Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

What the papers say

Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's morning papers.

The News Letter lead is the story of a Ballymena teenager, who died after an asthma attack on New Year's Eve.

Kirsty Robinson, 18, was said by her grieving parents to be a "bubbly and outgoing" young woman.

More young deaths lead both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, after three teenage boys were killed in a road crash in County Tipperary.

The car in which they died was driven by a 16-year-old, who is now seriously injured in hospital.

Elsewhere in the Irish Independent, "No Irish need apply" is the message in some parts of Poland.

With the roar of the Celtic Tiger now reduced to a whimper, signs with that motto are going up on building sites there.

They are said to be revenge for the unscrupulous way in which some Irish contractors treated Polish workers when they were working in Ireland.

A welcome credit crunch price war is the lead in the Belfast Telegraph, with several of the supermarkets vowing to slash prices on hundreds of items this year and the paper notes that it comes the day after petrol prices on some forecourts dropped to 82.9p a litre.

Meanwhile, the Irish News has an education story on its front page, with specialist sports teachers reported to be taking fitness courses to get them up to peak form for tuition of pupils.

Each teacher is getting up to five weeks of personal training on treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes and rowing machines.

Hot and cold

On page three of the paper, is the icy jump into the sea at Carnlough, causing some shivers on New Year's Day. It's the 38th year of that endurance test for charity.

However, global warming is also featured in several papers.

There's a beautiful sunset on the front of the Independent, as it reports that climate change scientists are considering what the paper calls "plan B".

That option includes controversial "geo-engineering" schemes to lower global temperatures artificially. They might have been "dismissed as a distraction" only a few years ago, but could now be viable.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that "there's been a sudden and severe slowdown in the rate of growth of coral on the Great Barrier reef in Australia".

It seems that rising carbon dioxide levels may have increased the acidity of the ocean and so the corals can't take up the minerals they need.

And on the subject of the weather, a seasonal picture in the Daily Express, with a snowballing family depicted in Liverpool and predictions of snowfalls in Britain over the weekend.

The story is covered in the Daily Mail as well, with a frosty landscape in Birmingham taking up most of a page inside the paper.

The Daily Telegraph is one of the few papers to retain coverage of the bombardment of Gaza on its front page, with a picture of the devastation caused to the house of Nizar Rayan by two laser-guided bombs.

It says that the body of the Hamas leader was blown clear of the building by the blast and Palestinian media claim that he received a warning message from Israeli armed forces, but refused to leave the five storey building.

And finally, the twitcher who should have stayed at home.

The Times and Daily Telegraph relate the tale of the birdwatcher who travelled from her home in Cornwall to see a rare snow bunting in Spitzbergen.

She was despairing, when there wasn't even a feather of one to be seen in Norway, but when Janet Davies returned home to England she saw one sitting on her garden fence.

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