What the papers say


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

"Death on a lake" is the main headline in the Belfast Telegraph.

There's a front page picture of the rescue operation at Lurgan Park lake on Sunday and the attempts to save a man who had fallen in.

But as the paper points, out there was nearly a second tragedy when two firefighters and a paramedic also fell in.

The same story and picture feature in the News Letter as well. It notes that a man was rescued from the same lake last week after going into the water to save his dog.

There's a warning from a rescue officer: "Stay off the ice, any ice. Not only this lake, but all of them."

The Irish News has the latest revelations about what it has been calling the "jet set NHS".

It's been writing for several weeks now about training courses being taken in various parts of the world by health service managers here.

On Monday morning, it tells us the two top managers in the Ambulance Service were on a training course in Boston just before St Patrick's Day this year.

It says this included the medical director staying for eight nights in a luxury hotel at a cost of £1,600.

The total bill to the taxpayer, it says, was £3,800 and that doesn't include the fees for the course, reckoned to be about £6,000.

The Irish News notes that this trip came five months after a directive from the Department of Health warning staff to exercise constraint in relation to travel and accommodation.

The latest Wikileaks revelations feature in a couple of the papers.

The murder of Pat Finucane has surfaced in US Embassy cables. This is the main story in the Guardian which has been making all the running with the Wikileaks material.

"MI5 offered to give up Ulster murder files" is the headline.

The Irish Times highlights another claim which emerges in the cables - namely the question of how much Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness knew about the plans to rob the Northern Bank six years ago.

There's a comment from a Sinn Fein spokesman who says there isn't a shred of evidence to link the IRA to the robbery, claiming this is all part of a smear campaign.

Stockholm bomber

The English papers tell us that the Stockholm suicide bomber lived in the UK.

It's the main story in the Mail and the Daily Telegraph, which says he was in the UK just two weeks ago.

The Mail says he was radicalised while studying in Luton, a town it describes as a "hotbed of terrorism".

Meanwhile, the Times carries an open letter from leading academics, artists and politicians asking for mercy for a woman sentenced to be stoned to death in Iran.

Among the signatories are Robert Redford, Lord Winston and Ed Miliband.

The Times says it's never too late for any regime, however wicked, to show a more compassionate face.

The tabloids have rediscovered Liz Hurley.

She's pictured in several papers after revelations about her friendship with the cricket star Shane Warne.

Plenty of opportunity for the headline writers of course. The Daily Telegraph wonders - "Has Hurley been bowled over by cricket's king of spin?"

And Matt, the X Factor winner on Sunday night, features throughout the papers as well.

Matt used to be a painter, which provides more headline opportunities. The Irish News says he had a "gloss finish".

Finally the Daily Telegraph reveals that an Italian chef has come with a novel Christmas concoction - the Brussels sprout smoothie.

You make it with sprouts, orange juice, carrots, ginger and cinnamon.

And it's claimed it can do wonders for a festive hangover.

The chef, Felice Tocchini, says he doesn't know what to call it yet but it won't be a "bloody sprout".

Related Internet Links

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