The top stories in Tuesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- Scrapping the government's help-to-buy scheme would be "a mistake" and would disrupt efforts to address the housing crisis, according to the head of the state's Housing Agency, the paper says. The scheme was established last year by former minister for housing Simon Coveney and began handing tax rebates worth up to €20,000 to first-time buyers in January.
- It also reports that US president Donald Trump will fly to southern Texas today as officials warned that "catastrophic flooding" would continue in the Houston region in the coning days and thousands of residents remained stranded in the city. Torrential rain continued last night and at least eight people were reported to have died, including four children.
- The paper says that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been assured Ibrahim Halawa will be allowed to return to Ireland once his case has reached a conclusion in Egypt. Halawa's trial was postponed for a further three weeks despite expectations it would be concluded yesterday.
- Brexit negotiations between the European Commission and the UK got under way in Brussels yesterday evening with the two sides scheduled to discuss the peace process and the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain over the next three days. But the paper reports that the EU's growing impatience with the British government showed no sign of abating.
- Theresa May is set for disappointment on her visit to Tokyo this week after Japanese officials signalled they would not rush into free-trade talks with Britain, the paper says. May is expected to discuss a UK-Japan version of the deal Tokyo agreed in principle with the EU last month when she meets Shinzo Abe, her Japanese counterpart.
- It also reports that Kenya has imposed the world's toughest laws to reduce plastic pollution with people selling or using plastic bags facing up to four years in prison and fines of up to $38,750. The ban applies to the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags in east Africa's dominant economy.
- The insurance and energy industries are struggling to assess the damage from what analysts said could be one of the 10 costliest storms in US history as tropical storm Harvey carved a slow, destructive path across the Texas coastline, the paper says. The bill for insurers was expected to come to between $10 billion and $20 billion, according to a "best guess" estimate from JPMorgan Chase.
- French president Emmanuel Macron is pushing aead with his flagship policy intended to make the labour market more flexible and help reduce unemployment of more than nine per cent. His centrist government will unveil the final details of the measures on Thursday.
- Irish Rail has earmarked four train routes to be closed if a serious shortfall in its funding it not repaired, the paper says. The company said it could save €17.6 million a year by shutting down routes from Limerick to Ballybrophy, Limerick Junction to Waterford, Ennis to Athenry and Gorey to Rosslare.
- Agriculture minister Michael Creed has refused to rule out controversial identity cards being needed by farmers to apply for EU grant cheques, the paper says. The new public services ID cards are already needed for accessing social welfare payments and will be required for all passport applications next year.
- In its business section, the paper reports that Irish plastics group One51 has confirmed it is hoping to float on the stock market within the next 12 to 18 months. The company is likely to target Toronto for its flotation with much of its business now focused on North America.
- It also says that e-learning tycoon Pat McDonagh has emerged as the owner of a new elderly residential care company that is planning a multi-million euro 120-bedroom facility in north Dublin. Remedy Care has said that it is proposing a "new model" of elderly and specialist care for Ireland.
- More than 6,000 children will be homeless by 2020 unless there is a radical intervention, the paper says. The grim warning comes from housing expert Rory Hearne whose estimate is based on the 300 per cent increase in child homelessness in the last three years.
- Health Minister Simon Harris will attempt to force through repeatedly-blocked plans to restrict the sale and promotion of alcohol before Halloween despite ongoing vocal opposition from within his own party. Harris criticised government colleagues and rival parties for consistently stalling the plans, saying they were putting Trojan horse excuses made by vested interests before the country's alcohol addiction crisis.
- The government's target of creating 50,000 tourism jobs is threatened by the collapse in sterling, according to the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland. Tourist numbers from Britain are down 6.5 per cent in 2017 compared to last year and the spectre of cross-border shopping is emerging.
- In its business section, the paper reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs has received no information that would suggest Irish J-1 visas are under threat despite weekend reports that the US administration is considering "major reductions" in the number of summer work exchange visitors.