What it says in the papers
Goal to shut US office; Tesco-Unilever row over; IAG wants runway review; strict new tax laws planned
- The Irish Times says it has learned that aid agency Goal is to close its offices in the US as it attempts to contain the fall-out from a US investigation into its operations in Syria. The paper says Goal told staff this week it was terminating he contracts of 10 employees at Goal USA.
- The paper says Communicatiosn Minister Densi Naughten as raised the prospect of state funding for quality print journalism, telling the Association of European Journalists in Dublin he would like to think that print journalism could draw down some of the money that goes to broadcasting at present.
- In business, the Irish Times quotes industry sources as saying that Irish hotel group Tifco, which is backed by Goldman Sachs, is poised to take over the company behind the Travelodge franchise in Ireland in a deal that will add 12 no-frills inns to its portfolio.
- The paper reports that France is under pressure from a number of other EU states over its failure to reform a patent box system, despite agreeing to do so in 2014. The system allows French firms to apply a 15 per cent tax rate on intellectual property activity rather than a 35 per cent standard rate.
- The Financial Times leads with news that Tesco will once again sell Marmite online after it ended a 24-hour stand-off with Unilever over proposed price rises sparked by sterling's fall. Tesco had refused to comply with Unilever's rises and pulled dozens of goods from its site. Both sides said last night that the dispute was over.
- The FT says Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has demanded special status for her country after Brexi, announcing plans for a new referendum bill that will keep the pressure on British Prime Minister Theresa May over her 'hard Brexit' stance.
- In companies news, the paper reports that more than half of media company Sky's independent shareholders yesterday voted against James Murdoch's reappointment as chairman, although he was re-elected as a director.
- The FT says Sony's PlayStation VR virtual reality headset went on sale in Tokyo yesterday in what is seen as the biggest test case for mass market acceptance of the technology. The price was $399.
- The Irish Independent leads with the row between Unilever and Irish retailers, saying that despite the resolution of a dispute over prices with Tesco, the maker of some of the most popular brands sold in Ireland is still in dispute with SuperValu, Centra and Dunnes Stores.
- The paper says developers and estate agents have denied that hikes of up to €45,000 in house prices just hours after the Budget are linked to a grant scheme to help first-time buyers. The paper says it identified three new homes, whose purchasers qualify for the scheme, which rose in price.
- In business, the Irish Independent says Aer Lingus owner IAG wants an independent study to be undertaken on the economic justification for the planned new runway at Dublin Airport.
- Tony Hanway, chief executive of Virgin Media Ireland, has told the paper it hopes to complete its takeover of UTV Ireland by the end of the year. He did not rule out cutbacks for the broadcaster, or a move into the North for TV3.
- The Irish Examiner reports that individuals avoiding tax by keeping more than €100,000 in offshore accounts will be prosecuted and potentially jailed for teh "criminal offence" from May under strict new laws due to be detailed in full next week.
- The paper reports that Irish researchers are set for a multi-million euro pay-day after their university spin-out company was acquired by virtual reality giant Oculus. The Facebook-owned company plans to use Cork-based InfiniLED's technology to enhance the performance of its next-generation VR devices.
- The Irish Examiner reports that the family behind women's fashion retailer Pamela Scott ploughed €2.5m in loans into the business last year and has targeted a return to profit in 2018. Latest account show a loss of €856,557 in the 12 months to the end of August 2015.