NI Paper Review: A crisis in education and the saga of Brexit

NI Paper Review: A crisis in education and the saga of Brexit

The crisis in Northern Ireland's education system provides some unwelcome respite from Brexit coverage. 

"Schools near tipping point," is the headline in the Daily Mirror. 

The story is based on an Audit Office report detailing that schools are £48m in the red, outstripping surpluses of £39m. 

Seven schools have deficits in excess of £1m, the Daily Mirror reports. 

'Rudderless' 

The Belfast Telegraph also covers the story with its editorial appealing to people to "demand better" of politicians as Northern Ireland "continues to lumber along, virtually rudderless". 

The second story on the Irish News front page concerns a bus stop and a disagreement over its name.

The paper says Translink emails "suggest" that DUP MPs Emma Little-Pengelly and Gavin Robinson had different opinions on whether to raise concerns over the name of a new Glider bus stop in east Belfast.

The south Belfast MP Ms Pengelly faced accusations of "sectarianising" the bus stop after she raised "serious concerns" about it being named 'Short Strand', the nationalist area it sits opposite. 

According to the Irish News however Mr Robinson made it clear that he would not be perusing the matter. 

But let's be honest, Brexit is still the big story this morning.

The Irish News takes a no-holds-barred outlook: "European Council president: No-deal Brexit more likely than ever before". 

'Sensible' 

Donald Tusk has now warned that his team have now begun preparations for a scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the paper reports.

"Keep calm and carry on talking," is the headline in the Belfast Telegraph. 

Both the DUP leader Arlene Foster and Prime Minister Theresa May have called for "calm heads" in the face of Mr Tusk's assessment that no deal is more likely than ever before. 

"We need cool heads and a sensible deal: Foster," is the front page headline in the News Letter.

Mrs Foster has called for a "sensible" Brexit deal but has reiterated her opposition to any divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. 

'Clunky' 

The News Letter's editorial worries that London is indeed willing to contemplate such a divergence in terms of customs or regulations. 

That would be a "massive and disastrous concession" the paper declares. 

In the Irish News, its columnist Fionnuala O'Connor says it will take the "judicious use of ambiguity about this corner of Ireland" to a make Brexit deal.

However, John Downing writing in the Belfast Telegraph states that he believes a compromise will soon be on offer, although he agrees that may well be a "clunky" compromise. 

'Adriana'

The hacking of social media accounts is a modern hazard.

The Belfast Ulster Unionist councillor Chris McGimpsey can testify to that after his Twitter account began to share pornographic images. 

His account name was changed to 'Adriana' almost a fortnight ago, with the profile picture changed to a woman dressed only in underwear, the Irish News reports.

Cllr McGimpsey said he was appalled by what had happened. 

'Celtic curse'

And have you heard of the 'Celtic curse'?

No? Neither had Belfast businessman Stephen Bogan.

In a feature article in the Belfast Telegraph he tells the story of being diagnosed with a genetic condition known as the 'Celtic curse'.

The condition, officially known as haemochromatosis causes fatigue amongst other symptoms. 

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