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The Papers blog
10 July 2014 Last updated at 06:11

PM's strike 'crackdown' - front pages

Daily Telegraph front page, 10/7/14 David Cameron's pledge to reform strike laws to ban unlimited "rolling" industrial action based on a single vote makes some front pages. The Daily Telegraph says Thursday's teachers' strike will prevent a million pupils attending class.
The i front page, 10/7/14 The i says the prime minister's vow comes as workers across the public sector, including health staff, council officials and firefighters, walk out in protest over a range of issues, including pay, pensions, jobs and spending cuts.
Guardian front page, 10/7/14 But some union leaders have accused the PM of being a "bully" for saying a future Conservative government would legislate to introduce minimum turnout thresholds in future ballots, reports the Guardian.
Daily Mirror front page, 10/7/14 Some of the UK's biggest celebrities will face huge tax bills as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pursues investors in what it sees as a £5.1bn tax avoidance scheme. None of those pictured have commented on the matter.
Metro front page, 10/7/14 Singer Katie Melua has been criticised by charity Christian Aid for participating in the tax scheme, having previously spoken out on tax avoidance, reports the Metro. Melua's spokesman says she has now paid her tax liability in full.
The Times front page, 10/7/14 However, the Times reports that at least 26 investors in the scheme will be "let off" being pursued for millions of pounds, after HMRC inspectors failed to challenge their tax returns within the time limit required by law.
Independent front page, 10/7/14 The Foreign Office is the subject of the Independent's scrutiny. The paper claims files that could have exposed British knowledge of flights linked to torture of US detainees have been destroyed. The Foreign Office is reportedly investigating.
Financial Times front page, 10/7/14 Days before an MPs' report is expected to criticise the privatisation of Royal Mail as having proven poor value for the taxpayer, the government has ordered a review of the sale, according to the Financial Times.
Daily Mail front page, 10/7/14 The Daily Mail carries comments from a Dutch regulator of assisted suicide. Theo Boer warned MPs and peers of a "surge in deaths" if Parliament allows doctors to give deadly drugs to patients, the paper says.
The Sun front page, 10/7/14 A chef won £2,500 after correctly predicting Germany's 7-1 hammering of Brazil, the Sun reports. John Moore, from east London, placed a £5 bet on the result having had "hunches" about the numbers one and seven, it says.
Daily Express front page, 10/7/14 Following four simple rules - eating fruit, staying active, limiting alcohol and shunning cigarettes - can help you "live an extra 10 years", according to the Daily Express's report of a scientific study.
Daily Star front page, 10/7/14 The Daily Star carries comments from a contestant on TV's Big Brother, Luisa Zissman, who defends a woman filmed performing sex acts on 24 men in a Magaluf nightclub.

As public sector unions take what's billed as the most significant industrial action "since the general strike of 1926", David Cameron's "crackdown" on strikes is the day's main story.

The PM "pledged to overhaul an archaic law" which has allowed teachers to walk out for the third time this year, based on the results of a ballot of a quarter of NUT members conducted two years ago, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Given a bum steer?

Simon Cowell

X Factor judge Simon Cowell walked into a foot care centre and asked for colonic irrigation, only to be told the clinic he wanted was further up the road, according to the Sun. Under the headline "Irritable Cowell Syndrome," it quotes staff at a west London reflexology centre saying the music mogul had been dropped off by limo outside the wrong door.

Along with banning such "rolling" strikes, Mr Cameron says a future Conservative government would require at least 50% of union members to vote in favour of a strike in order for it to be considered lawful, says the Sun. It describes the pledge as a "kick in the ballots" for unions and the paper's editorial argues that a minority of "NUT cases" who push for strikes "foist their extremist agenda on the majority".

Tory chairman Grant Shapps writes in the Daily Express that such "union extremists are trying to cause harm not just to our children but also to their hard-working parents". The Daily Mail publishes a table highlighting when the ballots for the current action were taken, complete with their results and turnouts, estimating that none gathered more than 50% support.

However, the Guardian quotes Unite union leader Len McCluskey reminding the PM: "Not a single member of his cabinet won over 50% of the vote in the 2010 election." And the Daily Mirror argues: "If your child's school is shut today by a strike, blame Michael Gove... we regret the inconvenience to families. But responsibility rests with the coalition driving down living standards."

While his paper reminds readers the government "found money to fund a tax cut for the PM's friends", Mirror columnist Paul Routledge says: "Enough of the pay freezes, job cuts, redundancies, privatisation, attacks on pensions and propaganda against those who work for us."

In any case, the Independent believes the proposed additional thresholds are "unnecessary" given the result of the action will be "only a mild inconvenience". It says the strikers have a point that public services have been damaged but says an inconvenient truth for unions may be that "the population as a whole has been more convinced by the arguments in favour of cuts and austerity than we might care to admit".

Trading fire
An Isreali defence missile fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv on 9 July

"Hamas rockets strike at Israel's nuclear reactor," reads the Times's headline on the latest in the Gaza conflict, which left 50 Palestinians dead as Jerusalem intensified attacks on the Palestinian militants.

Two Hamas rockets landed near a facility in the Negev desert, where Israel is believed to store its nuclear arms, the paper says. It points out that for the first time Hamas has more accurate Syrian-built rockets, with a longer range than its previous armaments. Jerusalem has "prepared hundreds of bomb shelters" after its Iron Dome air defence system intercepted four rockets bound for the city, reports the Guardian.

Despite the weapons upgrade, Roger Boyes - also in the Times - describes Hamas as "broke and divided" as a result of Egypt's crackdown on its Muslim Brotherhood allies and loss of finance from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It's gambling, he says, on a "limited war" reinvigorating Arab support. In its response, Israel "will have to tread a fine line between punishing Hamas and creating a power vacuum that could allow groups linked to al-Qaeda to take its place", according to analysts quoted in the Telegraph.

Inna Lavareva reports in the Telegraph the terror of Israeli families in Sderot during rocket attacks. "You feel so helpless and so exposed," says one mother caught in the street with no shelter, who dived atop three of her children in a bid to protect them. From Gaza's Beit Hanoun, meanwhile, Robert Tait reports "scenes of hysterical grieving" as neighbours mourn the death of a suspected Islamic Jihad member and five relatives. "They usually fire a warning rocket to let the people escape but this was sudden," says one.

As Israel talks of stepping up military operations, the Guardian finds people in Gaza City stocking up on food "not only for the Ramadan Iftar meal, but against the fear of what might happen next if there is a ground incursion". Few there are in doubt as to what that would mean, given that in the last such exercise, 1,400 Palestinians - including 300 children - were killed, the report says.

Above a photograph showing a man carrying the body of a child, the Independent's front-page headline reads: "The same old story: innocents pay the price of Gaza's tragedy." Inside, Robert Fisk argues that the conflict is not about the reported triggers such as the "foul murder" of three Israeli students in the West Bank or that of a Palestinian in east Jerusalem, but: "As usual, it's about land."

Brazil Jaggered?
Brazil supporters hold a poster depicting Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger wearing a Germany shirt prior to the World Cup semi-final

Sports writers are still analysing Brazil's 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany in football's World Cup. And while the Daily Mirror reports that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has leapt to the defence of his former central defender David Luiz, who was roundly criticised for his display, the Telegraph has identified a new scapegoat.

"Brazilians round on Sir Mick and blame the Curse of Jagger," says the broadsheet, explaining that "an extraordinary run of bad luck over the course of the past two World Cups has seen Sir Mick witnessing the exit of four teams he was supporting". As Jagger attended the game with the son he had by a Brazilian model, superstitious fans brought cardboard cut-outs of the Rolling Stone wearing a Germany kit in the hope of transferring the bad luck of a man now known as Pe Frio, or "Cold Feet" - the local term for a jinx.

Sir Mick's having none of it, according to the Sun, which quotes him joking: "I can take responsibility for the first German goal but not the other six." Still, the tabloid says the scoreline made one man's day. Unemployed chef John Moore made it onto the front page after his £5 bet on the correct result landed him £2,500. He'd apparently had "hunches" about the numbers one and seven.

