Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at what is making the headlines in Monday's newspapers.

Most of the English front pages focus on the aftermath of the Yemeni bomb plot.

The Belfast papers react to the discovery of a pipe bomb at the international airport and a bomb on the main Belfast-Dublin railway line in Lurgan.

There are plenty of theories about the airport device.

The main headline in the News Letter says: "Terrorists turn on NI tourism".

One assembly member, the DUP's Trevor Clarke, thinks republican terrorists are trying to stop visitors and investment coming to Northern Ireland.

The Irish News speculates that the bomb may have lain undiscovered in the airport car park for months and it says surveillance cameras might provide clues.

As for the bomb on the rail line, the paper says "this kind of thing defies logic".

It wants those responsible to tell us exactly how Ireland is going to be united by symbolically pushing Belfast and Dublin further apart.

The main headline in the Mirror may cause some alarm: "More air bombs head for UK".

It highlights fears that Al Qaeda may be plotting a new kind of bombing campaign in the run-up to Christmas.

It says they could switch their sights to Britain, rather than waiting for flights with bombs on board to reach the US.

The spectre of Lockerbie looms in this and other reports.

The Mirror also claims that the devices found last week were to be detonated by timers and not mobile phones which can't receive a signal above two thousand feet.

A security source tells the Guardian that the East Midlands bomb was one of the most sophisticated yet seen.

A former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells the Times it's worrying that technology didn't spot it. He says a defence reassessment is needed urgently.

Doctors overpaid

Back on the local agenda the Irish News writes of doctors being overpaid.

It says there's been a blunder at the Belfast Trust with 13 top consultants being overpaid hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This apparently goes back to 2007 when the trust was set up.

The paper reports that arrangements have been put in place to recoup the money but one doctor initially declined to pay anything back and is still in talks about this with the management.

Meanwhile the Belfast Telegraph says the global financial firm Citibank which has offices here is to create 400 new jobs.

It says an announcement of the expansion will be made by Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness later in the week.

There are plenty of pictures of fireworks displays from Halloween.

Lady Ga Ga

One of the big events at the weekend was Lady Ga Ga at the Odyssey. The Irish News describes her show as mesmerising, hilarious, kooky, glamorous and gritty.

But the Telegraph says she left some fans stony-faced when she brandished an Irish tricolour on stage.

One tells the paper it was inappropriate and says there was a bit of unease in the crowd.

The former Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers says he doesn't think the management will be too happy.

Marathon sermon

Finally the Rev Ken McReynolds, the Rector of Lambeg, may have had a bit of a sore throat on Sunday.

The News Letter reports that on Saturday he talked his way into the record books by preaching the longest sermon - five hours and fifty minutes - reclaiming a record he lost five years ago.

The paper says only eight of the most faithful of his flock - including his wife - stayed for the entire duration. Other people popped in and out to see how he was getting on.

The theme of the sermon was Christian love. Mr McReynolds says he had been aiming to do six hours but he ran out of material.

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