Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

What the papers say

newspapers

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

The News Letter leads with a warning that dissident republicans are tracking the movements of former UDR soldiers, and 15 members of the disbanded regiment have been contacted by the police.

The paper says it has been shown some of the information being logged by the dissidents, including details of the cars people drive, the churches they attend, and their places of work.

The Irish News follows up its revelation yesterday that the Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price has been in contact with the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains.

In a leader, it calls on all those who have information about the Disappeared to come forward and help to end the agony of so many families.

The Belfast Telegraph opts for a very different story.

It reports that the English businessman whose dangerous driving caused the death of the Commonwealth Games cyclist David McCall had a number of previous motoring convictions which were not revealed to the jury at his trial.

The resignation of Willie O'Dea as defence minister in the Irish Republic is yet more proof that Fianna Fail simply don't get it, according to the Irish Times.

It says the collapse in support for the government among the voters is explained largely by the failure of ministers to maintain acceptable standards in public office.

The paper says Mr O'Dea maligned a political opponent by claiming he was involved in a brothel.

It doesn't believe the episode will have helped public confidence in the various forms of authority "which has been badly shaken in recent times".

'Obama Lama ding dong'

The Irish Independent says Mr O'Dea's scalp was claimed by the Green Party, after it forced his resignation.

But the paper points out that the former minister will be entitled to a pay-off amounting to 100,000 Euros.

There's an air of foreboding about the UK economy after it was announced that the government had to borrow money in January for the first time since records began.

The Times has a big picture of the face of Big Ben, its hands at high noon, with the headline: "On borrowed time."

The paper says Britain is borrowing £277,000 a minute, and the admission that the national debt increased in a month normally known for big tax revenues caused "a red alert" in the international markets.

The Daily Mail blames the banks for rebuilding their profits instead of investing in business.

The Independent has the number 20,000 in large red type across its front page.

It says that's the number of council jobs being cut across Britain as town halls are affected by a cash crisis. It says it underlines the warnings that public sector workers will account for most of the expected increase in dole queues over the next six months.

The Sun has a long history of amusing word play in its headlines, and it provides another one to add to the list.

All you need to know about the story is that the meeting in the White House between President Obama and the Dalai Lama has caused a dispute with China. The Sun's headline? "Obama Lama ding dong."



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