The top stories in Thursday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that US President Donald Trump has defied calls to appoint a special council to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election as fresh reports emerged last night that former FBI chief James Comey sought extra resources for his investigation just days before he was fired.
- A third senior civilian executive at the top of the Garda has moved to distance himself from Garda headquarters' position on recent scandals, the paper says. Niall Kelly, head of the Garda's audit unit, has contacted the Policing Authority to clarify a number of matters.
- James Gately, 30, from Dublin's north inner city was shot as he sat in his car at a service station in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, yesterday in the a new wave of violence in the Kinahan/Hutch feud. Gately survived the gangland attack because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, gardaí believe.
- The next leader of Fine Gael is now expected to be in place in the first week of June, with the contest to succeed Taoiseach Enda Kenny anticipated to begin next week. Kenny told Fine Gael parliamentary party last night that he would address the issue of his leadership next week.
- In its business supplement, the paper reports that Ireland is home to the world's fourth-largest "shadow banking" industry with $2.2 trillion of non-banking financial assets based in funds, special-purpose vehicles and other little-understood entitiies in Dublin's IFSC, according to a report published this week.
- The FT also leads with Trump, reporting that an unabashed US President called for warmer US relations with Russia yesterday even as his firing of FBI director James Comey sparked calls for an independent probe of his election campaign's alleged ties to Moscow.
- Washington has said EU moves to tighten control over derivatives clearing, one of the City of London's most lucrative businesses, would break with global norms and could lead to US retaliation. In response to Brexit, Brussels is considering a 'location policy' to require trading to take place within the bloc.
- Noel Edmonds, the television celebrity, has written to the boss of Lloyds Banking Group to demand compensation that his lawyers claim could run to more than £50 million in connection with the fraud scandal at HBOS.
- The FT Big Read is on Liberty Media's John Malone, the Irish-American businessman who was a pioneer in cable TV and one of the most skilful dealmakers in media. In an exclusive interview with the paper, he reveals why 'cord-cutting' does not worry him and the biggest issue facing Fox News.
- The paper says that Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin shot down a proposal to table a non-confidence motion in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, telling his TDs and senators that it would spark a general election.
- Public servants will not pay any more than they currently do for their lucrative pensions in a new deal with the government. The paper says sources have revealed that any amount they will be asked to pay into a new permanent contribution will not surpass the €720 million currently being paid under a pension levy.
- The surge in property prices has pushed up the net worth of Irish households while the debts of consumers here are also falling faster than elsewhere in the European Union. New figures from the Central Bank showed that the average household in this country now has a net worth of €137,000.
- In its business section, the paper reports that Dublin Aerospace, the aircraft maintenance group, has pulled what would have ultimately been a €40 million investment in the UK after the Brexit vote and is forging ahead with hiring 50 full-time staff at its Dublin Airport operation.
- Public sector workers are set to face three rates of pension contributions with gardaí being hit with the biggest levy, the paper says. With negotiations on public pay due to being shortly, union representatives have conceded that those still on lucrative legacy and accelerated pensions will have to pay more.
- Member of the Defence Forces have launched legal action against a regulation which saw members of the army, navy and air corps lose 37,610 days of annual leave last year. Ger Guinan, general secretary elect of PDFORRA, said one of the main reason leave was lost was because Defence Forces personnel are overstretched and constantly plugging gaps.
- A new era in crime solving has been ushered in with the turning of the sod at the country's new state-of-the-art forensics laboratory. The €60 million Forensic Science Ireland facility at Backweston Campus in Celbridge, Co Kildare, will house the newly-established DNA database which is allowing one in five crimes to be solved.