The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has given the green light for the sale of a 25 per cent stake in AIB to stock market investors. This begins a process that could take a decade to return the bank fully to private ownership, it says.
- The Supreme Court ruling that the ban on asylum seekers looking for work is unconstitutional could have deep implications for the asylum process and also for Brexit negotiations, the Department of Justice has said in response to a landmark decision yesterday upholding the appeal of a Burmese man who spend eight years in direct provision against the ban preventing him from working.
- It also reports that seven men who allegedly sexually abused a child were not prosecuted because of the manner in which interviews with the child were carried out by gardaí, according to a new report. The case has been published on the website of the Child Care Law Reporting Project, led by Dr Carol Coulter.
- In its business supplement, the paper reports that Ryanair plans to offer Alitalia a deal that would see the airline effectively take over the bankrupt Italian carrier's short-haul business while also selling its long-haul flights on its website.
- Amazon joined a small group of US companies with shares worth more than $1,000 each yesterday as investors' hunger for tech stocks drove the online retailer past the landmark during trading in New York, the paper says. The company, which went public 20 years ago, just beat Google parent Alphabet to the $1,000 level, briefly topping $1,001.
- It also reports that the US showed signs it was leaving behind a soft start to 2017 as data revealed consumer spending grew at its quickest pace of the year in April, suggesting the world's biggest economy was shrugging off political turmoil and was again posed to lead the global recovery.
- The FT Big Read focuses on Brexit under the headline 'Let the haggling begin'. It says that leaving the EU was always going to be complicated but exclusive FT research shows that few people fully appreciate just how complex a task it will be. At least 759 different agreements, with 168 countries, have to be renegotiated just for Britain to stand still.
- In its Companies & Markets section, it reports that the combined worth of European football's leading clubs grew by about €3 billion over the past year, boosted by the escalating value of broadcasting deals. According to KPMG, the combined enterprise value of Europe's 32 richest sides was close to €30 billion in 2016, a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year, the FT says.
- Children who get cut out of their parents' wills will be able to use a "sentimental value" loophole to try to get an inheritance under proposed new laws, the paper says. It reports that experts believe courts could be faced with questions as to whether large assets, such as farms or businesses, can be considered an object of sentimental value to children.
- It also reports that Gardaí have arrested two men and a teenager in south Dublin in connection with an aggravated burglary that left an elderly couple traumatised. Raiders broke into the home of Jimmy and Maura Campion in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, on May 7, beating Jimmy Campion with his own walking stick in the brutal attack.
- Health inspectors investigating one of the worst salmonella outbreaks in a decade believe people became ill with the bug in 17 different locations around north Dublin. At least 50 people, including four children, were infected with the bug which left a number hospitalised.
- It covers the AIB flotation in its business section, reporting that the €3 billion sell-off will return AIB to the market after seven years. The move will see the government sell 25 per cent of the almost entirely state-owned bank with the balance, worth around € 9 billion, to be sold off over time, it says.
- The paper reports that the head of the Garda's internal audit unit has said his "direct superiors" tried to block a probe into the Garda college scandal and "withheld information and tried to undermine" his position when the inquiry began.
- Free GP care will be extended to 500,000 people each year for five years under an ambitious plan to reform the health service. For the ambitious deadline to be met, the capacity of general practice will have to increase and a new GP contract will have to be agreed, the paper says.
- Differences over the pace of pay restoration, larger pension contributions, increased productivity demands and outsourcing proposals which are not acceptable to unions have put a strain on the public service pay talks which are now just three days from their original, and now highly unlikely, deadline, the paper says.
- The digital economy threatens jobs, trade unions have warned, with up to 60 per cent of existing work likely to be partially automated over time. In two separate reports, Impact and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions raise concerns that many people could be left behind as Ireland embraces 21st-century advances.