Stephen Lawrence police's 'sickening betrayal', Max Clifford trial and Crufts

Stephen Lawrence

Newspapers react to the report into police handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.

Drink problems

A pint of beer

"Price of pint up 2,000%," is a headline in the Daily Star, citing Lloyds Bank research. "Forget house prices," says the Daily Telegraph as it describes the "great beer bubble" that's seen the price of a pint of lager go up from 14p in 1973 to £2.87 last year. Houses, by comparison, cost 1,699% more than they did 40 years ago. "It's enough to drive you to drink... if you can afford it," says the broadsheet's editorial.

Meanwhile, several papers highlight the story of an 18-year-old who suffered three heart attacks and went into a medically induced coma after sinking 10 Jagerbombs in two hours. The Mail explains the "potent cocktail" mixes the strong spirit of Jagermeister with a caffeine hit through its energy drink mixer. "Caffeine increases blood pressure and heart rate," it says, adding that it overrides sleepiness and delays feelings of drunkenness, causing people to drink more.

Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, writes in the Mirror that young people can have an exaggerated response to caffeine and that it can trigger heart palpitations in adults.

The Daily Telegraph describes the victim's mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, responding in the House of Lords to confirmation the Metropolitan Police had planted a spy in her family's "camp" to "smear" them.

"She was dignity defined as she held her tears in check and spoke quietly of '21 years of struggle' to get to the truth about Scotland Yard's shameful behaviour over her son Stephen's murder," the paper says.

The Daily Mail says the report exposed "two decades of shameful police lies" about the case, pointing out that corruption claims against one investigating officer were never brought to light at the time of the last public inquiry.

Noting that Home Secretary Theresa May said the truth was "still emerging", Donald MacIntyre writes in the Independent: "Her choice of tense was judicious. Incredibly, thanks to a prolonged Metropolitan Police campaign of cover-up, lies and what [former Home Secretary] Jack Straw called 'venality, probably in the upper reaches' of the force, we still don't yet know the full story of how its officers obstructed justice."

The Times profiles the Special Demonstration Squad that was used to target the Lawrence family, describing it as a "secretive outfit" whose members "operated in the shadows for 40 years" and embedded themselves with extremist groups. The paper says hundreds of political activists could have their convictions quashed amid concerns they are unsafe, with a review examining whether SDS officers gave false evidence to courts in the belief they were exempt from the usual rules of evidence disclosure.

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Questions remain

The Mail - which takes readers through its 17-year campaign for justice for the Lawrence family - prints a set of questions it says police chiefs must answer in light of the review's evidence.

No X Factor?

Promotional image featuring actors from I Can't Sing!

Simon Cowell faces a backlash from X Factor colleagues who are ridiculed in a musical penned by comedian Harry Hill, according to the Daily Mirror. It says Cowell is a financial backer of the £6m production I Can't Sing!, featuring characters such as "needy" host, Liam O'Deary - apparently based on the real show's host Dermot O'Leary - and Louis, a judge who's obsessed with Irish boy bands.

Cowell, it says, agreed not to interfere with the script despite not coming off unscathed. However, the Independent's Jamie Merrill sat through a "disastrous" preview - plagued by delays - to find "ego-boosting lyrics dedicated to Cowell's brilliance", a "less-than-hilarious" plot and low points including "Cowell descending to earth like the Messiah on a giant cloud".

One, to former Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens, reads: "What did you know about the decision to pulp key documents on corruption relating to the Lawrence case?"

In its editorial column, the Times says: "The slow drip of revelations, even now, suggests a Met which has been far more concerned with appearing to reform than with actually doing so."

Paul Lewis, in the Guardian, says the Met "obfuscated and blocked at every turn" during the paper's three-year investigation into claims by one former SDS officer who spoke about its activities.

Looking ahead to a new independent inquiry, he says: "This time, perhaps, the truth will come out."

The Independent says: "At the end of this next chapter we should move closer to justice, and to determining what went wrong with so many of the previous inquiries that were supposed to set matters straight.

"The Lawrences are to go through the mill once again."

The Telegraph argues: "While an inquiry may add to our store of knowledge it will do little to bring the transgressors to book.

"We risk spending millions of pounds on legal fees, simply to wait years to learn what we already knew - or to be told of personal and institutional failings that have long since been remedied or become irrelevant."

But the Mail disagrees, saying: "While this expensive inquiry could take years to complete, the Lawrence family deserve nothing less.

"The truth must be unearthed and the guilty punished."

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Prince Harry playing volleyball "Volley good show by Harry," is how the Daily Express describes the prince's Invictus Games project for injured former servicemen, which will take place in September in east London's Olympic Park.
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Immigration 'own goal'

As the debate over immigration rumbles on, the Financial Times views the new minister in charge of the issue as having scored an "own goal" in his first speech.

After James Brokenshire criticised a "wealthy metropolitan elite" for using cheap overseas labour, it emerged that David Cameron had hired two nannies from outside the EU.

The PM was accused of double standards, says the Times, which reports a No 10 spokesman as saying: "We are not against people who want to come here, work hard and get on. The prime minister would include his nanny as someone who wants to work hard and get on."

His Lib Dem deputy was also dragged into the row, notes the Mail. Nick Clegg initially told his weekly radio phone-in that he wasn't going to "get into" details of his home life but later told listeners he had a "lady who has a Belgian passport" to help out, the paper says.

Telegraph cartoonist Matt sums up the situation by sketching an au pair feeding the children of a couple, who are leaving the house, with the MP father telling her: "Tsvetelina, after that, I want you to write a speech for me on immigration control."

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Catwalk dogs
Composite image of dogs in onesies and coats at Crufts

Judges at Crufts may be used to judging the quality of a dog's coat but probably not its "onesie".

However, that's exactly what reporters saw on show as it got under way in Birmingham. "Entries for the first day of the annual event came dressed from muzzle to paw in pet-chic style," says Tom Morgan, in the Daily Express, describing waterproof coats and booties.

Loaded magazine

A magazine containing an article entitled "how to build a bomb while you wait for your flight," was withdrawn from sale at a newsagent in London's Heathrow Airport, says the Sun. The paper claims credit for alerting airport authorities to the feature, which lists £120 of items that can be bought in duty free shops airside and explains how to piece them together into a suitcase bomb, shotgun and crossbow. It quotes an explosives specialist calling it a "handbook for terrorists".

The Mail's David Wilkes says: "With early morning drizzle falling, owners took great pains to avoid those well-groomed coats getting splashed and mucky in the puddles. Many dogs turned up in colourful 'onesies', turning the entrance of the event at the NEC in Birmingham into something of a four-legged fashion show."

The Guardian dispatched Steven Morris to report from the show, which he described as "an extraordinary assault on the senses, not all of them pleasant".

"This is not the place to be if you don't like the sounds of barking, yapping or growling," he writes, adding that slobber towels are available - priced £3.50 - for anyone drooled on by a newfoundland.

The Daily Mirror finds space for the subject in its editorial column, but doesn't reckon the pets are too keen on their attire, writing: "Looking at the hangdog expressions of the entrants yesterday, the nation's mongrels may well think: 'I'm glad I'm not pedigree, chum.'"

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