The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said she believes Apple owes Ireland virtually all of the €13 billion of back-taxes the EU has ruled the government must collect from the firm, the paper says on its front page.
- It also reports that less than a day after the Taoiseach promised a complete review of US immigration facilities at Irish airports, the government has conceded it has no power over how they operate.
- Former Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins could face a substantial legal bill after losing her High Court action against the Dáil Public Accounts Committee. She was seeking damages over the committee's conduct of hearings concerning public money paid to the Rehab group.
- Investment in transport projects such as ports, airports and roads will be increased to ensure Ireland has adequate infrastructure to cope with new trading arrangements after Brexit. This follows a revision of the government's capital investment programme up to 2021 which will see €2.6 billion in unallocated money given to projects designed to improve competitiveness.
- Germany is using a "grossly undervalued" euro to "exploit" the US and its EU partners, Donald Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro has said in comments set to trigger alarm in Europe's largest economy.
- The paper also reports that veteran Tory Ken Clarke told MPs that after a parliamentary career spanning almost 50 years, he is not about to change his views and will be voting with his conscience against the bill to allow the triggering of Article 50. He is expected to be alone among Theresa May's MPs in opposing the bill.
- The FT Big Read focuses on Poland under the heading 'Democracy under strain'. It reports that the conservative social agenda of ruling party Law and Justice has divided Poles and led to a stand-off in parliament. While it brushes off criticism, many fear the party's cultural counter-revolution is damaging the nation.
- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper reports that Royal Dutch Shell has struck deals worth up to $4.7 billion to sell offshore oil and gas assets in the North Sea and Thailand, adding momentum to the debt-reduction programme launched after its $50 billion takeover of BG Group.
- Ireland is actively luring business opportunities from the Middle East as a result of US president Donald Trump's travel ban on Muslims as the widely-condemned immigration clampdown prompts a rethink on investment, careers and education in predominantly Muslim countries.
- Irish author Sebastian Barry became the first novelist to win a second Costa prize in London last night when he was announced as the overall winner of the €35,000 award for his book, 'Days Without End'.
- The media is to be excluded from the meeting where the successor to Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey is to be selected. The unprecedented move comes just days after the OCI's press attaché sent invitations to attend the extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, the paper says.
- Unions will exclude Bus Éireann passengers with no alternative transport services from strikes when they announce a game plan for industrial action this week.
- The paper leads with the double inquest into the deaths of Michael and Valerie Greaney at their home in Cobh, Co. Cork two years ago as it reports that debt drove Michael Greaney to kill his wife and stab his daughter.
- Calls have been made for Michael Lowry to step aside from an Oireachtas committee because of his perceived links to businessman Denis O'Brien.
- The paper also reports that a row erupted yesterday between the two cabinet members of the Independent Alliance, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath, amid growing tensions about remaining in government with Fine Gael. A special meeting of the party has been called for next week to discuss its future direction.
- Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been granted free legal aid for his upcoming conspiracy to defraud trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.