He's probably celebrating with more gusto than the Germans, if the Times's commentary is correct. "Some victories, it seems, are too embarrassing to celebrate out loud," it says, noting the muted tone of the press. "Even the triumphalist mass circulation tabloid Bild strove not to be rude. 'Ohne Worte (Speechless)' was the main headline."

The Mirror reckons that the players were in on the same act. It interprets comments from defender Mats Hummels that at half time the German team "made it clear that we had to stay focused and not try to humiliate them" as a "shock pact not to showboat". For Brazil, the paper reckons, it was a "final insult".

Summer of setbacks
Chris Froome is collected by a Team Sky car after pulling out of Le Tour de France

The Brazilians should learn to "take it on the chin... like us Brits," reckons the Financial Times's Mathew Engel, as he describes the UK phlegmatically coming to terms with "the latest in an accumulation of minor sporting disasters".

He's referring to what is described by both the Mail and Telegraph as "Froome's agony", the decision of reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome to pull out injured before the end of the fifth stage after three crashes in two days. As the Sun points out, that wasn't before the "lionheart... rode for 150 miles with a busted wrist" in a bid to retain his crown.

The Independent's Alasdair Fotheringham says the champion's exit "exposes [his team] Sky's folly in lacking Plan B" - namely omitting 2012 champion Sir Bradley Wiggins from its line-up. However, team boss Sir Dave Brailsford insists he has no regrets about his team selection and the Telegraph's Tom Cary says that while Wiggins might have helped Froome to victory, critics are ignoring the fact that he "has not raced in a grand tour since his own slippery exit from last year's Giro d'Italia, and has not really trained for one since".

As the Guardian's William Fotheringham sees it, Froome's exit allows Sky to look to the future, both in Australian back-up leader Richie Porte and Welshman Geraint Thomas, whose "all-round ability, massive engine and tough mentality might make him a possible overall contender for the Tour in the style of Wiggins".

Despite the latest sporting setback, one or two papers can see the bright side. As the FT's Engel points out: "In Britain, there is always another sport in which to immerse ourselves. Why, it is golf's Open Championship next week. One of our lads might win that."

Failing that, the Daily Star has a crumb of comfort: "At least we still have the tiddly-winks world champion."

Making people click

Metro: Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal transfer confirmed… by his hairdresser

Telegraph: Islamist plot to blow up Eiffel Tower, Louvre and nuclear power plant foiled, say French police

Financial Times: Pentagon plans new tactics to deter China in South China Sea

Mirror: Beautiful Belgian fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands a modelling contract after THAT photo

'Annihilated, mullered' - the front pages

Fernandinho reacts after Germany score their third goal

Stunned, humiliated, blown apart, annihilated, mullered.

These are just some of the words used on front and back pages alike to describe the state of Brazil's football team - and the host nation's public - after their 7-1 World Cup semi-final hammering at the hands of Germany.

Striking images of the Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, face wrought with anguish, as he and the ball end up in the net appear in many papers. Others use photographs of David Luiz, the former Chelsea central defender who the Independent describes as going "from leader figure to symbol of national disgrace" in the space of 90 minutes.

"The images of him staring, startled, at what was happening are what many will take from this," writes the paper's Ewan MacKenna.

The Times's Matt Dickinson writes: "The ultimate humiliation was saved for last when the Brazil players gathered in the middle of the pitch and tried to applaud those supporters who had not already fled the embarrassment. As the jeers rolled off the terraces, the humbled members of the Selecao (selected team) were forced to abandon the gesture, many sobbing as they fled down the tunnel."

David Luiz in tears after his team's defeat

The Daily Mail's photo montage captures "the tears and tantrums of the fans" who, the Daily Mirror's Martin Lipton writes, had come "for the mother of all parties". He adds: "It ended with a nation in trauma. In shame. In humiliation." The Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward believes: "The indignity of this night will haunt Brazilian football for generations."

Reworking its famous "Swedes 2, Turnips 1" headline, the Sun marks the score "Rabbits 1 Herrs 7". Referring to the rapid scoring of Germany's second, third and fourth goals, the paper's Charlie Wyett says Brazil's World Cup "knees up... ended in the space of 179 seconds... A bit like the moment the music stops at a house party, the lights are flicked on and the police pile through the front door".

However, the papers also give due credit to the German team, with the Daily Express's headline using an ironic twist on the popular terrace chant to describe Joachim Low's side as "just like watching Brazil".

"By the end of this utterly mesmerising masterclass... the fans were chanting 'ole' - and that was the Brazilian fans. Germany were so fluid in their movement, so clinical in their finishing that even the vanquished had to applaud," writes the Telegraph's Henry Winter.

Meanwhile Joe Callaghan, in the Independent, wonders if Germany's "golden generation can finally shine" by winning the final.

Taxing questions

The Times takes aim at a number of "top businessmen, criminals, celebrities, QCs, NHS doctors, party donors and a judge" who it claims "tried to shelter £1.2bn through one of Britain's most aggressive tax avoidance schemes".

Not sexy?

Leonardo DiCaprio

Life may begin at 40 but the Daily Star has bad news for men approaching the landmark. Men lose their sex appeal at 39, it says, reporting the results of a study by a hair transplant centre. The paper points out that actor Leonardo DiCaprio has already reached that unfortunate age.

The Daily Mirror reckons the five-time Oscar nominee has been looking "uncannily" like Jack Nicholson recently. And it uses the likeness as an excuse to match up other celebrity Doppelgangers, including Isla Fisher and Amy Adams, and Jennifer Garner and Hilary Swank.

All were investors in the Liberty tax strategy, which was not illegal but faces an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) challenge against its methods, the paper says, noting that tax avoidance costs the economy "at least £5bn a year". Explaining why it believes such schemes to be "technically legal and still wrong", the paper's editorial argues: "It is unfair on fellow citizens because it imposes a higher burden on them, and it is especially unfair when avoidance schemes are available only to the wealthy."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says David Beckham is among 1,300 people, including many famous names, who've been warned they might have to pay a total of £520m to the taxman after investing in Ingenious Media, which funds films. "HM Revenue and Customs believes they were a means of dodging tax rather than a legitimate investment," says the paper, although it quotes Ingenious Media describing the payment demands as "indiscriminate and unfair". The Beckhams' spokesman reportedly says the couple have "never been involved in aggressive tax avoidance schemes".

And the taxman's determined his reach ought not to end at the rich and famous, according to the Mail, with HMRC demanding "intrusive new powers to spy on the last 12 months of everybody's bank statements". The paper adds: "This would mean sensitive personal details such as the size of families' monthly mortgage payments, how much they spend in restaurants and the amount saved into a tax-free nest egg are open to scrutiny."

The Mail has two cartoonists address the issues, with Pugh imagining a tax official glancing at a man's bank statement and telling him: "£9.99 on your wife's birthday present doesn't seem very much, does it?" Mac pictures a couple interrupting a break-in to be told by a man who's rummaging through their safe: "Burglar? Certainly not - I'm the local unpaid taxes collector."

Migrants and jobs
An airport Customs sign directing arrivals from the EU towards a queue marked "nothing to declare"

"Migrants do take our jobs," is the unequivocal headline on the Daily Express's front page. Reporting the results of a survey by the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee, it tells readers: "Britons are losing out to foreign workers with one in six low-skilled jobs now held by an immigrant."

Inside, the paper's editorial argues: "The figures really do speak for themselves, loudly, clearly and conclusively."

However, after digesting the same report, the Independent's headline sets out: "The truth about immigration: no impact on jobs, welfare or crime." The paper's Nigel Morris writes: "Sustained immigration over the last 20 years has not harmed British workers' chances of finding a job and has only had a minimal impact on wage levels." The Guardian's interpretation agrees that "there is no strong evidence that new EU migrants have undermined the job prospects of Britain's school-leavers".

However, noting that there are now about 1.3 million people aged 16 to 24 who are not in full-time education or working, the Daily Mail says migrants get jobs because school leavers lack "basic life skills". It says the report identified that "businesses have had to turn to workers from overseas who are better qualified, more reliable, confident and - unlike young Britons - have the good 'manners' needed to work in shops".

