There is a blackout warning, a flu “epidemic” and only two weeks left to save Stormont, according to the dramatic headlines in Friday’s papers.
The Daily Mirror leads with confirmation that a total of eight people have died in Northern Ireland during this winter’s flu season.
It says the outbreak is the worst in seven years, with more than 8m people suffering from symptoms across the UK.
The Irish News says three of the eight NI flu deaths were over the past week.
It quotes Stormont’s top health official saying that the local health service is facing “intense challenges” due to ongoing winter pressures.
The permanent secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, said the demand on hospital is “not expected to ease for a number of weeks”.
Funding to address the problem has now been increased to £10m, but the News Letter says health officials warned MLAs that 2018 will be a “very challenging year”.
The cash-flow crisis continues in the Belfast Telegraph, which warns that it could soon be lights out for Northern Ireland.
It paints a “catastrophic” 2020 vision of the future, saying all streets lights could be “switched of” within two years, as the Department of Infrastructure runs of money to pay for lighting and road repairs.
The paper has seen an internal briefing document which lays out the worst and best case scenarios, as civil servants continue to struggle with cuts in the absence of ministers.
Public service union representative Michael Robinson describes the situation as a “shocking state of affairs”.
“It’s down to something as basic as paying the electricity bill,” he tells the Telegraph.
The Mirror tells MLAs that they have “two weeks to save Stormont” after the news Secretary of State Karen Bradley announced fresh talks aimed at restoring devolution.
But the paper points out that Ms Bradley’s statement “did not set deadlines for specific goals”.