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Paper Monitor

10:25 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's all very well to organise late, late, late editions for elections but earthquakes don't tend to announce their arrival months ahead on BBC News 24.

So when large parts of England and Wales were rocked at 1am by the biggest quake in decades, most of the newspaper printing presses were warming down and staff heading home.

Top marks to the Times, which sneaks a brief mention on to its front page (marked "2am") with a full story, map and factbox on page two.

The website arm of these papers is the chief beneficiary in such circumstances, for there is no knocking off at midnight for web reporters.

But wait, what's this? Has Paper Monitor done the Daily Mirror a disservice? A "3am exclusive" is proclaimed on its front page.

All is revealed on page 17, but it's more turbulence than earthquake - Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans "shamelessly cavorting" on a plane back from Los Angeles. Did the Earth move for them, one is forced to wonder.

Elsewhere, there's a front page classic. The headline calls for plastic bags to be banished and the picture is of a rare turtle caught up in one of the aforementioned bags. It's the real forte of the Independent.

But what's this? This front page appears to be on the Daily Mail. Was the story on its way to the Indy when it took a wrong turn? What's more, the Mail dedicates nine pages to its placcy bag crusade.

Strange times.

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