"Unless school standards improve - and soon - Brits are going to carry on losing jobs to immigrants for years to come," argues the Sun, in its editorial column. A knock-on effect of immigration is reported by the Telegraph, which says there is "a negative impact on house prices when foreigners move to areas of the country previously dominated by British citizens".

Meanwhile, the Financial Times points out that the report suggested EU migrants had made a £22bn net contribution to UK public finances. But it adds: "The study warned that many migrant workers in agriculture, hospitality and construction were being mistreated by employers and paid less than the minimum wage because of lax enforcement of rules."

Selling up

A couple of former maths teachers who built up one of the country's largest buy-to-let property portfolios are selling the lot, with an eye to an estimated profit of £200m, reports the Financial Times. They'd originally intended to sell in 2008, only for the market to crash, the paper says.

"In the mid-2000s they were at one point buying houses at the rate of one a day," recalls the Mail. "Their properties generate annual rental income of around £12million," it reports, adding that the government is likely to net about £30m in capital gains tax on the sale.

The couple are reportedly selling because house price rises "can't go on for ever". However, the Daily Express can't see any prospect of them ending any time soon. It reports research suggesting an ordinary three-bed semi in the UK will cost the best part of £330,000 by 2020.

Meanwhile, the Times is among the papers highlighting the prospect of owning a 28-bedroom Devon mansion, complete with a ballroom, 19 reception rooms and eight bathrooms, for £500,000. Alternatively, it points out, if you had the cash, you could blow it all on a garage in Kensington, west London.

Making people click

Daily Mail: £25m Voice of an Angel sensation Charlotte Church reveals she will 'have to work' for the rest of her adult life now her millions have 'dried up'

Times: Israel on brink of Gaza invasion as rockets rain down

Guardian: Women like sex. Stop making 'health' excuses for why we use birth control

Mirror: Riot police move in amid violent scenes on Copacabana beach as Brazil humiliated 7-1 by Germany

'Biggest ever' child sex inquiry - papers

Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May's launch of inquiries into the way child sex abuse claims were handled in Westminster and the wider society dominate the front pages.

As Times sketchwriter Ann Treneman saw it, Mrs May announced two things. "The first was a review of a previous review, which would be comical if it were not so serious, as to what happened to 114 files lost by the Home Office. The second was a super-inquiry into child abuse so over-arching that it is the parliamentary equivalent of a rainbow but also so vague that trying to categorise it is like touching air."

The Daily Mail's James Slack sets out some of the detail, saying the inquiry is expected to last at least two years and cost millions of pounds. A panel of experts, he says, "will initially be tasked with trawling over mountains of evidence of how children were not properly protected from sexual predators".

The Daily Mirror complains that the inquiry will not be judge-led. "Mr Cameron appointed a judge, Lord [Justice] Leveson, to scrutinise the media. He should have done the same in this case and picked a senior legal figure to examine what most people will consider are far more heinous crimes."

Palace of Westminster at dusk

Alan Travis, in the Guardian, explains that this is because it aims to "complement, not undermine" the various criminal investigations into the matters. But he adds that it will "have powers to request all government papers, including MI5 and special branch files... and intriguingly, it will be able to take evidence including from the political parties' whips offices, which are said to hold the darkest secrets of Westminster".

The Telegraph notes that it was mentioned in the Commons that one former Conservative whip, Tim Fortescue, had told the BBC in the 1990s that party whips might not disclose certain behaviour of colleagues including that "involving small boys".

The Independent's Steve Richards writes: "Context does not excuse, but is part of the explanation. I raise the possibility that casual complacency might have played a part because I recall how we as journalists responded to various rumours of sex scandals involving senior politicians in the 1980s. We did not take them very seriously. We would do now."

In the Sun, Antonella Lazzeri remembers interviewing rent boys in the 1980s - many who had run away from sexual abuse in children's homes - who told her they would be "taken to a flat or a hotel and subjected to virtually every act imaginable".

Meanwhile the Metro notes David Cameron's promise that the inquiry would leave "no stone unturned". The Independent's cartoonist Dave Brown imagines the prime minister using a magnifying glass to peer under rocks, with a host of demon eyes peering out from under a huge, rock-shaped Palace of Westminster behind him.

Mac, in the Daily Mail, sketches two Home Office officials reading reports about Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile. "Disgusting. How did they get away with it for so long?" one asks, as he and his colleague sit elevated because of a pile of child abuse dossiers swept under the carpet.

Cycling in London
Spectators take pictures of the podium ceremony of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race

The Tour de France fever that spread through Britain for a third day is captured by the press, with the Daily Star declaring the finish of the stage from Cambridge to the Mall at Buckingham Palace a "French revolution on London streets".

The other Samuel L

Samuel L Jackson

The Express is among the papers enjoying the tale of driving instructor Samuel Jackson, who became a Twitter sensation after tactically positioning the "L" on the rooftop sign of his car between his names to match the name of the Hollywood actor (above).

The fuss prompted chat show host Graham Norton to set up a phone call between the Pulp Fiction actor and the other Mr Jackson, from Southport, Merseyside, who described the experience as "surreal", the paper says.

"We have taken the Tour de France to our hearts in a big way. What a magnificent event," says the Daily Express, which reports a £200m boost to the UK economy from hosting three stages. Robert Hardman, in the Mail, writes that: "For one chaotic afternoon, the spirit of that glorious bunting-draped Jubilee-Olympic summer of fun gripped London once more... Even the most experienced, hard-bottomed veterans of this 2,300-mile epic voiced astonishment at the delirious reception from les Anglais."

The Independent declares that Britain has retained the "yellow jersey for sport-watching" but as reporter Glenn Moore points out: "Most, in truth, will have spent a very long time waiting to see not very much. There is diverting entertainment to be had from waving at motorcycle outriders and cheering the sponsors' floats of the Tour Caravan, but the actual racers are come and gone in seconds."

David Brown, writing in the Times, reckons it was a "day in the life of a London cyclist" for the peloton, as various riders found themselves negotiating bus lane dividers, dodging tricky speed bumps and knocked to the ground by spectators. And the paper's diary, TMS, heard a parliamentary aide huff that the Westminster cafeterias hadn't entered the spirit of things in the way Yorkshirefolk had done, by failing to even manage a French onion soup. "But the staff did all take an extra-long lunch break to watch, which is quite French," it adds.

Matthew Engel, in the Financial Times, detected a "small hint of cultural cringe" in the host areas being so "thrilled that the French noticed their existence and said nice things about them". He added: "One transatlantic interviewer concluded his post-race conversation with the words 'See you on the mainland.' The mainland! That puts Little Britain in its place."

However, the Sun is determined that something should come of the excitement. "Now let's see that enthusiasm translated into something that will really make a difference. Get your bikes out of the shed - and get fit," it urges.

18th Century modernity
Models present creations for Christian Dior during the 2014/2015 Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection fashion show on 7 July, 2014

A little more than a fortnight past the summer solstice, fashion writers are already in autumn/winter mode as they wax lyrical about the Christian Dior collection at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.

Tartan barmy?

Scotland Rugby 7s Sean Lamont, Scott Wright and Lee Jones pose in the Commonwealth Games kit

There's not so much love for the recently unveiled tartan teamwear of Scotland's Commonwealth Games squad in the Daily Mirror. The paper quotes Twitter comments, best summed up by Kevin Murray's "Jings, crivvens and help ma boab". Its fashion director Amber Graafland adds: "They look like models from a 70s catalogue of 'highland fling' dressmaking patterns."

The Independent's Alexander Fury finds the festival "hanging heavy" with its 19th Century legacy and bound by rigid, codified rules on hand-construction. But he adds: "What [designer] Raf Simons did... was to show, with extraordinary finesse, that you can use history to invent the future."

Laura Craik, in the Times, agrees that the "18th Century references were unmistakeable, as was the inference from zippered boiler suits in shiny parachute silk". But she also reckons: "There was a 60s feel to the mini dresses in their pastel hues, and a 70s look to the flared trousers worn with long coats. There was also something of the 50s in the classic bar jackets, with a soupcon of 20s thrown in for good measure via the drop-waisted flapper dresses with their beaded skirts."

