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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 08:00 GMT 09:00 UK
What the papers say
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Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's morning papers.

One person makes an appearance on all the front pages in the Belfast papers.

It's Hannah Shields, who, just two weeks ago, was standing on the summit of Mount Everest.

On Wednesday, she returned in triumph to her home town of Kilrea.

The Belfast Telegraph has a picture of her with her two sisters, while the Irish News and the News Letter both sent photographers to her old school, where the pupils were out in strength to meet her - all of them clutching photographs of Hannah, possibly in the hope of getting an autograph.

The News Letter says it was "a welcome fit for a heroine", but it notes that Hannah's success came after the bitter disappointment of failing to reach the summit in 2003.

This latest expedition was nerve-wracking not just for her, but for her family.

The Irish News asks her father what he thinks her next adventure will be.

His reply? "I don't know and I don't want to know." But he adds how proud he is of her achievement.

Sex offenders

The Belfast Telegraph reports under its main headline that, of 153 sex offenders in jail in Northern Ireland, only 12 have agreed to take part in a programme designed to confront their behaviour.

The Irish News deals with an education review that aims to replace the five heads of the education boards with eight directors on similar salaries.

The Daily Mirror and the News Letter both report on an alleged scam in which people from Northern Ireland were persuaded to hand over money for villas in Turkey which the vendors had no right to sell.

Both say a Northern Ireland businessman has been questioned by the Turkish police.

The same picture features in all the cross-channel papers.

It shows Kate and Gerry McCann meeting the Pope at the moment when he blessed a photograph of their missing daughter Madeleine.

It's on the front of the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Mail and the Express, and on the inside pages of all the others.

Opposing views

Two contributors in the Telegraph offer opposing views on the way the publicity campaign is being conducted.

Albert Kirby, who led the investigation into the disappearance of Jamie Bulger, says it's the most positive and effective thing the parents can do.

But another commentator, Theodore Dalrymple, says that if the circulation war publicity in the tabloids were of use in finding Madeleine, it might be justified.

But he believes the vast majority of it is simply muddying the waters for the investigators.

Finally, after all the other Harry Potter merchandise, there are plans for a Harry Potter theme park in Florida.

The Times leader writers have a bit of fun with the story - suggesting some other theme parks, such as Gordon World - which features a ruler with an iron fist who disappears at times of trouble, and Cameron Country, where there's no real theme, but everybody goes away with a nice fuzzy feeling.




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