Newsround: what Tuesday's papers say

Varadkar "reassured" about DUP after talks and Cabinet procedures to change following Whelan row

20th June, 2017
Wednesday's papers

The top stories in Tuesday's newspapers:


- The paper reports that how the Cabinet conducts its business is set to be changed following the controversial appointment of former attorney general Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal. Government sources said that cabinet procedures are likely to be reformed so that fewer issues can be added to the weekly agenda at the last minute.

- It also says that the Taoiseach has said he is "very reassured" that any deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party at Westminster will not undermine the Good Friday Agreement. Speaking at 10 Downing Street following a meeting with British prime minister Theresa May, Varadkar said he had expressed his concerns about the possible impact of any such deal on the talks to restore an executive in Northern Ireland.

- Brexit talks opened harmoniously and "on the right foot", the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday, as the two sides agreed on the structure of the negotiations, dates and the priorities for the talks which will be conducted over the next 500 days, the paper says.

-Two ministers of state will be appointed to assist Minister for Finance and Minister for Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe, government sources have said. The two departments controlled by Donohoe will be allotted two juniors for the first time when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announces the government's ministers of state in the Dáil today.


- The FT also leads with the start of the Brexit talks, reporting that Britain and the EU agreed to focus the first stages of Brexit negotiations on divorce proceedings in a meeting that both sides hailed as constructive after an early concession from London on the sequence of talks. The two sides agreed to prioritise talks on Britain's exit bill and a settlement on rights for EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living on the continent.

- It also reports that Russia has threatened to target US-led coalition aircraft flying over Syria in a sign of mounting tensions after an American fighter jet downed a Syrian government warplane. The Russian defence ministry also said it was pulling out of an agreement with the US intended to avoid mid-air clashes over Syria, underlining how the Syrian war is threatening to become the flashpoint for a broader international conflict.

- Police say the number dead or missing in the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London last week has now risen to 79, the paper says. The London Metropolitan Police said yesterday the death toll might rise further as officers try to establish who was in the building on the night the fire ripped through the 24-storey tower block.

- The paper also reports that French president Emmanuel Macron cleared his last electoral hurdle on Sunday as France handed over its executive and legislative powers to a pro-business leader intent on overhauling the economy. His policy priorities include allowing companies to strike deals on wages, hours and working conditions and tightening rules on conflicts of interest and financial conduct for MPs and officials.


- The paper reports that the Garda fraud squad will be called in to investigate the notorious Templemore Training College 'slush fund' after it emerged that one of the college's bank accounts was assigned to the home address of a former senior officer. Serious suspected fraud, which potentially runs into six figures, has been uncovered by its auditors, the paper says.

- Prime Irish Hereford steaks will soon be on Lidl shop shelves in the US after authorities in the US gave it their seal of approval, the paper reports. After three years of negotiations, Bord Bia said the profile of grassfed Irish beef would be strengthened after it secured the US Department of Agriculture's approval.

- Northern Ireland is emerging as the pivotal issue in Brexit talks, given the political sensitivities involved, the paper says. The issue dominated a first meeting of EU and UK Brexit negotiatiors yesterday with both sides agreeing to handle the peace process, common travel area and border separately to other issues in the talks.

- Sports and concert fans will no longer be able to bring large bags and backpacks into Croke Park after changes to security arrangements at the stadium which will take effect from Sunday, June 25. A statement from the GAA said the decision was made following a review of safety procedures with the relevant authorities.


- The paper reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar demanded President Michael D Higgins ratify Máire Whelan's controversial Court of Appeal appointment before the Dáil's return today in a formal letter on Sunday evening. It says Higgins was forced to rush through the €180,000 a year appointment due to the sudden and unexpected pressure placed on him by the new Taoiseach.

- Health Minister Simon Harris will today discuss the cross-party report on healthcare with Cabinet colleagues and update them on Ireland's bid to lure the European Medicines Agency. Leo Varadkar's first full Cabinet meeting will also get a report on the Eircode system and what difference it is making for both public and private services.

- The paper also reports that more than 2,000 firefighters in Portugal are battling to contain major wildfires in the central region of the country, where one blaze killed 62 people, as authorities faced mounting criticism for not doing more to prevent the tragedy.

- In its business section, the paper reports that Denmark has become the first country to appoint an ambassador to Silicon Valley. Casper Klynge, who has been chosen to fill what the Danish foreign ministry described as the first "techplomacy" posting on the US west coast, has been tasked with building direct ties between his country and the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google.

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