For the Guardian's Lauren Cochrane, Simons had put together "the fashion equivalent of a concept album" and found "something modern as the result". It was "perfect harmony" for the Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong, although she's as interested in the presence of South African actress Charlize Theron at the show. The Metro, meanwhile, notes that "her leathery faced lover", the actor Sean Penn, was very much in a "support role".

The Mail's focus is on Emma Watson, or rather the Harry Potter actress's "edgy" heels, rather than the latest fashions. It reckons she must have used a bit of Hogwart's magic to stay upright, given her shoes "featured a cut-out wedge heel and looked as though they would have tested the balance of a supermodel".

Page-turner or turnoff?
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks up at a customer as she signs copies of her new book at Waterstones bookshop on 3 July, 2014 in London

A Wisconsin professor claims his analysis of ebook reader's favourite passages - as referenced from the Kindle device's Popular Highlights tool - has identified the books "that many will take on holiday but few will ever finish", reports the Times.

And while the statistics suggest 98.5% of readers get to the end of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, the research indicates just 2.4% complete Thomas Piketty's tome on wealth and inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Even fewer - 1.9% - can reportedly stomach Hillary Clinton's memoir Hard Choices in full.

AN Wilson, writing in the Telegraph, is unsurprised, suggesting that "the summer holiday is not, for most of us, a time which is especially conducive to reading", and particularly not denser matter. "Although to be as well-read as possible is a sort of duty for any intelligent person, this does not mean that it is a duty to read Plato's Republic on a beach, or Proust by the poolside," he argues, while offering five more digestible alternatives to books better saved for a rainy day.

Meanwhile, the Guardian paints a bleak picture for the future of books in its report of a survey of 2,500 writers which suggested the median income last year was just £11,000, with only 11.5% of them earning their living solely from writing.

The paper says the figures support the theory of author Wilf Self, who said in May that "the literary novel as an artwork and a narrative art form central to our culture is indeed dying before our eyes".

Making people click

Daily Mirror: 'British' teenager killed after being thrown from roller-coaster called Hell at Benidorm theme park

Guardian: How is this painting 'pornographic' and 'disgusting'?

Times: British hospitality chief held over World Cup ticket scam

Telegraph: Dramatic near-miss at Barcelona airport

Financial Times: ECB under pressure to tackle 'crazy' euro

Were parliamentary paedophiles protected? - the front pages

Most of Monday's papers take on the story about claims of a "Westminster paedophile ring" from their Sunday counterparts.

Lord Tebbit Lord Tebbit told the Marr show that the culture of "protecting the establishment" was wrong

The Times is among the many news outlets that prominently feature Lord Tebbit's claims, made on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, that "there may well have been a cover up" shielding powerful people suspected of abusing children.

His comments come as the Home Office is accused of "sitting on evidence for 35 years", the paper continues.

Four potential new leads from 1979 have been passed to police, following a search of files.

The paper adds that "the four newly uncovered cases lacked credibility" according to civil servants who had been tasked with looking into the claims.

The Daily Mail says the affair is "extraordinary". It says Home Secretary Theresa May will face questions from MPs over accusations that "politicians, the police and even her own officials" have suppressed allegations of wrongdoing by VIPs for decades.

The paper says campaigners want to see a full "Hillsborough style" inquiry into the claims, with an independent board of experts scrutinising all the available documents.

In its opinion column, the Mail says David Cameron must act fast to set up an inquiry as "the stench of an establishment cover-up" is becoming "overpowering".

It points out that a full judicial inquiry and 195 police officers worked on the probe into hacking of phones and emails and payment of public officials by the press, yet only seven detectives are investigating the claims about politicians.

Feathers ruffled

A peacock

These reviews report all manner of animal stories, but this is the first time we have reported a peacock attack to our knowledge.

The Times says that a street in Stockport is being "terrorised" by peafowl.

One resident found five of the birds inside her home, and the droppings in the street which are "the size of a small dog's" are revolting residents.

The peacocks are thought to have escaped from a farm some years ago and are now breeding in the wild. "They are beautiful birds and I would never want harm to come to them, but I'm only 4ft 11. When one sits on my window ledge it's as tall as me," said local Jenny Gibson.

The paper writes: "Can the prime minister not see that what is alleged is the ugliest kind of corruption?

"For if these claims are true victims were doubly betrayed - first by their abusers, then by the criminal justice system supposed to protect them."

The Daily Mirror writes that the PM will be "on the wrong side of history" if he continues to duck calls for an inquiry.

"Once again, Mr Cameron's poor judgement is an issue as he goes against public opinion."

In the Sun, Trevor Kavanagh wonders what has happened to the 114 files of potential evidence missing from the Home Office.

"Someone, somewhere is on record as deciding to dispose of them. We need to know who. And why," he adds.

The Independent reveals that a dossier of accusations made against eight "prominent people" by the late MP Geoffrey Dickens had been passed to the director of public prosecutions in 1984, but these documents are also missing.

The Guardian's comment says "it is always possible that this case is the product of well-meaning but overheated imaginations."

But the paper adds: "But there is so much evidence from the continuing cases of historic sex abuse that shows how shame, humiliation, and fear of being disbelieved deter victims from coming forward."

The Daily Telegraph says police have tracked down one man who claims to have been sexually abused as a child by a "senior political figure"

But it says the man, who made a statement 30 years ago, has so far refused to give a formal interview to detectives.

Writing in the paper, Lord Tebbit says the process of inquiry must be followed to its conclusion regardless of whose "reputations it trashes".

"It is vital that the public feel able to trust their leaders again," he explains.

New steps

Plans to bring in measures which some have dubbed "a snooper's charter" make the lead story in the Guardian.

The paper says ministers are "poised" to pass emergency laws requiring phone companies to keep a log of everyone's calls, texts and internet usage.

The new proposals - prompted by the threat of domestic terrorism, partly posed by jihadists returning from Syria - could require "the retention of all data tracking everyone's use of mobile phones and the internet, including every web page visited", the paper says.

Parton's pledge

Dolly Parton at Glastonbury

Country star Dolly Parton could be taking more away from the Glastonbury Festival than good memories, the Sun reports.

The paper says the singer has promised to adopt a white lurcher found at the site if its owner cannot be found.

The animal was found in an abandoned tent after the crowds had departed, the paper adds, and is now being cared for by a Somerset animal sanctuary.

"I will take the dog home to America if nobody claims her within a reasonable time," Ms Parton told the paper.

The Guardian says the emergency legislation would require all-party support, but is viewed with some scepticism by Labour and Lib Dem MPs.

It says Labour would likely seek a "sunset clause" requiring the legislation to reviewed after a set period, while Lib Dems have vowed they will not back a return of the communications data bill, the original "snooper's charter" that was struck down in Parliament before it could be passed, in 2013.

The Guardian quotes a Home Office spokesperson as saying "the retention of communications data is absolutely fundamental to ensure law enforcement have the powers they need to investigate crime, protect the public and ensure national security.

"We are carefully considering the European Court of Justice's judgement on data retention and are currently examining potential new steps."

In its leader column, the Independent writes that "heightened anxiety about national security does not justify the hasty adoption of yet more anti-terrorist laws".

The paper continues "the point is that the authorities already possess laws aplenty to monitor people, and the powers of government to deal with terrorism have increased enormously in recent years.

"We are entitled to ask what more laws they truly need and whether it is worth paying the price for them.

"Invariably, each of the Acts nibbles away at individual freedoms and the right to privacy, stifles whistleblowers, stops the mouths of investigative journalists and silences probing questions."


The Daily Telegraph reports claims that some businesses in Scotland feel they have been "threatened with retribution" by the SNP for speaking against independence.

The claims will be aired in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, the paper says.

It adds that "intimidation" has come at the highest level, the firms claim: from the office of Alex Salmond, the First Minister.

A former head of the scotch whisky trade association claims an SNP politician "tried to tell the organisation to 'stay out' of the debate," the Telegraph adds.

