Ebola fears, sanctions against Russia, migrant crackdown and student fees

Suggestions that the deadly virus Ebola could reach British shores lead to front-page headlines.

Both the Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph carry grim messages from officials at Public Health England, which has warned all doctors to "remain vigilant for unexplained illness" in those who have visited West Africa, where more than 600 people have died after contracting the disease.

Reds fight back

Red squirrel

The UK's native red squirrel is making a comeback in areas where they've not been seen for years, reports the Daily Telegraph. Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels project has received reports of the squirrels reappearing in parts of Aberdeen and Tayside, it says.

The paper says populations are also thought to be flourishing in the north-east of England, thanks to efforts to remove their grey cousins from parks and gardens. The greys were imported from America in the 19th Century and are immune to a pox they carry that sent the red population into decline and left them confined to a few small pockets in the UK.

The Daily Express says UK airlines are "on alert" after it was revealed that a man was allowed to travel by two separate jets from Liberia to the major international travel hub of Lagos, Nigeria, despite suffering symptoms of the disease.

On its front page, the Telegraph spells out the symptoms and how it transfers from fruit bats to humans, before spreading through the population. The Sun says a man in Birmingham was being tested to find out whether he contracted the virus. "He was rushed to hospital on Monday after feeling 'feverish' on a flight back to the Midlands from Benin, Nigeria, via Paris," it says.

However, in the Independent, Leigh Cowart points out that the "biological doomsday device that conspires with the human body to bring death in the most gruesome fashion" - namely both internal and external bleeding - has claimed fewer than 3,000 victims over nearly 40 years. Despite this, she writes, it has still "earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination".

Telegraph writer Tom Chivers hears from doctors who are trying to win the trust of communities by building relationships with local faith healers who can deliver the message that the virus can be relatively easy to combat because it travels through body fluids.

"As unexciting as it sounds, the way the disease will be defeated will probably not be marvellous medical breakthroughs, but getting more people to wash their hands."

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'No pain, no gain'
President Vladimir Putin

Europe's latest round of sanctions against Russia, imposed over suspicions that Moscow supplied arms used by Ukrainian rebels to shoot down a passenger jet, make the front page of the Financial Times.

And the papers are unanimous in describing the measures - said to target Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors - as the toughest since the end of the Cold War. Alongside its report, the Mail carries comments from Britain's ambassador to the US, Sir Peter Westmacott, reportedly describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as "thuggish, dishonest and reckless", and having made a "wrong call" by supporting rebels.

Energy company BP, which has a stake in Russian firm Rosneft, has warned that its business will be affected, notes the FT. But the paper adds: "Potentially more worrying for the fragile European economic recovery were signs that even companies not immediately affected by the sanctions could also feel the pain." The paper quotes as an example falling Russian sales figures from French carmaker Renault.

However, the Times's editorial column warns that Europe must be prepared to make sacrifices: "There will be no gain in the new, tougher strategy towards Russia without pain."

The FT says the mood in Moscow had already taken a hit before the latest sanctions were agreed: "Financing conditions for Russian companies were fast deteriorating, according to investors and bankers, as the windows to foreign capital appeared to be closing." However, it adds: "Economists argue that Moscow's hefty foreign exchange reserves, its healthy fiscal position and the boost exports and oil and gas revenues are receiving from the weaker rouble put the government in a relatively safe position to manage the economy."

Hamish McRae, in the Independent, writes: "Sanctions will not suddenly bring Russia to its knees... [they will] make it impossible for Russia to escape the middle income trap - stop it from turning into a fully developed economy, with all the wealth and benefits that western Europe enjoys."

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Loan danger?
Students demonstrating against increases in tuition fees in November 2010

"Student fees set to rise again," announces the front page of the i. It explains that plans being drawn up by the Conservatives could allow universities to charge more than £9,000 a year in return for taking on student loan debts.

