The top stories in Tuesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that only 20 per cent of drink-driving convictions resulted in licences being recorded for endorsement in District Courts in 2015 and 2016, according to new figures.
- It also says that the decriminalisation of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use is one of the policy options outlined in the forthcoming National Drugs Strategy which is expected to be published before the summer.
- Local authorities are to be given the power to significantly reduce commercial rates for businesses in their areas as part of a move agreed by the Cabinet. The long-sought measures will allow councils to introduce rate-alleviation schemes and potentially reduce the bills for companies across the state.
- In its business section, the paper reports that almost 88 per cent of Ireland's publicly-quoted companies reported earnings in recent months that either met or beat market expectations despite initial fears following the Brexit referendum that some companies would disappoint investors.
- The US Treasury Secretary has conceded that the administration's timetable for ambitious tax reforms is set to slip following setbacks in negotiations with Congress over healthcare, the paper says. Steve Mnuchin said the target to get the measures through before August was "highly aggressive to not realistic at this point".
- Campaigning has heated up ahead of Sunday's first-round vote in the French presidential election as the latest polls suggest that all four contenders have a chance of reaching the run-off on May 7 with as many as a third of voters still undecided.
- The number of laws introduced in Britain fell to its lowest level for 20 years in 2016, highlighting how Brexit put normal business on hold in the government. According to a study, the number of laws created fell by 29 per cent last year to 1,642.
- The FT's Big Read focuses on US agriculture, reporting that US president Donald Trump won strong support in last year's election from conservative, rural states such as Kansas but now farmers worry his policies will damage exports to growth markets in Mexico and China.
- The paper leads with the story that schools that don't keep costs for parents to a minimum will lose out in the state funding they receive to meet their day-to-day bills as Education Minister Richard Bruton attempts to keep a lid on what parents have pay for, including uniforms, books and mobile technology devices.
- North Korea has vowed to carry out weekly missile tests, the paper say, after the US vice-president warned that America's "era of strategic patience" was over.
- Petrol prices at the pumps have dipped for the first time in six months and diesel is at the lowest price so far this year, the latest monthly fuel prices survey from AA Ireland shows. Prices have fallen by an average of 1.1 cent with a litre of petrol now costing 136.6 cents while diesel sells at 126 cents a litre.
- Irish business sentiment improved in the spring, the latest evidence that Brexit is being shrugged off by most firms, the latest KBC/Chartered Accountants Ireland business sentiment survey shows.