Unidentified Scotch whisky bottling plant It has been claimed that some scotch whisky distillers have received "intimidating" approaches from pro-independence campaigners

The Scottish government tells the paper the claims are "totally false".

Alex Salmond crops up in the Independent, where he accuses David Cameron of "playing roulette" with Scotland's future in the EU.

In an article written for the paper, Mr Salmond says that support for EU membership is higher in Scotland than in the UK as a whole, and that the PM's attitude to the community risks dragging Scots "to the exit door" against their will.

"David Cameron's dance to that UKIP tune is a clear and present danger to countless thousands of jobs across Scotland today," Mr Salmond argues.

The Independent notes that support for independence rises to a level where it is neck-and-neck with those against a break-away in polls when Scottish voters are asked to envisage a post-EU Britain.

Still on Scotland, the Financial Times says the nation suffers a "large and persistent productivity gap with the rest of the UK".

Quoting research from Durham University Business School, it says Scotland's private sector was 11% less productive than the UK average over the last 20 years.

The FT says the findings suggest a post-independent Scotland "would have a lot of ground to make up" and productivity growth "is the biggest determinant of living standards".

The Scottish government tells the paper that Scotland is the third most productive part of the UK, after London and the south-east, but a "re-industrialised" Scotland would address any lag.


Once again, the progress of the Tour De France through Yorkshire captivates the papers.

A stunning picture of the riders struggling up Haworth's near-vertical main street is reproduced in many newspapers.

The Daily Mirror notes one jocular Tyke dialect sign that greeted the peloton as it climbed Sheffield's notoriously steep Jenkin Road: "Ey up, what's up with thee. I rode up this as a nipper."

Whilst welcoming the vast turnout of fans - at least two million turned out again on Sunday for Stage Two of the race - some riders have felt their ears, as well as leg muscles, are in danger.

British cyclist Geraint Thomas is quoted in the Mirror as saying "It was great to race on home roads but it is dangerous at times.

Spectators of the Tour De France in Yorkshire The owners of this spectating pooch clearly adjudged him to be "King of the Mountains"

"My ears are ringing: it was like being in a disco for four hours."

The Guardian pictures spectators wearing masks depicting former British cycling chief David Brailsford, one with polka-dot face paint, another in a Monty Python "Gumby" outfit and - even better in this writer's opinion - a dog wearing a yellow race leader's jersey.

Mr Brailsford will be pleased to learn of one Tour side effect chronicled by the paper - a renewed interest in cycling.

The paper quotes Sheffield spectator Ateeb Hassein, who says "my two friends haven't ridden a bike since they were kids, but after coming here they said they're going to start again."

The Daily Mail notes that "every village on yesterday's route had a street party atmosphere. Parish churches sold tea and cake, pubs held Tour De France beer festivals and farmers cashed in by turning fields into car parks and camp sites."

Spectator Greg Turner, from Staffordshire, tells the Mail: "People down south wouldn't do it like this."

The paper reports that even French tour legend Bernard Hinault was astonished by the numbers watching, even in remote moorland roads, and said he'd seen nothing like it for 40 years.

The Financial Times reports that the Tour's success has encouraged Wakefield council leader Peter Box to call for independence for Yorkshire.

The Daily Express's leader column hails the "colour and excitement" of the great race and eagerly awaits Monday's Cambridgeshire to London stage.

"Hopefully after today's stage, it won't be goodbye - just au revoir," it adds.

Making people click

Express: Vanessa Feltz "assaulted" by Rolf Harris

Star: Kim and Kanye's "unpaid hotel bill"

Times: BBC "loses balance over climate change"

Guardian: World's earliest erotic graffiti found in Greece

Sun: Mel B's "wild fling"

Missing child abuse files and Yorkshire's Tour - the papers

Claims of a "Westminster paedophile ring" and an "establishment cover-up" again make the national press, with the news of 114 missing Home Office files about an investigation into child abuse allegations.

Geoffrey Dickens Geoffrey Dickens compiled his dossier on paedophile ring claims in the 1980s, but had not seen any results at the time of his death in 1995.

The missing files - which are either "lost, destroyed or simply 'not found'" - relate to a Home Office investigation into allegations made in a dossier compiled by the late Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, the Sunday Telegraph says.

The dossier itself is now missing. It contained allegations which Mr Dickens said would "blow the lid off" the lives of rich and powerful child abusers, the paper reports.

It adds that Home Secretary Theresa May has been urged to "get involved" in the investigation into how her department came to lose the material.

In a feature on the Dickens dossier, the Sunday Times said the parliamentarian, who died in 1995, was a "colourful, rent-a-quote MP, who was often mocked for malapropism" but who "fought a serious and determined battle to protect children from sexual abuse".

The Times says Mr Dickens received a "backlash from fellow MPs" after using parliamentary privilege to name a senior British diplomat as a paedophile. The man was subsequently arrested.

The MP's son, Barry, tells the paper that because of his work on trying to uncover abusers his father received "many death threats" and that two burglaries took place in his constituency and London homes, but nothing of value was taken.

The Sunday People says Mr Dickens' name was found in a notebook owned by a man who was subsequently jailed for three murders. The killer had also been spotted near the Dickens' family home, Barry Dickens told the paper.

Simon Danczuk Simon Danczuk MP has kept the dossier issue in the public eye

In a related story in the People, MP Tom Watson who raised the issue of a paedophile ring in Westminster in a parliamentary hearing in 2012, said the Dickens dossier is a "tiny part of bigger allegations" and he called on David Cameron to set up an "overarching national inquiry" into the issue.

The Mail on Sunday carries claims that the names of 10 current and former politicians were in the documents Mr Dickens compiled.

In the paper, Simon Danczuk, the MP who exposed the late Cyril Smith as a child abuser, writes that "if MPs have harboured paedophiles, the damage to British democracy will be fatal".

Mr Danczuk says "in the higher echelons of party politics... my impression is there is little appetite to confront the abusers in their midst.

"The mood is defensive, the approach is dominated by silence. 'Move along, nothing to see here' or 'what is the point in raking all that up, old boy' is the attitude I have seen time after time."

In the Sunday Mirror, Mr Danczuk makes a plea to serving and retired police who have knowledge of earlier investigations into a Westminster paedophile ring to come forward.


"Tour De Force" is how the Daily Star Sunday describes the weekend's big sporting event in Yorkshire.

The paper says more than a million fans watched the Tour de France's "grand depart" from Leeds and the 198 riders progress through the picturesque Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate.

Big movies, big noise


Films are getting noisier, the Sun says - and it has the evidence to back that assertion up.

The paper reckons this year's blockbuster Godzilla (pictured above) clocks in at 119 decibels - the same as a passenger jet engine, while the latest X-Men flick is 110 decibels, as noisy as a pneumatic drill.

The peaks were recorded at "high impact" Imax cinemas , but even normal multiplexes concern campaigners.

Hearing loss expert Paul Breckel tells the paper "it's worth getting a seat away from the main speakers, or even using ear protection".

"The real winner had to be the Yorkshire Tourist board. It looked reet nice on TV," the paper comments.

The Observer doubles the spectator estimate to two million noting some of the sights riders in the peloton would observe on their progress: knitted cycling jersey bunting; French, English and British flags; yellow-sprayed bicycles; polka-dot-painted pubs and in one village, cardboard bikes in a graveyard.

French sports journalist Francois Thomazeu, writing in the paper, hails the British conversion to "knowing almost as much about the Tour" as the French, "perhaps, even a little more".

"Yesterday it seemed as though the whole of Yorkshire had left their homes to act as a guard of honour to the peloton.

"Will cycling really be coming home on Tuesday when the Tour heads back to France?" he muses before concluding, "I'm not so sure any more."

The Observer also profiles Gary Verity, the tourist chief responsible for floating the idea of bringing the Tour to his home county.

"What could we do in Yorkshire that would be globally massive?" had been his challenge, the paper says.

Whilst hailing the "Tour de Yorkshire", the Sunday Times predicts that "London could grind to a standstill" on Monday, when the race reaches the capital.

