The top stories in Thursday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The Department of Social Protection has been told by the state's data protection watchdog to outline how social welfare legislation provides a "robust legal basis" for the public services card, the paper says.
- It also reports that the government is considering establishing a new semi-state company to drive house building across the country in an effort to solve the housing crisis.
- RTÉ is to seek as many as 300 redundancies -- more than had initially been expected -- when it announces a cost-cutting programme to staff today, the paper says.
- A six-year assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency has found "unwelcome declines in Irish water quality" in hundreds of water bodies around the country.
- Theresa May has said she intends to fight the next general election as prime minister in a surprise statement during a visit of Japan, the paper reports. "I'm here for the long term," the UK prime minister said.
- The US and UK governments have almost doubled their requests to obtain data from technology, media and telecoms companies over the past three years, highlighting a growing regulatory burden for businesses, the paper says.
- Hard slog and negligible progress defined the third round of Brexit talks this week as UK and EU negotiators deliberately held back their strongest political cards for a showdown later in the year.
- The FT's Big Read focuses on Donald Trump's debt to Deutsche Bank, reporting that when other banks shied away from the US president after a property crash, the German bank extended finance on several projects. But the president and lender now face increased scrutiny over their relationship.
- Pensioners will receive a hike in their disposable incomes under changes to the 'Fair Deal' scheme being considered by the government with a number of ministers pressing for a reduction of around €25 a week in the average nursing home cost for residents, the paper says.
- Surging prices are forcing house hunters to get approval for larger mortgages, the paper reports, with first-time buyers now getting the go-ahead from banks to borrow almost €15,000 more than a year ago.
- In its business section, the paper reports that the government may revisit caps on banker pay and bonuses at bailed-out lenders if the nation's economic revival continues. Salaries are currently limited to €500,000.
- It also says that revenues at the Irish arm of Deliveroo, the app that lets you order food delivery from your favourite restaurant, last year increased more than sevenfold to €2.89 million.
- HSE boss Tony O'Brien has launched a scathing attack on campaigners against the HPV vaccine, accusing them of "emotional terrorism", the paper reports. He claimed that there had been a "well-orchestrated" campaign targeting parents, teenage girls and teachers with "disinformation" that has no basis in science or medicine.
- It also says that any attempt to increase duty on diesel in the upcoming budget would cause disproportionate hardship on rural Ireland, group's representing forecourt retail and hauliers have said.
- The paper also says that mortgage lending is expected to grow by around 30 per cent this year but house price inflation is set to grow in tandem.