Independent education editor Richard Garner says headlines suggesting more than 40% of student loans are likely to remain unpaid have provided an incentive for ministers to ship over the debt to the institutions. But he argues that it would "lead to a two-tier funding system", with universities which cater for the most disadvantaged students most likely to be saddled with debt.

However, the Daily Telegraph suggests: "[Universities] might work more closely with their students to ensure that they find employment quicker and with prospects of better remuneration." Equally, though, it notes warnings from some academics that it could lead to the scrapping of courses in arts, nursing or teaching - where graduates may expect lower remuneration - and adds: "It would be tragic if it meant fewer humanities courses being offered by institutions of quality."

Meanwhile, in the Times, Alice Thomson complains that after studying for years and accruing tens of thousands of pounds in debt, thirtysomethings could end up living at home and "still unable to make their own decisions in life" because of parents' refusal to let their children grow up.

Quoting a history don's description of parents sending supermarket deliveries of orange juice and pain au chocolat, she grumbles: "No-one lives off Pot Noodles and Double Deckers any more... The Young Ones have been replaced by the Mollycoddled Ones."

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Crackdown or cop-out?
David Cameron speaks to Paul Wylie, director for London and South region of Home Office Immigration Enforcement

For a second day, the papers feature plenty of tough talk from the prime minister on the subject of migrants entering the UK.

"PM tells illegal migrants: We'll find you...and send you home," is the Daily Express's headline, alongside photos of a dawn raid in Berkshire. However, the paper notes that David Cameron's plan to halve the period during which incomers can claim out-of-work benefits to three months could fall foul of EU laws.

The Daily Star likes the PM's stern words but says: "This time the Government must follow them through. No more empty promises."

In any case, reports the Mail, the measures will save just £100m a year - a figure "dwarfed" by the £5bn annual bill for tax credits awarded to migrant workers on low wages. Its home affairs editor James Slack examines Mr Cameron's claims against the reality of the situation, while Sue Reid reports from Warsaw on the case of a 10-year-old boy whose parents still receive UK child benefit, despite him having left Britain to return to his native Poland two years ago.

And the Sun declares the migrant "crackdown" to be a "cop-out". It argues: "The PM cannot meaningfully tackle soaring immigration without winning back from the EU our power to limit their numbers, thus easing pressure on schools and hospitals."

Cartoonists give their own take on the measures, with the Times's Peter Brookes picturing Mr Cameron as John Bull, holding a snarling bulldog and declaring: "I'm putting the rant back into migrant." Dave Brown, in the Independent, shows the PM kicking an immigrant out of the country, while his backside is burned by the lit cigarette of UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

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Big sulk?
Usain Bolt looking glum at a press conference

As the medals rack up for the home nations at Glasgow's Commonwealth Games, there remains as much interest in events away from the sporting arenas.

Prince Harry is pictured emulating his grandmother, the Queen, by "photobombing" a party of New Zealand team officials at the Tollcross swimming centre in the Sun, while the Telegraph enjoys images of the Duchess of Cambridge taking part in a novelty event involving jumping over some tin cans in a pair of high wedges.

But while the royals were pictured sharing a joke with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who's limiting himself to a place in the 4x100m relay squad at these Games, it seems the 100m and 200m world record-holder hasn't had much to smile about since arriving on Scottish soil.

"Bolt said that he was 'not really' having fun in Scotland and felt the Games were 'a bit s***'," reports the Times's Katie Gibbons. "Just as well that he can run, because he won't be able to hide after that controversial remark," she suggests.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that appearing as a giant chocolate teacake in one of the opening ceremony's more memorable moments could mean a sticky end to a dancer's day job at a nursery. The 25-year-old had told bosses she was off sick with tonsillitis, only for colleagues to single her out in the media coverage of the event.

"Perhaps no one had told her that when you've pulled a sickie, you really ought to keep a low profile," the paper suggests.

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Making people click

Guardian: Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you?

Telegraph: 'This has been worst period of my life' - Stephen Gerrard

Times: Inside the court of President Putin: no extravagance, only loneliness

Metro: Photo-booth time machine as couple take pics each year

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