Newsround: what Monday's papers say

Kenny to break his silence at Fine Gael meeting and Kraft Heinz withdraws $143 billion bid for Unilever

20th February, 2017
Wednesday's papers

The top stories in Monday's newspapers:

THE IRISH TIMES

- Enda Kenny will break his silence on his future as Taoiseach at a crucial party meeting on Wednesday in the knowledge that the prospect of an immediate challenge to his leadership has receded, the paper reports on its front page. He confirmed in a short statement yesterday that he would address the issue at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting.

- The operation of drink-driving checkpoints across the state is being audited after it emerged that the number of breath tests recorded on the Garda Pulse system appears significantly higher than the number of motorists tested.

- More objections have been lodged against the new scaled-down rock barrier planned for the Donald Trump-owned Doonbeg golf links resort in west Clare than were made against the much larger 200,000-tonne barrier plan proposed last year.

- In its business section, the paper reports that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is planning to add 100 jobs in Ireland as it seeks to expand its global technology and operations hub in Dublin. The move would increase the group's Irish-based staff numbers by 17 per cent to more than 700.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- Kraft Heinz, the Warren Buffett-backed US food group, dropped its $143 billion pursuit of consumer products rival Unilever last night, only two days after publicly confirming its interest in acquiring the Anglo-Dutch company. The company said in a joint statement with Unilever that it had "amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies".

- The EU's Brexit negotiators expect to spend until Christmas discussing Britain's divorce from the bloc, denying London any trade talks until progress is made on a €60 billion exit bill and the rights of expatriate citizens.

- The FT's Big Read focuses on Royal Bank of Scotland, which is expected to report its ninth straight loss later this week. Once the world's largest bank, a turnaround is years away and taxpayers have not been repaid for bailing it out, prompting the paper to ask if chief executive Ross McEwan can hang on.

- E-commerce group Amazon has pledged to hire 5,000 more workers in Britain as it moves into new London offices, boosting its headcount by a quarter and signalling its long-term commitment to Britain.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The paper also leads with the uncertainty over Enda Kenny's future, reporting that Fine Gael went into meltdown mode last night as the leadership fallout looked set to trigger an early election. It reports that there was widespread shock in the party after Housing Minister Simon Coveney issued a two-month deadline for Kenny to step aside as Taoiseach.

- Two of Munster's largest credit unions are in talks that could lead to a mega-merger, it says, reporting that Clonmel Credit Union could end up taking over Cork's Charleville if discussions are successful.

- No health service manager has been removed from their post under a review that Health Minister Simon Harris claimed would week out poor performers. The Performance and Accountability Framework, a system of assessing managers, has been in place since 2015.

- Irish representatives are in discussions with three of the world's leading software companies -- Intuit, Infor and CA Technologies -- about the possibility of locating here, a well-placed industry source has said.

IRISH EXAMINER

- Details of the first direct flights from Cork to the US could be announced within days after US authorities sanctioned Norwegian Air International's final piece of operational paperwork over the weekend.

- Ireland's case deserves special attention in the upcoming Brexit talks, the European Commission's first vice-president has said. Frans Timmermans, who is in Dublin today on an official visit, also said any future Brexit deal must keep to the "letter and spirit" of the Good Friday Agreement.

- Housing Minister Simon Coveney will today announce new plans to build 8,430 social housing unit amid criticism the government is failing to do enough to address surging waiting lists.

- Up to 98 per cent of companies on the island of Ireland currently have no plan in place to cope with the consequences of Brexit, a new report from InterTrade Ireland shows, despite soundings from Europe over the weekend that suggest Britain will have no route back into the EU once it triggers Article 50 next month.

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