More than 100 schools have closed, hospitals along the route have cancelled all but emergency operations and much of central London will be closed between 10am and 6pm, it adds.

However, the upside, the paper says, is an estimated £100m economic bonus from the presence of the Tour.

'Vital services'

"The biggest crackdown on unions for 30 years" is being planned, according to a story in the Mail on Sunday.

The paper says the Conservatives are drawing up proposed legislation which will make it much harder for public sector workers to call a strike.

The paper says the moves come as education secretary Michael Gove "threw down the gauntlet" to teaching unions over planned strikes.

Street of shame?

Oxford St

Research has proved what many a London worker has long suspected: the capital's Oxford Street is the worst place in the world for diesel fume pollution.

The Sunday Times reports that the shopping thoroughfare has levels of nitrogen dioxide that are more than three times higher than the EU's safe limit.

The paper explains that the gas is produced by diesel engines and is linked to asthma and heart attacks.

The measurements are due to Oxford Street "being almost permanently congested with buses and taxis," the paper adds.

Union leaders say a planned walkout by up to a million public sector workers on Thursday could be the biggest downing of tools since the General Strike of 1926, the paper reports.

A Conservative source tells the paper "Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit pioneered the first wave of union reforms; now it is time to take the next step.

"It is wrong for workers in vital public services such as schools to walk out when the majority of members have not voted to do so.

"We hope to put an end to nearly all public sector strikes."

The paper notes that the Tories would have to win an outright majority in 2015 to implement the plans because of the opposition of their Lib Dem coalition partners.

And it quotes a Labour spokesman as saying "There is no justification for new laws to punish millions of trade unionists for exercising their right to protect schools and schoolchildren from unjustified cuts in standards and teachers' terms and conditions."

A poll in the Sun on Sunday suggests that just over half of people - 51% - think a strike should be called only if a majority of those eligible to vote for it are in favour.

However substantial majorities in the survey support the right of teachers and tube and train drivers to strike, although most oppose the right of police, firemen and nurses to stage walkouts.

Making people click

Independent: "Magaluf girl" - the media plumbs new depths

Telegraph: Al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul

Times: Tory peer quizzed over rape claims

Mirror: Harris's wife 'won't survive his imprisonment'

Star: Fearne Cotton's wedding

'Smiling sex predator' Rolf's sentence - papers

The imprisonment of two very different offenders features heavily in Saturday's papers.

While the downfall of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson for his part in phone-hacking at the paper makes some front pages, most focus on the jailing of entertainer Rolf Harris for child sex offences.

Once a widely-loved TV personality, he's branded a "predator" by both the Daily Telegraph and the Sun.

Rolf Harris in 1970

The latter records Harris's journey to jail, showing pictures of "an idyllic river trip in the morning sun" at 7am, from his Berkshire home to a waiting car, in an attempt to avoid the press pack massed outside his home.

The Daily Mail's Paul Harris describes "one last insult" to his victims as "from TV helicopters overhead, Harris was filmed laughing with four other people on board the open wooden motor boat". Hours later, when the court had been "stunned into silence" by the statements of his victims, he appeared to remain relaxed, the writer adds.

"Harris's emotional indifference to his trial was shown throughout. No discomfort, no frowns, as woman after woman broke down in describing their ordeals," writes the Daily Mirror's Vicky Smith, noting the judge's comment that Harris showed "no remorse". However, for the Daily Express, the "victims' statements were most eloquent testimony" as it applauds them for having the courage to give evidence.

The Guardian says Harris faces the prospect of his £11m fortune being eaten away by court costs, legal fees and future civil compensation suits. But it notes that the attorney general will examine calls to reconsider the "unduly lenient" sentence of five years, nine months.

The Telegraph explains there was little flexibility open to the trial judge. "Because the crimes were historic, having been carried out between 1969 and 1986, Harris had to be sentenced according to the more lenient law that was in place at that time." As the Sun notes, the artist could have faced a further trial over downloading indecent images of children from "Little Girlies" websites had prosecutors not decided it was no longer in the public interest after his jail sentence.

One person struggling to take in the news is Amanda Platell, who writes in the Daily Mail how she initially reacted with disbelief to the arrest of her "old friend" before eventually admitting to herself: "I was conned by a cunning and manipulative paedophile."

'Morally wrong'
Andy Coulson arrives for sentencing at the Old Bailey

Three other men spent Friday night behind bars after a high-profile trial. But much of the focus from the News of the World hacking trial is on one man.

As the Independent's James Cusick puts it: "He once had an office right next to David Cameron in 10 Downing Street, and was trusted by Rupert Murdoch to run his News of the World paper, but last night Andy Coulson was behind bars in Belmarsh Prison."

Bare necessities?

Generic image of someone holding a cup of tea in front of a TV

Tea and television (and T-shirts) are modern life's essentials, according to a survey reported by the Daily Express. It says the research, from an internet shopping firm, claimed vegetables, cars, the radio and fresh milk made it on to a list of essentials. However, people aged 18 to 20 said they couldn't be without their headphones.

The paper is glad to see that an old-fashioned brew ranks more highly in people's priorities than any new-fangled gadget. "After all, when the latest must-have state-of-the-art device proves utterly infuriating, what better way to calm down than with a nice cup of tea?"

The Guardian profiles each of the four who were in the dock with Mr Cameron's former media chief, including two whose prison sentences were suspended. It quotes the trial judge telling Coulson and his co-defendants that all their achievements would "now count for nothing" and that, while the former editor claimed not to know phone hacking was illegal, he knew it was "morally wrong".

The Times reports that Coulson turned down a "six-figure sum to reveal Cameron's secrets" in a book about his time alongside the prime minister. A "friend" is quoted saying Coulson felt he owed Mr Cameron a "duty of honour as his former employer". According to the Mail, that is despite a prosecution bid to recoup almost £750,000 in legal costs that could cost Coulson the family home he shares with his wife and three children in Kent.

Eric Allison spells out in the Guardian what would have awaited Coulson on his first night in the category A prison. "Around teatime, prisoners will be handcuffed and placed in cellular vehicles (sweatboxes, in the jargon)... His fellow travellers will know they have a celeb on board and will take the piss," he writes, before adding that he will later be transferred to a "very civilised" open jail.

Another criminal who once stalked the corridors of power, former Conservative cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, offers some advice in the form of an open letter in the Telegraph. "Planet Prison is a mighty strange place, with its own culture, language and customs. But it is full of surprises, a lot of them pleasant," he writes. Aitken explains that prison wings can be "vibrant, humorous, welcoming and, above all, human" because they are "full of people who have made bad mistakes, yet not many of them are really bad people".

Queen of the seas
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive at HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard

Photographs of the Queen performing the naming ceremony for Britain's newest - and largest ever - warship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, appear in many papers.

"I name this ship... me," is the Sun's version of events. Its graphics give a breakdown of where each of the ship's vital parts were made and what can be found on board, including a cinema, gyms, pharmacy and bakery.

The ship will be "the pride of Britain on the seas," says the Daily Telegraph, which hears from naval history researcher Duncan Redford that carriers are vital to both the Navy's strength and the nation's safety. "They will allow Britain to project power to defend its interests around the world, without relying on fickle or politically damaging arrangements for basing land-based aircrafts overseas," he writes.

Like the Telegraph, the Times produces detailed graphics to display the ship's specifications. There's just one problem for the Daily Star, which says: "Nice carrier... shame about the aircraft." It explains: "HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail with only helicopters on board for two years - because the government has yet to order the first batch of planes."

"Tory incompetence may yet leave it a carrier with nothing to carry," complains the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror. Times cartoonist Peter Brookes is also sceptical of its worth. "Longer than the Houses of Parliament, three football pitches, 25 London buses, and forty-six white elephants," reads his caption to a silhouette of the ship above a caravan of the beasts.

His Times colleague, reporter Tom Knowles, views the vessel as a "symbol of nationhood", saying of the ceremony in Rosyth: "There were bagpipes, whisky, grey skies and rain. It was a stereotypically Scottish affair, but the case for staying part of Britain was never far away."

