Newsround: what Wednesday's papers say
Irish fear of hard Brexit grows as UK's top EU envoy quits and Ford scraps plan for Mexico plant
The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that the sudden resignation of Britain's most senior diplomat in Brussels, Sir Ivan Rogers, has raised fears among politicians and officials in Dublin that a hard Brexit is increasingly likely.
- Its front page also reports that the number of patients on hospital trolleys is expected to increase further after reaching a record high of 612 yesterday, only the second time it has breached the 600 mark after hitting 601 two years ago.
- Local authorities rejected more than 1,000 homes offered by Nama for social housing because of a lack of demand for housing in their areas, it emerged yesterday, as housing activists marched to the Department of Finance to hand in a petition urging the National Asset Management Agency to make vacant housing available for homeless people.
- The government's new help-to-buy scheme attracted 120 applicants within the first few hours of its launch on the website of the Revenue Commissioners yesterday with the number expected to rise significantly in the next few days.
- The paper leads with Ford's decision to cancel plans for a $1.6 billion Mexican plant and its vow to make future electric and self-driving cars in Michigan following threats from Donald Trump to impost punitive tariffs over its plans to shift manufacturing south of the US border.
- It also carries the resignation of Ivan Rogers, Britain's ambassador to the EU, on its front page, reporting that he resigned abruptly amid tensions with Downing Street as colleagues said he was "frustrated" that his warnings on Brexit's complexities were being ignored.
- On its international pages, the paper reports on jobs growth at IDA Ireland-backed companies, saying that foreign companies are continuing to flock to Ireland despite the twin shocks of Brexit and a €13 billion adverse tax ruling against technology giant Apple last year.
- The subject of the FT's Big Read is China as its reports that Beijing's options are narrowing and it faces stagnation, or even crisis, in the coming years unless it reforms.
- The paper takes emergency department overcrowding as its front page lead, reporting that hospitals have warned patients to stay away from accident and emergency departments unless absolutely necessary as the country is in the midst of a flu epidemic.
- Fianna Fáil has ramped up the pressure on Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over his continued refusal to hand over the name of a senior IRA figure who may hold the key to solving the murder of prison officer Brian Stack.
- On its business pages, the paper reports that the state is to issue a new 20-year syndicated bond deal in what looks set to the first fundraising of the year by any European government. It says the deal is expected to raise between €2 billion and €3 billion.
- Two-thirds of internet users made an online purchase last year as the growth of digital shopping across the EU continues unabated, according to a recent survey from Eurostat.
- Transport Minister Shane Ross has said the spike in deaths on Irish roads last year was "calamitous" and has said dramatic and tough new laws to stamp out drink driving are likely.
- It also reports that a garda was arrested yesterday for questioning and charged with 212 counts related to alleged deception, theft and receiving corrupt payments.
- Local authorities giving preferential treatment to tourism and retail hotspots has left neighbourhoods without the necessary supports to fight litter, Irish Business Against Litter has said.
- The paper also reports that new car sales rose to the highest level in eight years in 2016 as more than 146,000 new passenger vehicles were sold, a 17.4 per cent increase on 2015, according to car history analysts Motorcheck.ie.