Northern Ireland

What the papers say

Newspapers

Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what's making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

All the local papers concentrate on the two teenagers, who died by what is thought to have been carbon monoxide poisoning.

They had been close friends since they were just three years old, says the Belfast Telegraph and that a "pall of tragedy" is hanging over Castlerock "a quiet, windswept idyll by the sea".

"Tributes are paid to tragic friends" says the headline in The News Letter and Aaron Davidson's father recounts how he and the father of Neil McFerran rushed to the resort, after they were unable to make contact with their teenage sons in Castlerock on Tuesday.

The Daily Mirror reports that Aaron and Neil were to head for New York next month, before they started at university and Aaron Davidson's parents called him their "angel" son.

"Pals poisoned" says The Sun and the headmaster of Glengormley High said they were "role models" for younger pupils.

The Irish News says that George Davidson had broken into the apartment in Castlerock, as he had had an "inkling" that his son was in danger.

The paper says that the shock was palpable in the seaside town yesterday, "as mist muted the sound of summer."

Fears of a double-dip recession are said to be intensifying.

That's according to The Guardian.

A survey of Britain's service sector saw its growth stall last month, with many companies complaining that their businesses were being hurt by cancelled public-sector contracts.

And the gloom is compounded by retailers, who say that consumer spending is cooling off, after a strong start to the year.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mail has started a campaign called "make the banks lend" and the paper charts how Lloyds TSB got back into the black, with a bumper £1.6bn profit, but it claims "still won't lend".

One way for the UK to recover, maybe: "China set to buy Liverpool", says The Times.

Not the city, just the football club, as the paper reports that the mystery backer behind a bid to buy Liverpool Football Club is ...the Chinese government.

They are in pole position to snap up the debt-laden club, apparently, with a wealthy Kuwaiti family and an American private equity club also said to be interested.

And the red and white of a different Lancashire team is all over the front of the Irish Independent, after the League of Ireland selection side was thrashed 7-1 by Manchester United at the new Aviva stadium in Dublin on Wednesday night.

The Irish Times has Rooney and co on its front page too, but both papers also cover the continuing saga of embattled senator Ivor Callely and investigations into his expenses claims.

And finally, it seems that men have been unfairly labelled as shirkers, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A study by the London School of Economics finds that fathers spend longer than mothers being "productive" over the course of a day.

But then again, inside the paper, it has a YouGov poll informing us that a typical British man wears a flat cap, rides a motability scooter and eats processed cheese.

That's according to French respondents, who when asked what the British were "not good at", replied "cooking", "love," "speaking French" and "everything."

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