The top stories in Monday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen won the first round of the French presidential election last night, presenting France with a choice between the young, largely untried independent centrist and the leader of the extreme right-wing National Front in the May 7 run-off.
- Its front page also reports that the government is prepared to award some 300,000 public sector workers a pay rise of six per cent over three years as part of a deal on their remuneration. It is also expected to seek significant reform of the pensions for state employees as part of forthcoming talks.
- Anti-abortion campaign groups intend to strongly pressure TDs and Senators against loosening the state's abortion laws after the Citizens' Assembly recommended the current regulations be significantly liberalised. It recommended yesterday by almost two to one that abortion with no restriction as to reasons why be made available in the state.
- It also reports that the final cost of Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll's wedding, which took place in Ashford Castle in Cong at the weekend, could be as much as €1 million. But the value of the star-studded nuptials to the hotel, the town and the island of Ireland is likely to be substantially more.
- The paper also leads with the outcome of the first round of the French presidential election, reporting that it was a defeat for the established parties with Emmanuel Macron now set to go head to head with far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
- It also reports that the UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has warned that global regulatory co-operation would be threatened if the US dismantled its regime for failing banks as Donald Trump's administration takes aim at "too big to fail" lenders.
- The FT's Big Read in on Canada, reporting that Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration has led many refugees to cross the border from the US. But the influx of asylum seekers is becoming controversial there too.
- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper reports that European soccer clubs are eyeing the chance to score in China with both Barcelona and Manchester United among those aiming to woo fans and sponsors as well as to boost revenues as they join a growing list of clubs investing in China to help fulfil Chinese president Xi Jinping's plans for a sporting revolution.
- The paper reports that farmers have overwhelmingly supported a call for prenuptial agreements with 72 per cent saying they should have a legal standing in Ireland as concern over the possible fallout on land ownership following marriage breakdown continues to worry those in the farming community.
- Campaigners are pushing for a referendum after the Citizens' Assembly voted for Irish women to be given the right to legal abortion with "no restrictions". A majority of 64 per cent voted that there should be no restriction on women having a termination, opening the door to full abortion rights for Irish women for the first time in history.
- It also reports that there has been a huge increase in the number of unemployed people who had their dole cut for failing to take offers of work or training. The latest figures, to the end of March, show almost 3,000 people were penalised, suggesting that more than 12,000 unemployed people face welfare cuts in 2017.
- Two of Ireland's three biggest TV operators are to offer their TV services direct to mobile phone customers as the government considers introducing a licence fee for larger screens, the paper's business section says.
- Gardaí need continuing resources to keep a lid on gang warfare in Limerick City, its state solicitor has warned, fearing a return to feud violence could easily be sparked. Michael Murray said there is no room for complacency and gardaí need to be resourced to contain potential violence.
- Almost one-in-eight of all crimes recorded last year were committed by a person on bail for another offence with the figure rising to 13 per cent in 2016 from nine per cent in 2011.
- Health Minister Simon Harris said he does not believe there is a need to revisit the November agreement which was supposed to pave the way for the transfer of the national maternity hospital to the campus of St. Vincent's University Hospital in Elm Park, insisting that nuns won't be running the hospital or profiting from it.
- Hospital consultants are resigning at a rate of one or two per month, mainly in frustration at the two-tier pay system, according to the Irish Medical Organisation, which said it was a nationwide phenomenon which needed to be taken very seriously by the HSE.