Newspaper headlines: Hormone replacement therapy research and China in focus

  • 19 October 2015

There's a mixed bag of stories on Monday's front pages but many papers look ahead to this week's state visit by China's president, Xi Jinping.

A profile in the Times says he's used his three years as Communist Party chief to become China's most powerful and popular leader since Deng Xiaoping, whom the Queen met in Beijing in 1986.

The paper says the man known as "Uncle Xi" to his many fans has consolidated power more quickly and effectively than his predecessors - and is tougher on dissent, to make sure the party keeps its monopoly on power.

Kevin Maguire uses his Daily Mirror column to blame cheap Chinese imports for the troubles of the British Steel industry, and point the finger at Chancellor George Osborne for doing nothing about it.

However, Dominic Lawson writes in the Daily Mail that we have only ourselves to blame: our "idiotic leaders" have "sabotaged" the steel industry he says, because of their "obsession" with being green. Successive British governments have quite deliberately driven up the single most significant cost - energy, he argues.

'Shameless disgrace'

The Sun has worries of its own about energy prices, describing the six big power companies as a "shameless disgrace". "The price they pay for gas and electricity has plummeted," the paper says in an editorial, "yet consumers won't see a single saving."

It argues: "If the government is serious about helping hard-working Brits keep more of the money they earn, they need to bring the rip-off power barons to heel".

The Telegraph warns shoppers of a nightmare on the High Street this Halloween. Rain has apparently ruined the pumpkin crop, pushing yields down, and prices up.

And there is news in the Times to make cricket purists wince. It reports that the sport's governing body is to consider introducing a ball that is neither dark red nor even the white seen in some Test matches, to allow play to continue in poor light.

Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council Dave Richardson explains: "Long-term, we will probably end up with a ball that is pink or greeny-yellow."

Making people click

Mail: Squalor of the Playboy Mansion: Hugh Hefner, 89, lives in decaying house of damp rooms and stained mattresses where there are more nurses than bunny girls

FT: Barack Obama's painful Afghan journey

Times: Grocery regulator blows the cover of supplier in dispute

Telegraph: Six Nations must shift from brawn to brain

Guardian: Man United stars Neville and Giggs tell hotel squatters: stay for winter