The Financial Times's George Parker writes: "David Cameron left the dockyard proclaiming he was 'proud to be British', while Industry Minister Michael Fallon - who sat next to Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, at the ceremony - joked: 'Not a Saltire in sight.'" Telegraph cartoonist Bob can't see Mr Salmond being too worried, picturing him hiving off part of the ship with a circular saw as the Queen smashes the ceremonial whisky on its hull.

Meanwhile, across the country on the Clyde, the Guardian's Libby Brooks hears from workers at Scotstoun for whom "the promise of independence sounds more like a threat" of job cuts.

However, it's not so black and white for the Scotsman, which says in an editorial column: "It seems unlikely that if Scotland votes for independence, the rest of the UK's defence procurers will regard Scotland as if it had been wiped from the map. After all, Britain buys lots of defence equipment from America, not least the aircraft due to be based on the ship."

Match points
Composite image showing Eugenie Bouchard and Laura Robson

It's ladies finals day at Wimbledon but, true to form, there's as much interest in what's going on off-court as on it.

Eugenie Bouchard may have won the hearts of many a fan, earning the nickname "Princess" after the British royal whose name she was given, but her relationship with Britain's own Laura Robson is under scrutiny in several papers.

"They were once the best of friends but now they are no longer on speaking terms," reports the Times, alongside pictures of the pair together posing in fancy dress less than two years ago. "The mystery of the fallout between two of the world's upcoming tennis stars... has led to speculation that the fight is over a man - their once shared coach."

For the Telegraph, they're the "double-act torn apart by rivalry". It explains that coach Nick Saviano is said to be concentrating more on the Canadian. "He has continued to work with both players, but focuses on Bouchard, adopting a consultancy role with Robson," writes Claire Duffin.

Bouchard alluded to the breakdown in relations at a press conference ahead of the final, says the Telegraph, when asked if they were still "good mates" and she replied: "No, I don't think so."

The 20-year-old is "as ruthless as she is glamorous", according to the Daily Mail's Alison Boshoff who describes her as "canny, money-making and with an ambition and drive which make the rest of the tennis crowd - no offence Maria Sharapova - look like a bunch of shuffling amateurs".

Making people click

Daily Mail: Here comes the boho bride! Fearne Cotton dazzles in a sparkling wedding dress as she leaves nuptials hand-in-hand with new husband Jesse Wood

Guardian: Edward Snowden should have right to legal defence in the US, says Hillary Clinton

Times: Sex, wine, work: diary of a single woman

Daily Mirror: Neymar OUT of the World Cup with a 'fractured vertebrae' [sic] suffered in quarter-final win over Colombia

Financial Times: Why Brazil's already won

'Holiday chaos looms' - front pages

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

With warnings of a "credible" terrorist threat leading the US to urge tighter security at airports worldwide, the papers consider the source of the danger.

The Daily Express describes a hunt for Saudi-born Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who it describes as a "plane bomber". The Times calls al-Asiri the "chemistry student whose ambition is to blow up the West" and lists the methods behind his previous plots, including sending explosive printer cartridges by mail, placing explosives in a would-be bomber's underpants and also inside his brother's anal cavity.

The Daily Mail's profile of the 32-year-old explains that he "turned his own brother into a bomb" by implanting metal-free explosives into his body for an assassination attempt on a Saudi Arabian prince.

"Although the device went off as planned, Abdullah succeeded in killing only himself and not his target," it reports.

The Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin describes al-Asiri - a leading figure in the Yemeni-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular - as a "genius". He writes: "His latest technique is to use an explosive known as pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, which has no odour, and therefore foils sniffer dogs and X-ray machines."

Lengthy delays?
Queues at Border Control in Terminal Five of London"s Heathrow Airport

The papers are in no doubt as to what the threat means for most Britons. "Holiday chaos" lies in store, according to the Mail, while the Telegraph says "invasive physical checks and lengthy delays" will greet passengers checking in at airports. The i, meanwhile, quotes Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggesting that the extra checks are likely to be permanent.

Times cartoonist Peter Brookes imagines the consequences for travellers to the States. Noting the date - 4 July, US Independence Day - he depicts the Statue of Liberty being rather too enthusiastically frisked by three airport security officers.

While accepting that some inconvenience is likely, the Daily Mirror insists that major disruption is not acceptable. "Foiling terror attacks should not mean lengthy delays if airport bosses employ enough staff to carry out more thorough checks," it argues. Richard Littlejohn, in the Mail, wonders whether the "security blitz" is necessary, before concluding: "Bombs or no bombs, every time our daily lives are disrupted it's another small victory for the terrorists."

However, in spelling out what the measures mean for travellers in the Independent, Simon Calder writes that the rules on what can be taken in cabin baggage have not changed, that early evidence suggests delays will be minor and that the heightened security will "probably not" be permanent.

Google bamboozled?
Generic image of a Google search removal request displayed on the screen of a smart phone

Google is under scrutiny in Friday's papers, with the Guardian reporting that media organisations - including the BBC - have accused the internet search engine of a "clumsy" approach to obeying Europe's new "right to be forgotten". The paper spells out the many thousands of requests for removal of links by country, with more than 14,000 in France and nearly 8,500 from the UK.

Hard to bear

Generic image showing a bear in a wooded area with a honeypot

The headlines are enough to leave Eeyore extra glum. "Monster rats eating Winnie [the] Pooh's forest," screams the Daily Star, explaining that the creatures have taken over woodland that inspired author AA Milne's Hundred Acre Wood.

"Scientists say the huge vermin pose a threat to other wildlife and could create health issues," warns the Mirror, adding that researchers believe up to three-quarters of the rats in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, are immune to regular poisons.

According to scientists quoted in the Telegraph's Nature Notes section: "The rats pose a threat to wildlife at the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as they gorge on birds' eggs and any smaller animals."

And some papers report theories that there might be something more to the technology giant's approach to the rules, which allow people to request that "irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate" material be hidden from search results. "Is Google censoring just to save money?" asks the Daily Mail, saying some had accused the firm of "taking an over-zealous approach... because it was 'cheaper just to say yes' to all demands".

The Independent quotes a European Commission spokesman suggesting that Google might be misinterpreting the ruling "by deleting links to apparently harmless news articles in a bid to whip up anger against 'censorship'". The paper goes over the stories from its own website that have been affected. Google has insisted it looks at each request on merit.

The Sun's Trevor Kavanagh attacks the law as "another chilling blow to free speech". Noting that it only applies to searches in Europe, he says people across the continent will be barred from "knowing the truth about someone who might be a threat to them" while the rest of the world will get the information at the touch of a button.

And in the Daily Mirror, media law consultant David Banks complains: "You cannot rewrite history. But now thanks to the EU, you can have a good go at hiding it." However, he has an easy tip for finding any missing material: "Just go to (linked from the bottom-right of Google home pages) and you'll get the US version. Thanks to America's First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech you will still get undoctored search results."

Meanwhile, the Express points out that celebrities including singers Sir Paul McCartney, Lily Allen and Katherine Jenkins have had their homes "wiped" from Google's online mapping service Street View. The firm points out that it provides tools allowing subjects to request blurring of "any image that features the user, their family, their car or their home".

Allez ey-up
"Sid's Cafe" from TV hit Last of the Summer Wine is decorated with King of the Mountains polka dots, in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

"A reet grand tour," is how the Daily Mirror sums up Yorkshire folk's enthusiasm for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Saturday's event is previewed by most of the papers, with the Daily Star issuing the rallying call: "On your Tyke."

A miniature yellow bicycle hangs from road signs on the Tour De France route near North Stainley

Pictures of cafes given red and white-spotted King of the Mountains-style makeovers, sheep with their fleece sprayed in the yellow of the leader's jersey and roadside models of Paris's Eiffel Tower appear in many papers.

"Three million spectators are expected to brave the showers and line the route of the two Yorkshire stages over the weekend," reports the Times. The Telegraph reckons: "Yorkshire embraces Tour de Dales but South gives a Gallic shrug." Residents in Cambridge, which will host the start of stage three, have reportedly been complaining about road closures and losing trade.

