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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
What the papers say

Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at what is making the headlines in Tuesday's morning papers.

The News Letter and the Irish News both have front page stories on the killing of John Cooke whose body was found in a house outside Lisburn, County Antrim.

Meanwhile, the Irish News gives its main headline to a report that the Free Presbyterian Church has launched a campaign directed at Ireland's 3,000 Catholic priests.

They will all be sent a CD which is aimed, as the campaign puts it, "at converting them to Christianity".

The Reverend David McIlveen of the Free Presbyterian morals and standards committee tells the paper while he is open to the possibility that Catholic priests might already be Christians, he has not met one he considers to be so.

The families of those killed and injured have been done a great wrong
Irish Times

The Irish Independent highlights an attack on Sinn Fein by Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell.

He has accused the party of being "completely subservient to the IRA and of suffering from a radical inability to end paramilitarism".

The paper says it is his toughest attack on republicans yet.

'Needs and demands'

The Irish Times is angry that Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has ruled out an inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

It says the families of those killed and injured have been done a great wrong.

They were entitled to believe that every effort would be made to bring the perpetrators to justice, but their needs and demands were ignored, it says.

The unseemly sight of mountains of pallets and tyres abandoned for weeks on green field corners or against gable walls does very little for the image of Northern Ireland
News Letter

The Irish News says a report to be issued on Tuesday will say that Belfast City Council staff are powerless to remove illegal loyalist bonfires because they are afraid of verbal and physical intimidation.

The report says the bonfires are an increasing danger to the public and they do not help the city's efforts to improve tourism.

The News Letter agrees. It says "the unseemly sight of mountains of pallets and tyres abandoned for weeks on green field corners or against gable walls does very little for the image of Northern Ireland".

But the paper also echoes the views of Environment Minister Angela Smith, who says bonfire events play an important role in Northern Ireland's culture and heritage, provided proper guidelines are adopted.

General election

Several of the cross-channel papers carry front page pictures of the blackened remains of the car in which the leader of the Iraq Governing Council was travelling when a suicide bomber struck.

For the Independent, it symbolises the wreckage of the Iraq policy.

The Daily Telegraph concentrates on Tony Blair's statement that he is not going to cut and run from Iraq.

The paper says he is defiant and that he has given his strongest signal yet that he will stay on as prime minister until after the general election.

While other papers resort to artists' impressions and diagrams of the foiled Heathrow heist on Monday, the Mirror has actual photographs from the scene, showing armed police handcuffing the alleged perpetrators and taking them away.

The Mail devotes its front page to the latest security scare at Windsor Castle. "Another intruder," the headline says, and there is a picture of the Queen looking suitably unamused.




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