of Union Carbide, all Indian nationals, for negligence on Monday - but the sentences given were no harsher than those for causing a fatal car accident.

It was a case of far too little, far too late, according to the Independent. It says it's shameful that rich white industrialists can ruin a much poorer land with impunity, leaving their native employees to carry the can.

Closer to home, fears for the welfare of a baby girl is the lead story in the Irish News. The 17-month-old youngster went missing with her birth parents after her mother did not return her to carers in Banbridge.

The paper also focuses on the extraordinary cost of treating depression in Northern Ireland - £233m in total. That is the amount of money spent on anti-depressants here, more than twice the cost per head in England.

The paper said that parts of north and west Belfast are believed to be the worst affected in Europe, with 40% of adults in the west of the city thought to be on anti-depressants.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned that drug costs will rise further because not enough money is being put into 'talking therapies'.

Elsewhere, the Belfast Telegraph is getting exercised about the seemingly endless wrangling over the proposed John Lewis store here.

Phenomenon

Do we want it or not? asks the paper, adding that we can't afford to lose an investor of the value and reputation of John Lewis.

And the Presbyterian Mutual Society is back on the front page of the News Letter.

It reports that the new Tory - Lib Dem government is reconsidering the possibility of a bank takeover for the collapsed PMS.

That would mean a complete return of all monies in the short term, says the paper, and it's probably the best option for PMS savers.

And finally, ahead of the world cup, the Independent has some scientific advice on taking penalties.

Scientists said players should ignore the goalkeeper, pick a spot in the goal where you want the ball to go and aim your kick accordingly - preferably without falling over.

Sounds kind of obvious. But a study has shown that one of the biggest problems facing players in the high-anxiety situation of a shoot-out is the tendency to be distracted by looking at the goalkeeper.

This makes them boot it straight at him. As the paper notes, the study did not look at the phenomenon of professional English footballers ballooning their kicks over the crossbar.

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