The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that a new cancer strategy that could see between€1.5 billion and €2 billion spent on improved services and medicines over the next decade will be considered by the Cabinet today. The new plan, from Minister for Health Simon Harris, is expected to warn that the number of cancer cases will almost double in just over 20 years.
- North Korea has risked provoking a confrontation with Washington after it claimed yesterday to have launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, an achievement that would be a key step towards developing a rocket capable of hitting the US, the paper says.
- Intensive efforts to restore the Northern Executive and Assembly came crashing down at lunchtime yesterday when it was acknowledged the latest round of Stormont talks were doomed to failure. Talks are now to be "parked" during the summer although it is expected some low-level discusssion between the five main parties will continue during July and August.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney questioned the judgement of an experienced Air Corps pilot who refused to fly him to Cork because of predicted fog, the paper says. In an email between Department of Defence officials, the Air Corps is described as being "very unhappy" about the incident on June 17, 2015.
- The FT reports that Theresa May has been urged by her former policy chief to step up her links with business leaders amid an acceptance that the prime minister was cut off from corporate advice on Brexit before last month's election. John Godfrey, who is also a former executive at Legal & General, has proposed that a rotating cast of senior executives be assembled to meet May on a quarterly basis.
- Worldpay has become the latest target for US companies aiming to take advantage of weakened sterling with the UK's biggest payments processor saying yesterday it had received separate takeover approaches from JP Morgan Chase and Vantiv, a US-focused rival.
- Brussels has moved to assuage Italys' concerns over the "unsustainable" influx of migrants, promising Rome more funds, greater co-operation and a curb on charity rescue vehicles as the European Commission laid out a plan yesterday to manage the "ever more pressing" issue facing Rome.
- The FT's Big Read, 'Braced for the fall', is on Brexit, reporting that Theresa May's grip on power is fragile after an ill-judged snap election. As she faces cabinet indiscipline and a severely-divided party, European leaders wonder if she can survive long enough to negotiate Brexit, it says.
- A database of clients and claims is at the centre of the probe into alleged cartel activity in the insurance industry, the paper says, as it reports on the dawn raids on insurance bodies led by regulators from the European Union yesterday.
- The government and Fianna Fáil have defused the row over bin charges for now but tens of thousands of households still face the prospect of larger bills, the paper says. A new watchdog will be tasked with ensuring consumers don't fall victim to so-called 'price-gouging' by the country's waste collectors.
- In its business section, the paper reports that the operator of the National Lottery has struck a €220 million refinancing deal for its debt facilities as its operator, the Canadian-controlled Premier Lotteries Ireland, confirmed that it had taken advantage of improved economic conditions in Ireland to obtain "more favourable financing arrangements".
- It also reports that the US government has sought to intervene in Apple's appeal against an EU order that the technology giant must pay up to €13 billion in Irish back taxes. The paper says that the Trump administration is understood to be backing Apple's case by seeking a role in the appeal.
- The paper reports that tax returns for the first half of the year were behind target amid concerns health spending could exceed its budget by the end of the year. Exchequer returns released yesterday showed income tax receipts were 2.3 per cent, or €214 million, below forecast for the period for January to June.
- The Garda Ombudsman is set to bring in outside financial investigators and take on more staff to carry out a probe into suspected fraudulent activity involving a secret Garda account. The move follows a decision by GSOC to launch a public interest investigation after it was sent a report by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan on June 19.
- The European Commission said its raid on Irish motor insurance companies was a "preliminary step" in its investigation into "suspected anti-competitive practices" in the industry, the paper says. The dramatic raids, which included the offices of Insurance Ireland, were conducted yesterday morning.
- Five units of the Cork City Fire Brigade were needed to tackle a large blaze at the old St Kevin's unit at the former Our Lady's Hospital site in Shanakiel, the paper says. The fire at the now derelict building has prompted criticism from local councillors who have hit out at what they see as official inaction that allowed the iconic buildings to fall into disrepair.