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Paper Monitor

11:43 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Pictures of a giant ash cloud, satellite weather maps tracking its movement towards the UK, images of travel chaos, departures boards plastered with the words "cancelled"... and the root of the problem is none other than "Britain's unlikely new enemy".

Put all these factors in the news blender, add a dash of Britain's first ever televised prime ministerial debates, and what do you get? A News Carnival Smoothie.

"Day the skies stood still" - the Daily Mirror, on its front page, alongside a picture of the plume of dust and a tearful woman in shock.

"Paralysed by the volcano" - says the Daily Mail, which inside dismisses the notion that this is a harmless piece of fun by telling us "STAY INDOORS, FRAIL WARNED"

"BRITAIN IS SHUT TO THE WORLD" says the Daily Express, which does little to lower the panic level by saying the "Volcano could cause air chaos for week".

"Ash Thursday: volcano empties Britain's skies" says the Indie, somewhat appearing to miss the point, surely.

And, finding a sweet spot between the two events, the Sun with "WE'RE ALL PARALYSED BY HOT AIR" above a picture of three gentlemen wearing suits and colourful ties.

And the fruity bit at the bottom of this News Carnival Smoothie comes, as it has a number of times this week, from the Sun's News In Briefs. What does Sam, 23, from Manchester make of it all?

"Sam said passengers cursing the volcanic ash should remember their planes were cancelled for safety reasons. She added: 'At least the Iceland volcano isn't as bad the Thera eruption in Crete 3,500 years ago. Historians believe it was responsible for three of the Ten Biblical Plagues of Egypt."

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