Monday February 17, 2020

Newsround: what Wednesday's papers say

Garda boss goes on holiday as "cover-up" storm grows and Brexit worsening divisions in the North

19th July, 2017
Wednesday's papers

The top stories in Wednesday's newspapers:

THE IRISH TIMES

- The paper reports that government ministers have expressed full confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan despite allegations from TDs that she sought to "cover up" financial irregularities at the Garda training college in Templemore. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee issued a report into the issues at the college yesterday which found several failuers on the part of the commissioner, senior garda management and the Department of Justice.

- Brexit is already undermining political stability in Northern Ireland and represents "a fundamental challenge" to the future of the UK itself, a House of Lords committee will warn today. The paper says its EU affairs committee calls on the British government to reassure nationalists following the Conservatives' confidence-and-supply agreement with the DUP.

- The Irish economy still faces the threat of overheating and it is critical that dangerous risks are avoided, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said. At the MacGill Summer School last night, he criticised left-wing politics which he said could "break this country".

- In its business section, the paper reports that two of the biggest banks in the US are preparing to signal plans to expand in Dublin as they prepare for Brexit in what is likely to result in the addition of hundreds of financial jobs. Citigroup, which is set to confirm today that it has chosen Frankfurt as its future EU equities and bond trading centre, is also looking to add to its existing 2,500 workforce in the Republic while Bank of America also plans to expand here.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- Britain's inflation rate fell back in June as cheaper oil slowed the pace of price rises, relieving pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates at its next meeting early next month, the paper says. The figures came as the BoE unveiled the new plastic £10 note that carries a picture of Jane Austen, issued on the 200th anniversary of the author's death.

- Goldman Sachs suffered its worst ever quarter in commodities, fuelling a 40 per cent slide in the bank's overall trading revenue and putting it on course to underperform its Wall Street rivals for the second quarter in a row, the paper says.

- Ireland's economy has just shrunk by a third, or so new statistics suggest, the paper says. A new measure of economic activity, known as modified gross national income or GNI, shows the value of the Irish economy at €190 billion in 2016 compared with €275 billion using the benchmark of gross domestic product.

- Theresa May will tomorrow hold Brexit talks with business leaders, marking the end of a year-long spell in which she put relations with corporate UK into the deep freeze, the paper says. May has invited the chairmen and chief executives of several FTSE 100 companies to the first meeting of a new business council which will allow them to put concerns directly to the prime minister.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The paper also leads with the PAC report on Templemore, reporting that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan is heading off on a five-week holiday as calls mount for her resignation. It says the latest crisis to hit the embattled Commissioner saw her accused of being part of a "cover-up" over an alleged "slush fund"at the Garda Training College in Templemore.

- RTÉ has blamed landmark and largely foreseeable events, such as the 1916 commemorations and the Olympics, for a €16.9 million increase in its annual deficit. New figures show the gulf between spending and income at the state-owed broadcaster ballooned to €19.7 million last year from €2.8 million in 2015.

- Business groups have claimed there is "no economic basis" for a 30 cent per hour increase in the minimum wage as Brexit looms on the horizon, the paper says. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday announced the wage will rise to €9.55 from January 1 on foot of recommendations from the Low Pay Commission.

- In its business section, the paper reports that soaring vinyl sales helped put record store chain Golden Discs back in the black after the group posted a profit of €172,878 for the 2016 financial year. Sales of vinyl were up more than 100 per cent on the previous year, it said.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The paper also reports on the proposed 30 cent an hour increase in the national minimum wage, saying that the move would benefit up to 15,000 workers although employers claim it is not affordable and could threaten jobs.

- It also says that the president of Cork Institute of Technology has been paid €227,956 in a pension lump sum and an annual pension of €78,315 from the college despite still occupying the post, the Public Accounts Committee has been told. The college also revealed it was involved in 20 legal cases in "matters related to staff issues".

- A reduction in the motorway speed limit is just one of the climate-change measures which will be brought before the Cabinet later today, the paper says. As many as 106 actions and measures are outlined in a national mitigation-plan report for Ireland to transition to a low-carbon, environmentally-sustainable economy by 2050.

- In its business section, the paper reports that Ryanair is expected to post after-tax profits of €320 million when it publishes first-quarter results early next week. This would represent a 25 per cent increase on the same period last year.

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