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Paper Monitor

10:22 UK time, Friday, 6 October 2006

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

A pair of brown eyes, bordered by the black cloth of a Muslim woman's full veil, gaze out from the front page of many of the papers, as they retell the story of Jack Straw's column in the lesser-read Lancashire Telegraph.

But can we tell what her expression means, seeing as she's wearing the niqab?

Not according to the Leader of Commons, and the posh papers and the red tops have gone to town on the "full scale row" over his comments, asking Muslim women to remove it.

The Independent chooses instead, of course, to blind us with facts on its front page. Neat graphics plot people's race distribution across the UK.

But the other papers give over pages and editorial judgement to Mr Straw's view that a full veil makes better, positive relations between communities more difficult. If you can't see a person's face, it's hard to tell what they mean.

The Mirror pictures Straw himself on the front - lit from under the chin, Abu-Hamza style, a trick to make him look more sinister.

In the Daily Telegraph, is it a moment of rare praise when the paper calls his move "bold"? One of rare liberalism when the Sun says hearing the views of Muslim women in Britain is "vital"?

Perhaps rapper Kanye West, should take note of the furore. He's pictured on pg3 of the Daily Mail at designer Stella McCartney's show wearing a hoodie to trump all hoodies. Only his eyes are visible through a red and white, zip-up-to-the-scalp, skeleton top.

It's one outfit that makes it incredibly difficult to understand what on earth he was thinking.

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