Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

The big talking point locally is the church leaders' condemnation of the banks, which the Belfast Telegraph calls "unprecedented" and "extraordinary".

The News Letter says it's "a blunt attack" that "will raise a few eyebrows".

The Irish News quotes from the church leaders' joint statement, which says the banks have created "a serious moral dilemma" by forcing businesses over the edge simply to placate their own shareholders.

In a leader comment, the News Letter says the banks must "heed the warning", because the clergy are often in a unique position to gauge the human misery that has gone hand-in-hand with our economic recession.

It believes it's reassuring that the churches have "taken up the cudgels" on behalf of their congregations.

'Morality'

The Belfast Telegraph says there's a widespread suspicion in the business community that the banks are desperately trying to rebuild their own financial standing, sometimes at the expense of their customers.

But it thinks it will be interesting to see if they "will factor morality into their future business plans."

The leadership of Fine Gael continues to be the main story in Dublin.

Enda Kenny will find out later if his party colleagues will allow him keep his job.

Ahead of the confidence vote, the Irish Times says he has suffered a setback with the defection of high-profile spokesmen to the camp of his challenger, Richard Bruton.

The Irish Independent reports that if Mr Kenny is ousted, his supporters are threatening to spring a surprise leadership candidate to scupper Mr Bruton's chances.

When the paper went to press, Mr Kenny was five votes short of the number he needs to win the day. The Irish Independent says the split within the party has "turned nasty".

BP dominates many of the headlines in London.

'Perp walk'

Several papers have pictures of four of the company's executives outside the White House, where they faced the wrath of President Obama.

The US media have been calling it a "perp walk", which, as the Guardian helpfully explains, is American police slang for a parade of suspects.

According to the Daily Mail, it was "another day of BP bashing" during which the President "bullied" the company into surrender, as it was forced to pay £13bn into a fund to settle compensation claims.

The Guardian says some of the money already paid out has found its way into an anti-British poster campaign.

The papers aren't too impressed, either, by Mr Obama's televised address from the Oval Office.

The Independent says he "didn't look quite right" in the office and took too long to say what he had to say.

Touchline

The Financial Times says that - far from correcting the impression of weak leadership - his address reinforced it.

Finally, the TV journalist who's being blamed for Spain's defeat in the World Cup.

Her name is Sara Carbonero, and she was the first TV journalist to ask the Spanish goalkeeper how he managed to muck up the game against Switzerland.

As the Times reports, she should know, because she also happens to be his girlfriend and she's the only one of the esposas y novias (that's Spanish for WAGs) to be allowed at the tournament, thanks to her job.

She was on the touchline behind him throughout the game.

TV channels have been abuzz with accusations that the goalkeeper's mind may have been on other things besides the ball.

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