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Paper Monitor

12:18 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

While the rest of the world must contend with apocalyptic-style natural disasters such as Richter scale-busting earthquakes, volcanoes that wipe out whole civilizations and weather conditions that warrant alphabetised naming systems, Britain, by and large, has to limp along with the effects of over-zealous thunderstorms. But that doesn't stop the papers from adding a Katrina-style spin to the story.

"Looting, panic buying – and a water shortage" runs the Times' front page headline. Now, looting at the expense of distressed and dispossessed people is a highly serious issue, mention of which was made a few weeks ago during the summer floods in Yorkshire and Humberside - although it was hard to stand up any systematic examples.

So what evidence does the Times have for us today? The first paragraph of the story talks of "…the threat of looting…" while 10 paragraphs down this is expanded to "fears of looting in Gloucester" – but evidence of people running amok in abandoned shops and filling trolleys with DVDs and plasma TVs is somewhat ominous by its absence.

"Water, water everywhere but… NOT A DROP TO DRINK!" says the Mail, which reveals just how bad the situation really is by picturing a country church isolated in a lake of brown water.

The Independent runs with the picture of Tewkesbury cathedral poking out from the water. It looks really bad - like an island marooned, as if the rest of the town has been totally submersed. The Telegraph's wider crop reveals that while things are bad – they're not quite as grave as the Indie's picture implies.

What of the Express? It is Monday after all – perhaps Diana can save us from a clean sweep of flood front pages. No such luck – "FLOODS CHAOS: IT WILL GET EVEN WORSE".

Kudos meanwhile to the Sun's back page headline marking Padraig Harrington's victory in a big golf game – "Harri putter".

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