Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 07:57 UK

What the papers say

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

Fears over the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly get a good airing in the papers.

The dramatic stand-off between the DUP and Sinn Fein over the devolution of policing and justice is the top story in the News Letter.

The paper claims that the DUP has taken an internal decision not to budge on the issue.

If Sinn Fein pulls the plug by not re-nominating Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister, "the DUP would go ahead and allow the institutions to fall, triggering fresh elections".

'High risk'

It is a high-risk move, says the paper, given that the DUP is still dealing with the threat from Jim Allister's Traditional Unionist Voice party.

Of course, the looming crisis means much consternation for the British and Irish governments. The Irish Times reports that officials are working with both main parties to avert serious trouble.

The Mirror's editorial takes both parties to task. It says that "there's no excuse for endangering all the good work of the last year - the electorate won't tolerate any games."

The Robert McCartney trial is top story in the Irish News and the paper has a report on Mr McCartney's friend, Brendan Devine's graphic evidence.

The Belfast Telegraph talks to the prisoner who was at the centre of a high-profile manhunt after he escaped from police custody last week.

He says that the six-hour chase was over an unpaid TV licence. Leon Chakravarti claims that he panicked and fled from police custody when he realised he did not have enough cash to pay the 182.60 fine.


"Obscene" - that's the one word headline in the Independent, describing Robert Mugabe's presence at the global food crisis summit in Rome.

"This is like inviting Pol Pot to a human rights conference," is the Guardian's take on the matter, quoting Mark Malloch Brown, foreign office minister for Africa, Asia and the UN.

The papers are all caught between incredulity and disgust at the Zimbabwean dictator's attendance at the summit in Rome.

"Mugabe is allowed to lecture the world on food while his people starve," says the Times editorial, adding that the only hope is that international law may yet catch up with him and hold him to account.

There is news of a very strange fruit in the Independent. The so-called "miracle fruit" looks like an ordinary red berry. But it changes the way your mouth works, making sour things taste magically sweet.


After you have had the miracle fruit, vinegar takes on a treacly tang and Irish stout tastes a bit like chocolate milkshake, we are told.

The Independent's reporter was astounded by the miracle fruit's effects and describes how he was able to happily munch his way through an entire lemon without so much as a squint. It tasted a bit like sherbet lemon, apparently.

And finally, the Times reports on a prison bakery in south Yorkshire. As the paper points out, there was a time when cakes were useful to prisoners only if they contained lock picks.

But now, baking is providing a legitimate escape route for some lucky inmates.

A 1.5m commercial bakery has opened at the category C jail for men, and the special skills they learn there - croissant-making or the art of profiteroles - means they are being recruited by big companies on their release.

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