Newspaper review: 'Maternity tourism' and Anelka gesture

No two papers lead with the same story on Sunday, with front page topics ranging from new breast implant regulations to Scottish independence.

Several papers do share an immigration theme though, including the Sunday Telegraph, which raises fears about "maternity tourism", and the Mail on Sunday, which says it has seen a report warning of the negative impact of Bulgarian and Romanian arrivals.

Elsewhere, the Observer warns of the possible impact even a very small rise in interest rates could have on Britain's mortgage payers.

The Sunday People, meanwhile, says it can reveal a family tragedy which has struck TV star Ant McPartlin.

Discussing the papers for the BBC's News Channel, Jeremy Cliffe, political correspondent at the Economist, said he was "getting pretty tired of the fear-mongering" about immigration in recent weeks, "both from ministers and in some of the headlines".

"Very, very rarely does anyone even so much as suggest that a Romanian or Bulgarian immigrant coming to Britain would be a good thing, and yet countless academic studies tell of the cultural, and more to the point, economic benefits they bring with them," he said.

But Craig Woodhouse, political correspondent at the Sun, said people were "genuinely worried" about the issue and wanted to talk about it, but weren't sure how to.

And he added: "There's a very fine line to be trodden here between, 'Is it racist to worry about this? Can we talk about this?'"

Image caption Choirmaster Gareth Malone, actor John Hurt and rugby player Geoff Parling share the honour of being named 2013's Beard of the Year

Happy New Year?

Most of the tabloids include a new year message in their leader columns, and they range from straightforwardly optimistic to upbeat in what can only be described as a "well, it couldn't get any worse" sort of way.

The Sunday Mirror says 2013 has been "pretty lousy" for most of us, "the glorious summer and Andy Murray winning Wimbledon" aside. It adds: "We hope 2014 will be a lot better for you and your family. And the country."

There's a similar, if slightly more positive sentiment in the Sunday Express, which says "millions of families are still struggling to make ends meet", despite the economy improving. It wishes government ministers well with the challenge of combating "the cost of living crisis in 2014".

"A new year is all about great expectations and nice surprises," says the Sunday People. It too hails the royal baby and Andy Murray, and says in 2014, "we await the birth of Simon Cowell's baby.... and surely, er, glory for England at the World Cup."

More gallows humour from the Daily Star Sunday. "We're expecting loads more immigrants, the weather is terrible, we're all skint and the Christmas telly was dreadful. But it's the tightest Premier League race in years, the economy's on the up and pretty soon it'll be spring. Happy New Year!"

Gesture politics

Image caption Nicolas Anelka performing the "quenelle" gesture at Upton Park

Footballer Nicolas Anelka finds himself facing "a storm of controversy", as the Sunday Times puts it, after making what some have called a "race-hate gesture" during a match on Saturday.

The Sunday Telegraph says it "has been described as a form of Nazi salute by Jewish groups in France, although those who use it have insisted it is merely an anti-establishment gesture".

The Mail on Sunday says Anelka, who was born in Paris, "could face punishment in France if his actions can be shown to be offensive, insulting, abusive or political".

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Anthony Clavane says he has previously celebrated "the fact that anti-Semitism had all but disappeared from our stadiums". He says he was "taken aback", therefore, when he saw Anelka's gesture and "shocked" that his manager, Keith Downing, said no action should be taken against him.

The Independent's John Lichfield, in Paris, says the "quenelle" gesture - created by a stand-up comedian and friend of Anelka - has "spread like wildfire on the French-language internet" and has been blamed for "provoking three vigilante attacks by gangs of young Jewish men on a hotel, a disco and a young Muslim man".

Image caption A real find - the Antiques Roadshow spot that turned out to be a £400,000 gem by Van Dyck

Whitehall spending

Several papers have pored over data to uncover what they see as profligacy within the corridors of Whitehall.

Image caption Passengers from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy stretch their legs as they wait for rescue from the Antarctic

The Sunday People picks on civil servant Bernard Gray - the head of the Ministry of Defence's equipment programme - who it says has claimed more than £100,000 in his first year in the job. That includes £23,000 for hotel stays and £65,000 for use of an official car - on top of a £220,000-a-year salary. "And the job description of this man so free with our money?" asks the People leader. "To cut waste."

The Sunday Mirror says a "staggering" £100m "has been blown sprucing up government departments in the past two years", including £150,000 for a new carpet at the passport office in Liverpool.

Finally, it's a "£17m credit card splurge" that exercises the Sunday Times. It says that includes "stays at some of the world's finest hotels, pub lunches, jewellery and even a £70 bill for a bunny outfit".

Immigrants imminent

As the lifting of restrictions on immigration from Bulgaria and Romania gets ever closer, a number of papers continue to warn of the likely trouble it will bring.

There's emotive language in the Sunday Express, which describes the "swarms" coming our way - and among them, it points out, could be some of "Interpol's most-wanted". The paper's leader attacks David Cameron for failing to extend the restrictions "on these impoverished, crime-ridden and corrupt states".

The Mail on Sunday says a report warning of the possible "strain on public services" and "social cohesion issues" has "remained effectively secret" until the paper uncovered it. Its leader calls this "foolish" and says "trying to suppress debate on this subject only helps trouble makers and rabble-rousers, who are then free to exaggerate and spread panic".

On a different note, but still linked to migration, is the Sunday Telegraph's lead story on so-called maternity tourism. It says the NHS "cannot afford to function as the world's maternity ward" and must ensure that "sensible, appropriate charges" are levied on those who come here purely to use it.

Speaking of charges - although not necessarily sensible ones - the Daily Star Sunday says airlines are "cashing in on the thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians" planning to travel by charging £600 to £900 for one-way flights to London. The paper claims this is "six times the cost of flying in the other direction".

Despite all this negativity, one paper - the Observer - has a more positive headline. It says a poll shows immigrants "will be welcomed by more than two-thirds of Britons if they integrate and work hard".

Image caption Protests in Turkey against embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are pictured in several papers

'What went wrong?'

With more bad weather forecast, the anger continues in the papers at the plight of those hit by the last batch over Christmas.

Image caption Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart - and his war wounds - feature widely on Sunday

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, writing in the Sun on Sunday, says MPs "need to haul power and airport bosses before them to explain what the hell went wrong". "They should be fined until it hurts," she adds.

The Sunday Times has the Environment Agency in its sights. It says it stands accused of "putting businesses before residents" by ordering the opening of sluice gates in the Kent village of Yalding "that left homes in 5ft of water" in order to protect industrial units and high street stores.

The Sunday Express, meanwhile, takes aim squarely at David Cameron, telling him: "There is no such thing as taking a holiday from public duty."

Making people click

Sunday Telegraph - The year ahead: ten amazing science and technology innovations coming up in 2014

Observer - Grand Theft Auto V makes it cool to pick up - even kill - prostitutes

Sunday Mirror - Newcastle's Tim Krul is No.1 transfer target for Napoli boss Rafa Benitez

Independent on Sunday - Brain function 'boosted for days after reading a novel'