The top stories in Thursday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar were last night canvassing support and preparing to launch their campaigns to be the next leader of Fine Gael following Enda Kenny's retirement from the role, the paper says. The party's national executive will meet this evening in Dublin to finalise the procedures and rules of the contest.
- It also reports that some of the biggest property developers from the pre-crash era have lodged bids for the prime land being sold by RTÉ at its Montrose complex in Dublin. Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land, Cork developer Michael O'Flynn and Bartra Capital, set up by former Treasury Holdings co-founder Richard Barrett, have all lodged bids for the 8.64 acres.
- The US Justice Department has announced the appointment of a special counsel to lead the Russian investigation in an attempt to quell concerns over claims US president Donald Trump interfered in an FBI inquiry. Former FBI director Robert Mueller will oversee the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in last year's presidential election.
- In its business supplement, the paper reports on the appointment of HSBC's head of retail as the new chief executive of Bank of Ireland. Francesca McDonagh will receive the same level of remuneration as her predecessor Richie Boucher, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed.
- The paper also leads with the controversy surround the Comey memo in the US, reporting that Donald Trump was facing a mounting threat to his presidency yesterday as the US Congress demanded to see any evidence relating to claims that he had sought to halt investigations into alleged links between his campaign and Russia.
- It also reports that Theresa May repeatedly declined to confirm whether her Chancellor Philip Hammond would continue in his role if she won the election, adding to rumours of a cabinet reshuffle after the June vote.
- The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the UK it will pay a price if it limits migration from the EU after Brexit, in her toughest message so far about the potential costs to Britain of leaving the bloc.
- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper reports that the European Commission is poised to fine Facebook for misleading authorities during its takeover of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 in the latest case of Brussels taking on a Silicon Valley giant.
- Cancer patients across the country are facing treatment difficulties as a shortage of life-saving chemotherapy drugs hits hospitals, the paper says. Baxter Healthcare, the only company supplying these compounded drugs to public and private hospitals has been unable to provide full supplies over the last two weeks, it reports.
- International leaders, political allies and enemies alike marked Taoiseach Enda Kenny's departure as Fine Gael leader last night as the much-anticipated announcement brought to an end months of speculation in political circles as to his retirement plans.
- The average price of a house is set to soar by the end of 2018, first jumping by 10 per cent this year and rising by another eight per cent next year with house completions set to grow strongly although it will be a number of years before supply matches demand, Goodbody Stockbrokers has said.
- In its business section, the paper reports that officials have flagged the potential to use a bid to be the home of the European Banking Authority as a bargaining chip in Brexit talks.
- The paper reports that alcohol or drugs have been detected in eight out of 10 suicides examined in a study of 121 cases in Cork over a six-year period.
- Revelations that more than half a million euro has been stolen from accounts in two Cork credit unions should lead to an external review of the governance of both institutions, according to financial adviser Eddie Hobbs, who said the revelations showed a clear failure of internal auditing.
- A series of TDs and senators are set to come out in support of Simon Coveney today as he officially confirms his bid to become the next Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael. The paper reports that Cork East TD David Stanton, Mayo senator John O'Mahony, Kildare North TD Bernard Durkan and Longford-Westmeath senator Gabrielle McFadden will back Coveney.
- A national obesity treatment strategy could save the state at least €56 million over a decade, medical experts believe, with the likely savings based on a reduction in the cost of diabetes medication.