Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at Friday's newspapers.

The evacuation from Libya comes under much negative scrutiny.

It was "less Dunkirk", more "Carry On Follow That Camel", according to Richard Littlejohn in the Mail.

The Guardian reports that the Libyan-Egyptian border area has echoes of past battles like Tobruk and Tripoli.

And The Independent carries a report that Col Muammar Gaddafi is assembling mercenaries, many from sub-Saharan Africa to carry out the dictator's threat on Wednesday to defend his regime "to the last drop of blood."

The papers also report ways to stall the Libyan leader.

The Daily Telegraph says that billions of pounds of assets deposited in London by the Gaddafi regime may be seized within days.

And the political unrest is linked to the rising cost of petrol.

The Daily Express has a warning from motoring groups that "Driving Will Be Just For The Rich" and an estimate of £105 to fill the average family car.

And if driving is for the rich, boardrooms are mainly for men, according to The Times.

It reports that some of the UK's biggest companies have been told to "smash" their glass ceilings to let more women in.

Royal wedding

Only one eighth of the directors of the FTSE 100 are women.

Lord Davies of Abersoch has warned that senior ranks need to reflect the wider workforce and that radical change is needed.

Kate Middleton on her first official engagement is on many front pages on Friday morning.

The Belfast Telegraph has "a smiling Kate" in Wales.

It appears alongside the report that double murder-accused Hazel Stewart will not take the stand in her own defence at Coleraine Crown Court.

And a report about the Royal Wedding is the lead in the Irish News - with who is on and off the invitation list.

First Minister Peter Robinson has been invited, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has not apparently, but it is not a snub says the paper's political correspondent as there was "an understanding" on the issue already.

Mr McGuinness is said to have wished the royal couple well.

The soaring price of petrol preoccupies the News Letter.

It airs fears of a 10 pence per litre rise in the cost of petrol, due to the political violence in north Africa.

Meanwhile, the Mirror leads with the conviction on Thursday of a father for causing grievous bodily harm to his baby son by shaking.

'Floozie in the jacuzzi'

And election coverage in the Republic of Ireland is reaching the end of the road, with Friday's poll.

The Irish Independent is talking tactics by all the parties and as Lise Hand writes inside the paper, it's now "all over bar the voting".

The Irish Times urges people to actually turn out and exercise their franchise, but it also reports on the bronze piece of public art nicknamed the "Floozie in the Jacuzzi".

The statue of Anna Livia, evicted from her home on Dublin's O'Connell Street 10 years ago has been returned to the city centre.

She has been reclining in a potting shed in Raheny for a decade, it seems, but she will now be appearing on the north quays.

The paper has a picture of her in a barge sailing up the Liffey on Thursday.

And finally, good news for the weekend for the more shapely female.

Put down that celery stick, the waif look is out.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the hourglass figure is back in fashion. The silhouettes of Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson and Nigella Lawson all epitomise what fashion now wants.

We are said to be returning to "an age when all women looked like Jane Russell and Ava Gardner".

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