The top stories in Wednesday's papers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- Fianna Fáil is considering merging the property tax and water charges in a potential compromise move, amalgamating the two levies into one household charge, the paper's lead story says.
- The state's fiscal watchdog, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, says there is growing evidence of a potential slowdown in the economy as recent data on domestic demand, output and retail sales point to a gradual "loss of momentum".
- The paper's front page also reports that public sector staff are likely to get additional money next year after the government agreed to hold talks with unions to address "anomalies" in pay.
- Scotland will unequivocally support an open border for Ireland in the wake of Brexit, its first minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the Seanad, in the first address to the Upper House by a serving foreign head of government.
- Rescue workers searched the wreckage of a charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense after it crashed in the Colombian jungle near Medellín, killing 75 people.
- The paper's front page also carries a report that Theresa May's plans for annual binding votes on executive pay may apply only to some elements of remuneration and only at some companies in the latest watering-down of the prime minister's corporate governance reform.
- Donald Trump's pick for health secretary, Tom Price, is a zealous critic of Obamacare who embodies Republicans' desire to rid the healthcare system of government obligations and give consumers more market-led choices.
- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper reports that Merlin Entertainments continues to count the cost of terrorism fears as city-centre attractions such as Sea Life aquariums suffer in the wake of terrorism attacks across Europe in the past year.
- The paper also leads with the latest report from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and its warning that increases in public sector pay will have to be paid for by hiking taxes or cutting public services next year.
- The front page also reports that Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has plunged his party into a fresh crisis after he dramatically tied three of his own politicians to the brutal murder of prison officer Brian Stack.
- The paper says that Transport Minister Shane Ross has backed down in the row over judicial appointments with the cabinet agreeing to recruit four new judges to fill vacancies in the District Court.
- It also reports that Fianna Fáil members in Dublin Central have unanimously passed a motion calling for former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to be readmitted to the party, a move that had been privately mooted for several weeks.
- Water provides the paper's lead story as it reports that Housing Minister Simon Coveney has said that households should be pursued for unpaid water bills.
- It also reports that the government has backed down from a stand-off with public sector unions by agreeing to talks over the repercussions of the garda Labour Court recommendation.
- Women fared better than men in the recession when it came to employment and at one point in 2008, based on PAYE employees, there were more women int he Irish workforce than men, according to ESRI data.
- It also reports on Nicola Sturgeon's visit to Dublin, saying the Scottish First Minister said it was most unlikely the Brexit referendum result would be overturned and the Scottish government wanted to push London to secure the best possible deal and ensure it maintained as many of the benefits of the current customs union as possible.