The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper leads with the warning from the Minister for Transport Shane Ross that Bus Éireann is facing insolvency within two years unless difficult decisions are made. He has said that between six and eight of the least profitable routes may have to be axed to bridge the fund gap at the company.
- British prime minister Theresa May has agreed to reveal her plan for leaving the European Union before triggering formal negotiations in return for a commitment from MPs to respect her deadline of the end of March next year.
- The paper also reports that the manufacturer of cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi has said that plans by Health Minister Simon Harris to join up with other countries in seeking price reductions for the drug will take years to realise and will do nothing to help CF patients waiting to hear if the government will pay for the drug.
- In its Business & Property supplement, the paper reports that Italian banking shares strengthened yesterday on the expectation that the European Central Bank will extend its quantitative easing programme when its governing council meets tomorrow in Frankfurt.
- The paper also leads with Brexit as it too reports that Theresa May has bowed to pressure to set out her Brexit plans before triggering Article 50 next year as the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier set an October 2018 deadline for completing exit talks.
- On its front page, it also reports that Donald Trump stunned Boeing yesterday by declaring the cost of its contract to build new Air Force One aircraft for the US president was "ridiculous" and exclaiming on Twitter: "Cancel order!"
- "Tightening the noose" is the headline on the FT's Big Read as it reports on tax evasion and fresh rules to exchange cross-border financial data in a bid to flush out tax evaders and squeeze havens.
- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper reports that Lego is undertaking the biggest organisational shake-up in its 84-year history in a move aimed at exploiting its toy brand more broadly after a decade of strong growth.
- Influential German business leaders are warning Brexit will "create significant job losses" in Ireland, damage our growth and harm the country's trade, the paper reports on its front page.
- It also reports on Bus Éireann, saying that passengers face a fresh strike threat in the new year as the company and unions clash over pay. It says unions are demanding a sizeable 21 per cent pay rise at the same time as the company considers pay cuts that would reduce its 2,600 workers' wages by €5 million.
- Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has asked the Attorney General if he can intervene on behalf of the public interest in the pensions row between Independent News & Media and defined-benefit pension holders.
- Paying for items under €30 in shops can now be done by swiping a mobile phone against a contactless terminal as Google launches Android Pay in Ireland, the paper says.
- Two key state agencies are on the verge of collapse, the paper says on its front page, with An Post and Bus Éireann now in jeopardy.
- It also reports that US president-elect Donald Trump's controversial €10 million rock barrier plan for his Doonbeg golf links resort in Co. Clare has been abandoned.
- Health Minister Simon Harris travels to Portugal today for an EU health ministers meeting on pharmaceutical drug costs amid growing pressure for him to cut a deal with a drug firm for a life-saving cystic fibrosis medication.
- It reports that Angela Merkel laid out her care for a fourth term as Germany's chancellor, seeking to energise her conservatives with a call to ban full-face Muslim veils and the promise of a tougher stance on immigration after a record influx of refugees.