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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
What the papers say
Journalist Tony MacAuley takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's morning papers.

The sad face of murdered Ballymena woman, Shirley Finlay, looks out of the front page of the News Letter on what would have been her 25th birthday. The headline reads: "Strangled".

The paper says "the vulnerable young woman who was strangled, wrapped in a duvet and dumped in a car park may also have been subjected to a sickening sex attack."

It says; "Shirley Finlay's murder, and the revelations about her lonely, troubled life have stunned her home town of Ballymena."

The News Letter also reports that out of almost 2,000 sex attacks in Northern Ireland, only one in five cases goes to court.


The paper says: "The shortfall is attributed to victims proving unwilling to testify and support workers have called for action to make the judicial process less daunting".

The Irish News claims an exclusive that "the Northern Ireland Office has spent more than 2m in four years on consultants to help hire civil service staff - despite having its own internal recruitment service".

The paper says: "Questions have been raised about the cost of recruitment and why the civil service has an annual staff turnover of 10%".

The paper also features an eye-catching front-page picture of Patrick and Peggy McGlynn from Castlederg sitting in their greenhouse beside their giant 11-stone pumpkin.

Not even the tail end of Hurricane Gordon could shift that monster vegetable.

"Game On" is the headline in the Belfast Telegraph.


The paper has extensive coverage of Darren Clarke and his team mates as the Ryder Cup tees off.

"The eyes of the world are focussed on Ireland as up to a billion people around the globe will tune into the clash at the K Club," says the paper.

The Independent leads with a quote from a United Nations report published on Thursday which says torture in Iraq is now worse than in the Saddam era.

Beside a picture of a bound and gagged Iraqi man, it says: "Bodies often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances... missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails."

Elsewhere in politics, "Brown feels the Cameron effect" says the front-page of the Guardian.

It reports on an opinion poll that shows voters believe David Cameron would make a more effective prime minister than Gordon Brown.

Mr Brown got a higher percentage than Mr Cameron in only two questions. "Who is likely to make the right decisions when the going gets tough?" and "Who is most likely to stab a colleague in the back?"


The Daily Telegraph reports that Britain may issue a "statement of regret" over slavery.

The paper says: "The Government may say sorry for Britain's role in the slave trade when the country marks the 200th anniversary next year of the legislation that led to its abolition."

Finally, believe it or not marmalade is making the headlines.

Not the humble marmalade you may be spreading on your toast at this very moment but a 4,000 jar of vintage whiskey, champagne and edible gold leaf created by Duerrs to mark their 125th birthday.

The Daily Mail estimates that this works out at 77 per slice or 11 per mouthful - so you wouldn't want to drop it sticky side down.

The paper says "to call this luxurious concoction marmalade is a bit like describing the finest caviar as fish paste."

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