Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Mike Philpott looks at what is making the headlines in Monday's papers.

The same picture of Amanda Knox appears on almost every front page. It shows her weeping as an appeal court in Italy overturned her conviction for the murder of the Leeds university student Meredith Kercher.

"Cry Freedom", says the Sun headline. "Sobs of Joy", says the Times. "The Nightmare is Over", according to the Guardian.

The Daily Mail says she has been "freed to make a fortune". According to the Daily Telegraph, American television networks are already engaged in a bidding war. One TV station is said to have a private jet on standby in Italy to fly her home. The story says she stands to make $1m from her first interview.

But the Daily Mail focuses on the frustration of Meredith Kercher's family, whose "search for justice has been overshadowed by the circus surrounding Amanda Knox". The Times says the family looked stunned when the verdict was announced.

Back in Belfast, another murder case makes the lead in the Irish News. The paper reports on the summing up in the trial of Karen Walsh, who is accused of killing her 81-year-old neighbour, Maire Rankin. The paper says the case is nearing its end, and the jurors will soon retire to consider their verdict.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the anger of a bereaved mother whose son was killed in Afghanistan. Ranger Aaron McCormick and two other soldiers from Northern Ireland who also died in Afghanistan have been left off a military honours list. The paper notes that Ranger McCormick was killed as he defused a bomb. His mother Margaret poses the question: "How much braver do you have to get?"

The News Letter devotes its main headline to what it calls the potential u-turn over free prescriptions. But it says that if a charge is reintroduced, it could be less than 50p.

There are familiar topics on the front pages in Dublin. On one, we have the Euro debt crisis; on the other, controversy surrounding a presidential candidate. The Irish Times says uncertainty over the fate of the Greek economy is stoking fresh tensions in the European banking system.

The talks of a storm involving the presidential candidate Mary Davis, after it emerged that her husband's PR firm was awarded a contract by a charity where the couple both sat on the management board. The paper says she has denied that there was any conflict of interest.

And finally, a bit of photographic trickery backfires on officials in the Philippines. After a typhoon devastated part of the country last week, a government office decided it would be a good idea to publish a photograph of engineers inspecting the damage.

But, as the Daily Telegraph reports, one official took an image of the three inspectors and superimposed it on a different background. The job was so badly done that the men look as if they're floating slightly above the ground. Internet pranksters immediately went to work, and the unsuspecting engineers have found themselves in a host of unlikely settings.

One doctored photograph shows them with a giant crocodile found in the Philippines last week, and in another they are standing behind the Beatles in the iconic picture taken in Abbey Road. The jokers have helpfully provided a cut-out of the men on a Facebook page, so people can drop them into any setting.

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