What the papers say


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

The car bomb attack on Strand Road police station in Londonderry is a major talking point.

It's the lead story in The News Letter, which says "there are growing concerns that dissident republicans are trying to ramp up tensions in the city ahead of the main Apprentice Boys parade".

It reports that dissidents are planning to hold a protest about prison conditions to coincide with the Relief of Derry celebrations in 10 days' time.

The Irish News says those who placed the bomb "may have given a deliberately misleading warning in an effort to kill police officers".

In its comment column, it talks of "outrage" at the attack and describes it as "reckless".

'United front'

In common with the Irish News, the Belfast Telegraph has a front page picture of the UDA's Jackie McDonald shaking hands with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

It quotes Mr McGuinness as saying that he and the first minister, Peter Robinson, had agreed "a united front" over violence on the streets.

In a leader, the Telegraph says he has a knack of saying the right thing at the right time.

It believes he displays the kind of leadership that's required as dissidents "ratchet up their violence".

The Irish Independent reports on its front page that the Fianna Fail senator Ivor Callely has been suspended from the party after refusing to take phone calls made on behalf of the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.

It says he faces expulsion from the governing party after it launched its own investigation into expenses claims.

The Irish Times comments that the Garda should be called in to investigate the claims.

It believes that calling in the police and the Department of Public Prosecutions would help reassure the public that the law applies to everyone.

'Feebly enforced'

Food is the subject of some discussion in London.

One of the biggest stories is the news that beef from a cloned bull has illegally entered the food chain in the UK.

It's the lead story in The Daily Mail, which comments that the few rules that exist on this issue are "feebly enforced".

It calls for proper checks on cloning and points out that rigorous checks were ordered on genetically modified vegetables only after a public outcry.

The Daily Telegraph says it's possible that thousands of pigs and cows in Europe are the offspring of cloned animals.

The Daily Express claims that the prices of some foodstuffs are set to soar after a huge increase in the price of wheat on international markets. The paper says bread, biscuits and beer are likely to be among the items affected.

Finally, The Sun has spotted that three months in power has already taken its toll on David Cameron.

It has a picture of him, taken over his shoulder, which shows his dark brown hair rapidly turning grey at the back.

The paper wonders if it was caused by the shock of discovering the scale of the country's debts "or the strain of having to agree with Nick".

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