What Thursday's papers say

London attack reaction; PTSB eyes bad loans plan; Trump faces healthcare battle

23rd March, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times, along with all the other newspapers, leads with yesterday's terror attack in London in which five people died after an assailant carrying two knives mowed down pedestrians as he drove a car across Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer in the grounds of parliament. The paper quotes Scotland Yard's top anti-terrorist officer as saying they believed they knew the identity of the attacker but declined to give any details.

- The paper reports on a warning from Health Minister Simon Harris, who told the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare that hospitals will face a €700m hole in their budget if any attempt is made to deprive them of income from private patients.

- The Irish Times reports on official figures which show that so-called Part V planning regulations, which require developers to set aside 10 per cent of new homes for use as social housing, delivered just 64 new dwellings in 2015.

- The paper says a document drawn up by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland has told insurance industry members that the full roll-out of automatic number-plate recognition to detect uninsured drivers might not be completed until the end of 2019.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times describes yesterday's attack as the largest-scale terrorist attack in London since July 2005, adding that the attack paralysed the heart of British government as MPs and officials were held in lockdown for hours in the House of Commons, while prime minister Theresa May was whisked away by car.

- The FT says Donald Trump is facing the biggest battle of his presidency so far as the House of Representatives prepares to vote today on healthcare reform that could endanger the broader legislative agenda that markets had priced in.. It says the debate over healthcare has exposed deep fissures in the Republican Party.

- The paper reports that Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of Walt Disney, is in advanced talks to buy Portsmouth FC, becoming the latest international corporate figure to seek an investment in English football.

- The FT says Korea Electric Power Corp has ruled out buying Toshiba's controlling stake in Westinghouse, but confirmed it is interested in joining the NuGen consortium that is planning to build a nuclear plant in the UK.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent three police officers, French teenagers on a school trip and two Romanian tourists were among the casualties of yesterday's London attack, quoting a doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge as saying that some people had "catastrophic" injuries.

- The paper says one of Ireland's biggest advertising agencies has confirmed that it has begun a boycott of YouTube advertising on behalf of some of Ireland's largest brands. Core Media represents Heineken, AIB and the National Lottery among others.

- In business, the Irish Independent has learned that Permanent TSB will finalise a clean-up strategy for its problem loans, including mortgages, by mid-year, in a move designed to end uncertainty about the mounting regulatory pressures facing the lender.

- The paper says the state's Comptroller & Auditor General will no longer be the sole auditor of Nama's group entities, with the bad bank now drafting in a firm to undertake statutory audit work for the next three years, when the agency expects to be wound up.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner leads with Theresa May's statement on the London attack, in which she said the location was no accident, but was designed to strike "where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech".

- The paper says an all-out bus strike is set to go ahead from Monday after Bus Eireann said there was now "no basis" for reconvening talks with unions, who are due to meet today.

- In business, the Examiner says the Nevin Economic Research Institute has urged the Government to ditch its 'Rebuilding Ireland' plan in favour of a new housing model centred on a commercial semi-state utility system.

- The paper reports on the first major Brexit speech from European Commission lead negotiator Michel Barnier, who said Britain must honour its EU budget pledges and will not be allowed to simply opt into the bits of the single market it likes.

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