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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
What the papers say
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Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at what is making the headlines in Tuesday's morning papers.

I wonder if the person who designed Tuesday's Irish News front page realised exactly how it was going to turn out.

It has a picture of two scary-looking people dressed up in Halloween costume to promote Belfast City Council's forthcoming monster mash event.

Right below it is the headline - "Paisley and Adams come face-to-face at Stormont".

However, as the paper reports, there won't be any pictures of that event when it takes place.

No photographs of the private discussions are being allowed, and there won't be any handshakes either.

Not as excited

The Belfast Telegraph carries the headline - "Let's talk".

But it also notes Ian Paisley's view that he's not as excited as some others about where all this might lead.

Indeed, some serious doubts about the St Andrews Agreement are expressed in the News Letter by Mr Paisley's party colleague Jim Allister.

Among other things, he is worried there is no provision for the IRA army council to disband and no mechanism to evict Sinn Fein from government if it defaults on democratic commitments.

He tells the News Letter he is speaking out now in order to inform healthy debate.

Fly in the ointment

The Irish Times finds another fly in the ointment - the question of the new first and deputy first ministers taking a pledge which would endorse the Police Service.

It seems there is confusion between the DUP and the British government over when the pledge would be taken - is it on 24 November or is it when the executive is nominated on 26 March?

At any rate, the paper believes the DUP and the government are on a collision course on the issue and that the dispute could delay, if not derail, the return to power-sharing.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times also throws some more light on how IRA weapons were decommissioned just over a year ago.

The paper has an interview with the two witnesses, the Rev Harold Good and Father Alex Reid.

Father Reid says it all took place over nine days at nine different locations but the two men refuse to give precise details of exactly where.

'Fell silent'

Father Reid says the IRA decommissioned everything they possibly could.

Mr Good reveals that the last weapon to be disposed of was the one being carried by an IRA man who had been with them throughout.

He says he took it off his shoulder and handed it to the general "and we all fell silent at that moment".

By contrast, the Irish News describes how dissident republicans armed with rifles blocked off a street in Derry recently to allow other members of their gang to carry out an attack.

Their victim had a gun put to his head and was beaten with the leg of a table.

Among the cross-channel papers, it's Madonna and child who dominate many of the front pages - the Mirror and the Sun most prominently with a picture of Madonna carrying her new Malawian baby onto a private jet.

"Got him" is the Sun's headline. Or as the Mirror puts it - "I'm a celeb kiddy, get me outta here".

The Independent front page has a more reflective tone. It wonders if this is another example of the overweening power of money and celebrity or a rare piece of good news from a land with a million orphans.

Lettuces

The Express has been asking its readers what they think about Muslim women and the veil.

Apparently 98% think that banning the veil would help racial harmony and improve communication.

And then there's the issue of British Airways telling staff not to wear a crucifix outside their uniform.

The Sun wonders if anyone in the UK is really offended by the sight of a cross.

But the Daily Telegraph says people can be offended by anything. It notes that one Persian sect shies away from lettuces.




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