What the other papers say this morning – 22 May 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

Tornado stirs aid fund debate
Oklahoma’s fiscally conservative Republicans senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn have made the state’s tornado into a political issue. Coburn said yesterday that any federal disaster aid for Oklahoma must be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere.

Cheap debt funds staff buybacks
Companies are increasingly using cheap debt to buy shares back from their own employees, highlighting how record low interest rates are helping to fill the pockets of senior executives. More than half of all buybacks by US non-financial companies in the first quarter were used to repurchase the shares of staff cashing in their existing stock options, according to research by Societe Generale.

BP challenges compensation claims
BP has stepped up efforts to challenge what it believes are unjustified compensation claims in the multimillion dollar settlement it agreed with victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

THE TIMES

Johnnie Walker becomes top spirit
Johnnie Walker whisky has overtaken Smirnoff vodka as the world’s top spirits brand, amid demand in China and eastern Europe. The spirits, both owned by Diageo, have swapped places based on financial performance and consumer appeal.

Pension fund could save miners
The lifeboat scheme for distressed pension funds could take ownership of the remains of the British coal industry.

The Daily Telegraph

£74m of Tamiflu thrown away by NHS
A National Audit Office report found 6.5m units of Tamiflu, worth £74m, had to be destroyed by the NHS at the height of a flu pandemic. The report blamed “poor record keeping”.

Rudd declares gay marriage support
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former Prime Minister and a devout Christian – has declared his support for gay marriage after a "difficult personal journey".

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

IRS head to decline to answer questions
Lois Lerner, the head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted conservative groups, intends to invoke her constitutional right against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions about the matter when questioned by a congressional committee Wednesday. Lerner notified the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform through her attorney that she wouldn’t answer questions on the matter.