Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

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

The Belfast Telegraph says the PSNI is "at full stretch" and that proposed cuts come in the context of "mob violence" and bomb alerts.

In an analysis piece, journalist Chris Ryder says that "slashing bureaucracy is the way ahead for a leaner operation" for the PSNI.

The News Letter says Ulster Unionist Policing Board member Basil McCrea has urged nationalist members of the board to "get real" on policing.

"The bonfire is back," says the Irish News, with a picture of an Eleventh Night bonfire on Belfast's Donegall Road outside the City Hospital.

The paper outlines potential difficulties with the large structure, but the report is medical.

A nursing union is predicting that it's the "beginning of the end" for that hospital's and the Mater's accident and emergency departments.

The Daily Mirror also has a look at medical matters, with reports that the UK swine flu scare cost £1.2bn. The bill included 20m unused vaccines.

The Sun's lead story is on the health of ex-world champion snooker star Alex Higgins who is said to be "too ill for a life-saving operation".

According to the Independent, a genetic test can now predict with high accuracy, whether someone is likely to live a really long life.

Commercial organisations may market the test in the next few years, but the professor in Boston, who carried out the research said society "may not yet be ready for the predictions".

According to school outfitters, says the Daily Telegraph, the length required by a six-foot four-inch man will now be available in uniforms supplied to retailers.

It was something rarely seen previously, says the Schoolwear Association.

The alleged Russian spy-ring in America, especially the arrest of the alleged Russian spy Anna Chapman, is a major favourite with the papers.

Her ex-husband Alex has been interviewed by the Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

The Independent calls Chapman a "Stalingrad stunner" and says she "shopped and schmoozed" across London and New York.

In the Irish Times, Lara Marlowe investigates the Murphys, the assumed name of the alleged Russian spies living in suburban New Jersey.

Marlowe says an outdated image has permeated the surface idyll there - the America of "McCarthyism and Reds under the bed."

In the Irish Independent, columnist Lise Hand likens the shake-up of Fine Gael in the Republic to how Pam Ewing felt when she awoke to find Bobby Ewing alive in the shower.

The Dallas plot-line was a bad dream and it turns out nobody had run over, shot or stabbed Enda 'JR' Kenny either, she says.

The Times thinks that Hollywood star Meryl Streep's name is in the frame to play Margaret Thatcher in a film being developed by Pathe and BBC films about the period leading up to the Falklands war.

It reports that the producer was first motivated to do the movie by President Mitterand's description of Margaret Thatcher as a woman "with the eyes of Caligula and the mouth of Marilyn Monroe."

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