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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
What the papers say
Journalist Tony Macaulay takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's morning papers.


The News Letter has a tribute and a souvenir supplement to the UDR and the Royal Irish.

It says: "The huge contribution and sacrifice of the Royal Irish Regiment and the Ulster Defence Regiment will be honoured in Belfast."

It reports that "thousands of soldiers, veterans, widows and family members of both regiments will attend a special event that will mark the disbandment of the three Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment."

Fraud allegations

The Irish News leads on the probe into law firm Brangam, Bagnall & Co.

The paper says "the Northern Health and Social Services Board paid more that 10m to the law firm which is the subject of a police investigation after being closed down amid allegations of massive fraud".

The front page also has a picture of former republican hunger striker Brendan Hughes wearing an eye patch, following a cataract operation.

Painting murals on walls to commemorate blanket men after they have died from alcohol abuse is no use to anyone
Brendan Hughes

The paper reports that the leader of the IRA prisoners in the Maze in 1980 has undergone an operation to save his sight, badly damaged by 52 days of starvation during the first Hunger Strike.

In an interview with Brendan Hughes he says: "There are still men suffering today.

"Painting murals on walls to commemorate blanket men after they have died a slow and lonely death from alcohol abuse is no use to anyone."

If Jack Straw intended to spark a public debate by making his comments on Muslim women wearing veils - then mission accomplished.

Muslim veils

The Guardian says: "Jack Straw provoked anger and indignation among broad sections of the Muslim community on Thursday after he encouraged Islamic women to stop wearing veils covering their face, saying the practice hindered community relations."

The Daily Telegraph says "it was bold for the Leader of the Commons to venture provocative views about the wearing of the veil".

The Times reports that the Islamic Human Rights Commission described Mr Straws comments as "objectionable".

"All credit to him for raising the issue in a calm and measured way," says the Daily Mail.

The Sun says Mr Straw's "is right to ask his Muslim constituents to remove the veil".

It says: "Until they establish confident equality without wearing a mask in public we cannot expect the voice of modern Islam to be heard in Britain."

The Independent quotes Rajnaara Akthar of Protect Hijab as saying Mr Straw had insulted Muslim women.

She said: "It seems to show a deep lack of understanding of the values of this religious choice to many women."

'Boring job'

Finally, if you thought your job was a little tedious at times, spare a thought for Keith Jackson.

The Daily Mail says he is paid 30,000 a year to watch paint dry.

He spends his days painting new products onto cardboard and using a stopwatch to time how long they take to dry.

His manager tells the paper "it sounds very boring, but it's very important work".

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