Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at the morning papers.

The Irish News carries a front page picture of the Occupy protest in Belfast.

The protestors were camped out in Writers' Square, now they have taken over a vacant Bank of Ireland building just around the corner, and the pictures shows them perched on the roof.

But the main story focuses on sanctions imposed on Dr Paul Miller, the psychiatrist who worked with Iris Robinson.

She referred to him as "a lovely psychiatrist" who could turn gay people away from "what they are engaged in".

As the paper notes, Dr Miller's controversial views on "conversion therapies" led to a public outcry.

Now it is reported that the General Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors, has imposed stringent conditions on Dr Miller's practice, placing him under supervision for the next 18 months.

The recent spate of car hijackings is the lead in the Belfast Telegraph.

In the latest incident, a woman was rescued from a car by members of the public, after a man drove off while she was sitting in the passenger seat.

Inside the paper, the story of a man who had an improper banana skin in his blue recycling bin. Council workers would not empty pensioner Jim McDonald's bin, because the banana meant it was "contaminated".

As the paper points out, technically they may have had a point, but they slipped up as far as common sense was concerned.

Over at the News Letter, there is a report on a middleman who made more than £3m, much of it from the taxpayer, by selling on land that did not have planning permission to a housing association.

Inexcusable recklessness

Meanwhile, the paper's editorial turns to the debate on independence for Scotland, warning of the perils of breaking up the union.

It says that Northern Ireland unionists must convince the doubters across the North Channel of the benefits of UK citizenship.

The first pictures from inside the wrecked cruise liner, the Costa Concordia, appear in several papers.

The Daily Telegraph, the Times and the Express show an Italian military diver inspecting the interior of the partly submerged vessel, as the search for missing passengers continued.

The Irish Times shows another diver swimming among a vast jumble of floating dining chairs and wine bottles inside the ship.

The paper says the stricken liner is now in danger of sinking, in the process causing an environmental disaster of epic proportions.

The Telegraph says the captain of the liner was accused of "inexcusable" recklessness, after claims that he steered too close to shore to come within sight of his head waiter's family home on the island of Giglio.

And finally, in the Times a strange case of teaching an old dog new tricks.

A former Wall Street trader has spent $50,000 having her deceased dog cloned by a laboratory in South Korea.

Danielle Tarantola's pet Trouble, a Tibetan toy dog, died 4 years ago at the age of 18.

Double Trouble, the new version, was born in October, and Triple Trouble, another clone, arrived in November.

Tarantola says that the new incarnations of Trouble have exactly the same personality as the original, right down to hiding under the coffee table. Tarantola sees no problem with cloning copies of her dead dog.

"I have the original Trouble source, the original DNA. I would do it again in a heartbeat," she said.

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