Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at what is making the headlines in Tuesday's newspapers.

The Belfast Telegraph's top story is the life sentence handed down to Lindsay White, who kicked a homeless Polish man to death.

The headline is "Evil beyond belief".

Education is the focus in the Irish News. It claims that 28 Catholic second-level schools will disappear over the next few years, as part of the biggest ever shake-up of education.

It says that five face imminent closure, while dozens more will be amalgamated.

It's understandable that communities feel attached to their schools, says the paper, but a declining population and funding cuts mean that tough decisions have to be taken.

Over at the News Letter, there is surprise and disbelief at the news that Rangers football club could be entering administration.

The current Scottish premier league champions are facing an outstanding tax bill of at least £49m, possibly a great deal more, by the time penalties and charges are added on.

Bidding war

The London papers report on the release of the radical preacher Abu Qatada.

There is much debate over how long he was detained without charge, and the terms of his possible deportation, with the Guardian and the Daily Mail taking opposing views.

The Daily Telegraph has a front page picture of Amanda Knox, the American student convicted then cleared of murdering her British room-mate.

It reports that a multi-million dollar bidding war has broken out for her memoirs.

Ms Knox has promised to deliver the truth about the death of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, in Italy, five years ago.

The red-tops focus on Whitney Houston, with much speculation about the cause of her death.

And there are plenty of Valentine's stories, given the day that's in it.

The Guardian carries an unusual front page picture of a woman and a young girl shopping for gifts to celebrate Valentine's day in Baghdad.

It also has an opinion piece by author Jeanette Winterson, who says that a world ruled by money has failed, and it's time to reclaim love, in its widest sense, and use it as the basis for a more humane society.

"Love isn't a commodity," she says, "so it's never in short supply."

Jealous rocks

Meanwhile, the Irish Times has its own response to what it calls "the annual day of commercially charged romance".

Today, it publishes a Matrimonial Map, 200 years after it was printed in County Cork. It shows that the course of true love was never plain sailing.

Accompanying instructions advise lovers to avoid the "whirlpool of impetuosity" and the "rocks of jealousy".

If they manage all that, they will hopefully pitch up at the "Bay of Delights".

And finally, the Daily Telegraph reports on a secret side effect of the shipping forecast.

As the paper says, in this age of satellite navigation, captains and sailors still rely on the Radio 4 shipping forecast to guide them safely through the waves.

But now the voice behind the late night broadcast has revealed what many insomniacs already know.

Peter Jefferson, who read the forecast for 40 years, says he was regularly informed by listeners: "You've been sending me off to sleep for years".

The paper's editorial agrees - what better motivation to snuggle under the duvet than to hear it is a severe gale 9 in Faroes, Bailey and south-east Iceland?

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites