Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 10:12 UK

What the papers say

newspapers

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

"It's really nothing," that's the opinion of swine-flu stricken teenager Sarah Holmes, according to the Irish News.

She returned from her "dream holiday" with her fiance in Mexico almost two weeks ago.

Feeling "a bit groggy" three days later, she went to her GP and was then treated and confined to her mother's home in Ballymurphy for five days, after testing positive for the virus.

Now the 19-year-old says that it "wasn't any different" from normal flu.

Inside the Belfast Telegraph is the news that swine flu in the UK "cannot now be contained", according to Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

Locally, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has decided to scrap the routine testing of people with suspected swine flu.

But the predicted scale of the pandemic - 100,000 victims a day in the UK by August - has resulted in some unsettling predictions.

The Daily Mail says the infection will "hit millions", the Daily Mirror talks of a virus "out of control", the Times says the flu "can't be stopped", but the Sun says "let's keep our cool... there's no need for panic".

Afghanistan

One of the latest casualties in Afghanistan is the lead in many of the papers.

"Death of a leader," says the Daily Telegraph and "Charles' pal killed by Taliban" is the headline in the Daily Mirror, referring to this week's deaths of a high-ranking British soldier.

The Mail calls the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, a friend of Prince Charles, "a huge propaganda coup" for the Taliban.

He's the most senior British officer to die in action, since the death of Colonel 'H' Jones in the Falklands. Trooper Joshua Hammond also died in the blast in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The US surge in Afghanistan is detailed by the Daily Telegraph, which notes that, "not since Vietnam had so many American marines descended on an enemy from the skies".

The Irish Times says that the new US policy faces "grave obstacles" if it cannot deliver on its promises to improve security for ordinary Afghans.

Top job

A top police job is preoccupying one of the locals.

The Belfast Telegraph's lead is a list of the five candidates left in the running, to replace PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Amongst them is former RUC officer Jim Gamble, who is now chief executive of the online sex offender agency CEOP. The hunt for the top PSNI post "will now intensify" after the shortlisting, says the paper.

In the News Letter, Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters is interviewed and doesn't rule out a meeting with Sinn Fein at some stage.

The institution has never met with the political party in a formal capacity before.

Meanwhile, Mr Saulters is preoccupied with medical matters. He's on crutches after an Achilles tendon injury, but may try out a special medical "walking boot" before the Twelfth celebrations in Ballymoney.

And finally, the weather is back in focus.

The Irish Independent has much coverage on Thursday's flooding in Dublin but in its entertainment section, there's a snow report.

That's from Snow Patrol, however, in the Oxegen guide, that's provided for the festival next weekend.

Bangor man Gary Lightbody recalls the band's first appearance at Witnness, which preceded Oxegen.

He says they were all in their early 20s, had been up all night drinking and "being silly". Now he realises that's not the best way to prepare for the stage.



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