Page last updated at 07:33 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 08:33 UK

What the papers say


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

The News Letter carries a call for prosecutions after dissident republicans stormed Wednesday's DPP meeting in Londonderry.

The DUP's Gregory Campbell described said the protesters were "intent on dragging the country backward into violence and bloodshed".

The paper's Morning View column follows up that condemnation with more of its own.

It says the protest was "fascism at its worst" and "a nasty stunt by people who want to turn the clock back to bitter conflict and division".

The Irish News says it's telling that the dissidents prefer to force abandonment of the meeting and prevent debate.

But it adds that "the enormous progress on policing over the past decade is incapable of being reversed".

"Sit down and sort it out" is the Belfast Telegraph's headline.

The paper is urging readers to back its campaign urging Executive ministers to open talks to resolve the school transfer crisis once and for all.

It's not calling for academic selection to be retained or scrapped. Rather, it wants the politicians to decide on the issue together and come up with an agreed way forward. The simple message is - "get it sorted".

Brown snub

President Barack Obama's apparent snubbing of Gordon Brown appears on several front pages.

The Guardian says Mr Brown lurched from being hailed as a global statesman to intense embarrassment on Wednesday night, after it emerged President Obama had turned down no fewer than five requests for official talks.

The Daily Telegraph says that the apparent fall-out from the release of the Lockerbie bomber has left the 'special relationship' at its lowest ebb for nearly 20 years.

It's another bad day for the prime minister - as the Guardian notes, he's also been forced to play down suggestions from inside his own party that he might step down early, either due to ill health or failing eyesight.

Red city

The Independent asks "what's black as night and red all over?"

The answer is Sydney - the Australian city is experiencing the worst dust storm in 75 years.

The red dirt of the outback, transported nearly 1,000 miles by winds so strong they blew birds out of trees, has blanketed pavements, buildings and beaches.

Many papers carry pictures of the eerie scene - the Sydney Opera House with its white sails turned orange, and the famous Harbour Bridge visible only in silhouette.

Black stuff

Meanwhile, the Irish Times editorial proposes a toast.

Today Guinness celebrates the 250th anniversary of the decision by Arthur Guinness, the son of a land steward, to invest some of his £100 legacy on a 9,000 year lease on a rundown brewery in Dublin.

The paper says there is a certain amount of national pride involved here, even though the brand is owned by a multinational alcohol conglomerate.

Quoting Frank Zappa's comment that you can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline, and with a nod to Flann O'Brien, the paper says that 'a pint of plain is your only man'.

The Express reports on the new tights available for men.

Apparently there's been a rise in men buying tights, and now Selfridges in London are selling pairs made specially for men.

Inevitably dubbed 'mantyhose' they come in a tough 120 denier thickness, and come in black, beige or charcoal.

Why do men want to wear tights exactly? Well, you wear them under your suit to keep the legs warm and give the hips and thighs a nice smooth line.

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