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Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

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

Two separate court cases are examined in the local papers.

In the Belfast Telegraph, there is a family photograph of murdered schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy.

Her mother was speaking in Armagh court on Thursday about the day that her child left home on 12 August 1981 to cycle down to her friend's house.

Patricia Cardy said: "When Jennifer set off, she didn't have a care in the world."

The News Letter says the nine-year-old girl's disappearance and murder were described in court as "every parents' worst nightmare".

The Mirror reports that Jennifer's sister, Victoria, now 31 and her father Andy were also in court in Armagh. A man denies her murder, says the Sun.

In the Irish News graphic details are given of the injuries inflicted on a Newry pensioner, found dead on Christmas Day three years ago. That case is at Belfast Crown Court.

Elsewhere in the paper, Irish presidential hopeful Martin McGuinness is shown genially chatting to the same fishmonger in Cork who spoke to the Queen on her visit to the Republic of Ireland.

But the Belfast Telegraph reports what it calls "an astonishing broadside" from veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne - who decided not to run for president - branding the Sinn Fein presidential candidate and his colleague Gerry Adams as men "trained to lie."

The theme of the presidential campaign continues in the papers in the Republic of Ireland.

'Tantalising'

The Irish Times reports that David Norris needs three more nominations to run for president.

It is "tantalisingly close" for him, says the paper. And John Waters' opinion piece notes that what he dubs the electorate in the Republic's "monster raving loony tendency" is coming to the fore.

He judges that "only" David Norris can stop Martin McGuinness becoming president.

The Irish Independent carries the presidential trail further back in the paper, but also reports an unusual inquest in the Republic.

The west Galway coroner returned a verdict of "spontaneous combustion" on a man who burned to death last December, in what is believed to be a first in Ireland.

In 1663, the first reported incidence of spontaneous combustion was said to have occurred, when a woman in Paris "went up in ashes and smoke" while sleeping.

International economic gloom continues, with David Cameron speaking in Canada.

The prime minister has warned that the world is close to "staring down the barrel" of economic disaster. That is the expression that has unusually united The Guardian and the Daily Mail's reports.

In an analysis piece in the Guardian , Larry Elliott says the whole financial nightmare is "scarily familiar" to 2008, when the world was "48 hours away from cash machines running out of money".

Garden home

The Times economic editor says "there's no cure in sight and the patient ( the global economy) is weakening".

More cheerily, however, the Daily Express has the good news that up to 30% may be slashed off our food bills from Monday, as a result of a price war between major supermarkets.

But it also reports on a young couple who have been living in a garden shed, while they save for a deposit on a house. Not quite a des res.

And finally, another sign of the times, the rag and bone man reappears.

And makes too much noise, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Apparently, scrap merchants have been touring towns, touting for business. One plays trumpet noises from a speaker on his van and another is said to play the signature tune from Steptoe and Son.

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