Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Journalist Liz Kennedy looks at what's making the headlines in Wednesday's papers...

With job prospects as they are, we would expect applicants to be pulling out all the stops. Or not, it seems, as one unnamed boss says job applicants can't even speak properly, that's if they even turn up for interview, says the Belfast Telegraph.

"Inarticulate, tattooed, badly dressed" - those are some of the problems.

And most damningly, "anyone with any brains left during The Troubles".

In a separate piece, hospitality boss Bill Wolsey - not the unnamed boss - talks about the "wee" problem that's crept into local language. Some people find "the wee bill" cute. He does not and he says that "the poor use of English goes right through to government ministers".

The Irish News is leading with what it calls a "nursing union's anger at the £23m bill for board members", with three executive members of the Health and Social Care Board said to be paid more than £100,000 a year.

The Daily Mirror concentrates on the ongoing court case in Edinburgh, concerning that touchline incident involving Neil Lennon. The man accused of attacking Lennon was under the influence of a popular tonic drink, he has admitted.

And the News Letter pictures the new Dean of Belfast, the Rev John Mann, who was installed at Belfast Cathedral on Tuesday. But it leads with motorcyclist Wayne Hamilton's sister, who says her brother died doing what he loved on the Isle of Man on Monday.

And an innovative volunteering idea for young people in the papers.....

The former Labour Cabinet Minister, David Blunkett, sets out proposals for a national volunteering scheme in the Daily Mail. It says it's aimed at helping to restore the values of duty and respect among teenagers in the wake of the riots.

Individuals who sign up would help elderly people, clean up their local areas and do other good works. In return, they would be given money off university tuition fees or job training - and the stick for that carrot, anyone who refused could have their benefits taken away.

The banks are in the headlines again with two weeks to go before an independent commission is expected to recommend that they should separate their retail and investment activities.

And consumer confidence is the issue, according to The Times. Leading economists believe the risks of recession in western countries have risen dramatically after the recent turmoil in the financial markets caused people to lose faith in financial institutions.

There is another rather alarming headline, as the recession continues to bite...

Homelessness could spread to the middle classes, says The Guardian with a report by one charity saying that even more people, including the middle classes could end up on the streets, as the world's financial crisis continues.

A revolt by Austrian priests is examined by the Irish Times, with an estimated 400 or almost 10 per cent of the priests in the country in revolt against celibacy and marriage.

And finally, also on church themes, a piece of public art provokes anger.

The Independent has the story. There's just been a lot of discussion about the newly revealed statue of Martin Luther King. Now it's one of the late Pope, John Paul II. It's a huge bronze, right outside Termini station in Rome. It's somewhat abstract, which initially annoyed the church.

Now the public say that it looks like Mussolini, or a character from Star Trek. So interestingly, the sculptor has said he'll make some adjustments. He says people "misunderstood his original concept".

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