Newspaper review: Soldier Rigby's 'barbarous' killing in press

Broadcaster Alice Arnold and Deborah Haynes, from the Times, discuss the morning's papers.

"Unspeakable" and "cowardly" - two of the words used by the newspapers to cover the first day of the Lee Rigby murder trial.

Many headlines quote from the prosecution and witnesses who described the soldier's death on the streets of Woolwich in May.

Two men, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, deny murder.

Elsewhere, Saturday's front pages variously discuss a possible fall in energy prices, bankers' salaries and the ongoing Saatchi/Lawson court case.

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"Whack Friday"
Cyclist taking part in "die-in" protests in London More than 1,000 cyclists took part in a "die-in" across London to highlight the dangers of biking on the capital's roads, the Times reports.

That was the headline in several papers alongside their coverage of one of the newest phenomena to hit the UK shopping landscape.

"The American tradition of Black Friday sales arrived in Britain yesterday, turning a nation of habitually quiet queuers into a mob of self-interested shovers," writes the Daily Telegraph.

Complete with images of shoppers being wrestled to the ground by security guards and put into police cars, the Daily Star reports that a fight broke out in at least one store as customers tried to grab a bargain. It says trouble flared as people "clashed with staff over one-item-per-customer rules".

The Sun's leader column says "those who can afford not to watch every penny may sneer at such scenes," but with household debt reaching a record level and Christmas coming, "it's easy to understand."

The Daily Express says the scenes were "undignified at best, outrageous at worst", but should send a message to the High Street retails giants "as they ponder how to make us loosen our purse strings in the run-up to Christmas".

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Heating up

The saga of energy prices rumble on, but the Daily Telegraph, for one, thinks action is imminent and prices could be cut as early as Sunday as green levies are rolled back.

The paper's Matt cartoon combines this issue with another recently in the news - football match-fixing. One footballer says to another: "I used to enjoy following energy prices till the government started fixing them."

Egg-wina

Edwina Currie promoting the new British Lion egg safety code

"Twenty five years ago, her name was enough to render any poultry farmer splenetic," but now Edwina Currie has been chosen to promote a new way of letting customers know when an egg is safe to eat, the Independent reports. The paper says the former health minister "nearly bankrupted Britain's egg producers" with her comments about salmonella. But it thinks her new appointment "makes sense since no-one has ever made more waves campaigning about safety standards in the egg industry".

The Daily Mirror is unimpressed, attacking what it calls "David Cameron's total confusion over energy prices". The paper backs Labour's price freeze - "a cost-of living lifeline" - promised as No 10 "flails about trying to come up with a scheme of its own".

The Times agrees that "the mainstream political parties ignored the issue until Mr Miliband made it the centre-piece of his Labour party conference speech in September" - and now, "rather belatedly, Mr Cameron has realised that he has a problem."

The Independent is also unhappy but for a different reason. It says David Cameron's promise to lead the greenest government ever "has never looked more threadbare". It goes on: "For those who consider climate change at best a secondary concern... pruning such tariffs looks like an easy solution."

Finally, the Daily Mail picks up on figures earlier this week which showed there were 31,000 "excess deaths" last winter due to the cold. In the light of that, the paper urges all political parties to end the "deadly shambles" over prices and "axe all the lethal green taxes without delay".

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Chinese whispers

Coining it in

Bitcoin

The Financial Times says the tiny island of Alderney is "launching an audacious bid to become the first jurisdiction to mint physical Bitcoins". The value of Bitcoins - a virtual currency used online - has rocketed recently, and the FT says Alderney wants to cash in on that by setting up "exchanges, payment services and a Bitcoin storage vault". A physical Bitcoin, made from gold and perhaps worth £500, would be minted "meaning that holders could melt it down and sell it if the value of the virtual currency collapsed".

David Cameron comes under fire in several papers over reports that he is to "relax" the UK's stance against human rights abuses in China.

The Guardian says he will "distance Britain from the Dalai Lama during a trip to China next week as the price for restoring full business and diplomatic relations with Beijing". Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, tells the paper that failing to press China "will send a worrying signal", particularly after vowing to "shine a global spot light on abuses" during his recent trip to Sri Lank.

Mr Bequelin said it would "undermine the UK's human rights diplomacy as a whole by showing there are double standards; there are some countries in which you raise human rights and others in which you don't because of your own interests."

The i's Whitehall editor Oliver Wright says Mr Cameron "is in a bind", adding: "So Downing Street has decided the best course of action is to 'put out the trash' and admit that Britain's ethical foreign policy can be a bit less ethical when we want something badly enough."

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Gifts for George
Aston villa kit made of sugar paste, cake for Prince George and a fattened bull Kit, cake and cattle - a diverse pile of presents for the newest royal

He's only four months old, but Prince George is amassing quite an array of gifts.

On Friday, on a visit to the University of Birmingham, dad Prince William was presented with a football kit - for his own team - made entirely of sugar paste, as well as an elaborate toy box cake.

"Little Prince George is about to discover just how sweet it can be supporting Aston Villa," writes the Daily Star.

The Daily Mirror reports that he's also received "four heifers, a bull and a goat" from a tribe in Kenya. The paper says they are "symbolic of a blessing from the Samburu community and the gesture is considered a great honour". It adds that the animals will be kept in Lewa, northern Kenya, a place which "has a special place in his parents' hearts - it's where William popped the question to Kate".

The Times says the Kenyan offering "will also, literally, be the gift that keeps on giving" as the animals are being "used to start a royal herd".

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Sun spat
Queen in front of Diamond Jubilee window at Windsor Guildhall Many papers feature images of the Queen viewing a Diamond Jubilee window at Windsor Guildhall

Comedian Russell Brand writes a long piece in the Guardian attacking the Sun after it printed what he says were untruths about him.

Calling the paper "the fecund bone-yard of gossip, poison and lies", he criticises its coverage of "immigrants, folk with non-straight sexual identities, anyone in fact living in the margins of the Sun's cleansed utopia".

Brand saves particular vitriol for the Sun's owner, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whom he calls "an animatronic al-Qaida recruitment poster".

The Sun, for its part, hits back, with a list of "20 reasons why Brand is the biggest hypocrite in Britain".

At number 14, the paper says the star's Brand X show aired last year on the FX channel, which is owned by the Sun's parent company News Corp. It adds that his two books were published by Harper Collins - also owned by News Corp.

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Making people click

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