Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at the morning papers.

There is reaction in the local papers to the police promise to catch the car-jackers. The News Letter and the Belfast Telegraph both lead with the story - and they have plenty to say about it in their comment columns as well.

The Telegraph says the police have used tough words, but they will have to show results quickly to convince everyone that they are on top of the situation. It believes people want to see more patrols, more officers on the beat and criminals being apprehended.

The News Letter agrees. It would be unrealistic to have a police officer on every corner, it says, but extra patrols would help restore a sense of confidence that the issue is being taken seriously.

The Irish News says the thieves clearly feel they have little to fear from the police or the justice system. It, too, believes there is a major question of public confidence to be addressed.

The lead story in the Irish News focuses on an interview with Finance Minister Sammy Wilson in which he launches what the paper calls "an astonishing" attack on trade unions over their warnings of job losses.

A range of stories on the front pages in London. The Daily Mail leads with that remarkable exchange between the Italian coastguard and the Captain of the Costa Concordia, after he abandoned ship before the passengers had been rescued.

The issue also tops the front page in the Daily Mirror.

For the Guardian, the big story is the claim that tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily in last year's famine in north-east Africa because the international community dithered over providing aid.

The Independent leads with the talks aimed at rescuing the Greek economy, but it reports that international hedge funds are threatening to block a deal unless they are guaranteed vast profits from it.

The Daily Telegraph focuses on a campaign by the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, to end what he calls rip-off Britain. He is urging the government to take action against predatory companies exploiting customers.

Wiki breaks

The Guardian reports on Wikipedia's 24-hour blackout. If you go to Wikipedia now you will see an open letter appealing to users to protest over a draft American law that would restrict content on web sites.

The paper says Stephen Fry, well known as a digital media evangelist, has come out in support of Wikipedia's protest, saying that he felt ashamed of the entertainment industry, which is behind the new law, in an effort to protect copyright.

On the other side of the argument is Rupert Murdoch, who had attacked President Obama for failing to support the more draconian aspects of the proposed law. Tim Dowling, who writes on the subject, says that when he sat down to put the piece together, his first instinct was to look it up on ... you've guessed it ... Wikipedia.

Finally, he may have given us the Mona Lisa, but the Daily Mail highlights one of Leonardo Da Vinci's less well known skills. As the paper says, he was the first to propose the idea of the helicopter, the submarine and the parachute, but scholars have uncovered drawings showing that he was the first creator of the designer handbag.

Ninety-nine bags have been created from his sketches and will go on sale later this year. But as the story points out, as with all designer bags, they won't be cheap.

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