Not so in God's Own Country, it seems. "Yorkshire folk cash in on t'Tour," says the Daily Mail, predicting a £100m boost to the economy and suggesting some of the "notoriously thrifty" locals are renting out homes along the route for as much as £10,000.

Even cricket clubs are getting in on the act, according to the Financial Times: "Stumps are being uprooted to make way for tent pegs as village clubs try to cash in on [the] bonanza."

However, according to the Guardian, "the cyclists are here but it's slow going at the hotels". It says one booking website was still offering rooms at 37 hotels, 35 guest houses and 20 B&Bs within nine miles of the race start in Leeds as of Thursday night and quotes campsite owners suggesting the expected demand had not materialised.

Sum formidable opponent
George Osborne shakes hands with Sam Raddings, seven, before being interviewed by readers of First News

Political correspondents are well used to politicians evading questions but there are raised eyebrows in the press at Chancellor George Osborne ducking a quiz on his times tables from a seven-year-old during a TV interview.

"You might assume the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a head for numbers," says the Daily Mail. "But he apparently met his match in seven-year-old Sam Raddings, who asked him: 'What's 7x8?'"

Times sketchwriter Ann Treneman captured the response: "The chancellor pointed his finger at Samuel. 'I'm not going to get into a whole string of those!' he cried... George now announced another fiscal rule. 'I've made it a rule in life not to answer a load of maths questions!' he announced... I can just see him telling [Chief Secretary to the Treasury] Danny Alexander: 'Don't ask me about the deficit! I don't do maths questions! You know that'."

Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell re-imagines quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? as a competition to be chancellor. Asked the multiplication sum, his version of Mr Osborne chooses "none of your business" over the correct answer and alternatives including "you tell me".

The Mirror's headline reads simply: "Sum mothers do 'ave 'em..."

However, if the papers are a little uneasy about the chancellor's maths, they are equally concerned about the shadow business secretary's geography. The Daily Mail recalls Labour wooing "Worcester woman" but notes that Chuka Umunna told the local radio station this week: "I doubt most people on the streets in Hereford and Wichita know what a local enterprise partnership is about."

"What's in a name? Well, only about 4,400 miles," says the Independent's Andy McSmith. According to the Sun, "it was particularly embarrassing for Mr Umunna as his first official visit in his frontbench role was to a factory - in Worcester".

Making people click

Financial Times: We are the product that Facebook has been testing

Daily Mail: What was behind Murray meltdown? Quarrel with coach, Judy's late arrival or Kim's slip-up

Times: Moderate Muslims - it's time to be outraged

Guardian: Tony Abbott says Australia was 'unsettled' before British arrived

Health warnings and Murray's 'agony'

The state of the NHS - and prospects for its future - feature heavily in Thursday's papers.

The Guardian says cancer services in parts of Staffordshire could be the first in the country to be privatised, with contracts worth £1.2bn up for grabs for private firms, and reports the concerns of unions about the move.

For the Daily Telegraph, a more immediate problem is that pensioners are being denied operations by some NHS trusts. It records charities describing the situation as "alarming and inexcusable" and says Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared the situation illegal.

The Daily Mirror highlights the "best and worst" regions when it comes to allowing OAPs colorectal cancer surgery, hip replacements or gallbladder removal, as identified in a report by the Royal College of Surgeons and charity Age UK. Its editorial argues: "It is completely unacceptable that a postcode lottery is denying life-saving operations to elderly people in some parts of England."

Meanwhile, there's grim news for the health service in the Sun, which writes up the results of an MPs report predicting that an extra £4bn a year will be needed by 2016 to cope with a "crippling rise in long-term illnesses".

'Data tennis'
David Cameron playing tennis in 2008

The NHS was the main subject of a chaotic Prime Minister's Questions, during which David Cameron and Labour's Ed Miliband traded claims about which party best looked after the service.

Dead hand?

Ed Miliband during Prime Minister's Questions

Labour leader Ed Miliband has come under fire from his policy adviser, according to the Daily Telegraph. It says it's been passed a recording of Jon Cruddas complaining that Mr Miliband has failed to reconcile "different camps" at the head of the party, weeks after criticising the "dead hand" of the leader's office. An apparent lack of support prompts Times cartoonist Peter Brookes to picture him as Caesar - several knives in his back - complaining: "Hey guys, when I said 'unite behind me', I didn't mean..."

The Independent's Andrew Grice says Mr Miliband's "reviews stink" and examines how fair is the case against him, in terms of criticism of his image, approach to business and perceived indecision. Meanwhile, the paper's editorial column suggests that "superficial matters" - such as how someone comes across on television - "weigh far more heavily than they should on a politician's popularity and electability". However, it suggests he is "showing the glimmerings of a vision for the future".

It's summed up by Times sketchwriter Ann Treneman as: "How politics works or, in this case, doesn't, part 111."

She continues: "Statistics flew, not unlike pigs, across the room, but the more 'facts' we were given, the more confusing it was."

"Data tennis," was how the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts described the performance, saying Mr Miliband "kept asking David Cameron specific, leading, statistic-laden posers which the prime minister, as is his wont, responded to with deviation, ambiguity, obscurity, repetition and not the slightest hesitation".

John Crace, in the Guardian, writes: "As the two men traded unverified statistics, their backbenchers mindlessly roared their approval while remaining clueless of the accuracy of what was being said."

For the Telegraph, Mr Miliband's line of attack: a "proprietorial approach - the notion that not only is the NHS Labour's, but that it represents the purest manifestation of its benevolence - simply does not wash". It argues that while the idea of free treatment at the point of delivery "may have seemed magnificently enlightened in 1948, it is unrealistic today".

The Sun agrees, arguing: "The health service needs a huge injection of new cash every year to cope with a rapidly-increasing and ageing population for whom being overweight or obese is the norm. Without it the NHS will crumble. Both main parties have to face up to that."

'Murray meltdown'
Composite image showing Andy Murray after his defeat and the Duchess of Cambridge watching from the Royal Box

If Andy Murray looked slightly bemused by losing his Wimbledon crown in a straight sets defeat to Grigor Dimitrov, the anguish of the nation's tennis fans is perhaps best captured in a series of photographs showing the Duchess of Cambridge's facial contortions during the match which find their way onto front pages.

Mind the gap

Boys rush to class at Eton College

Children from fee-paying schools will have earned almost £200,000 more than their state school peers by the time they are 42, reports the i, exposing an "education earnings gap". It quotes campaigners describing the situation as a "waste of talent" and calling for poorer pupils to get greater access to public schools.

However, the Telegraph interprets the research differently. "Putting a child through private school increase their earnings in later life, but by significantly less than the annual cost of their education," it reports. It draws this conclusion from a section of the research comparing those from similar, better-off, backgrounds. In such casas the annual average "pay gap" was £3,603, less than the typical £12,153 cost of day schools, it adds.

"Kate's agony at Murray meltdown," is how the Daily Mail presents the story, while the Daily Mirror reckons the Scot had "Kate at break point". The Sun says the defending champion's loss capped a "rotten month" for Brits, while the Daily Star declares: "So ends another painful summer of British sport."

Other papers wonder if there was more to the defeat than a "bad day at the office" - Murray's explanation, as quoted by the Daily Express. "What happened five minutes before play?" wonders the Daily Telegraph, in reference to a curse reportedly uttered by the player during the match. "His comments appeared to be aimed at the players' box, where his coach Amelie Mauresmo, girlfriend Kim Sears and mother Judy Murray were sitting," it says.

Likewise, the Times asks: "Who threw Murray off his game?" alongside a photographic montage of glum fans watching outside the court on the big screens at "Murray Mound".

The Guardian captures the atmosphere at what was once known as "Henman Hill", saying: "As the cheers of the thousands baking in scorching temperatures on the hill fell progressively quieter, it became clear that for this year at least, British tennis had returned to its familiar cycle of hope, a few days of fervent belief, and crushing disappointment."

'Window shopping'
A man looks in an estate agent window

Rising house prices are in the headlines once again, with the Daily Telegraph finding room on its front page to record the biggest hike in London "since Margaret Thatcher was in power". The average first-time buyer in the capital is paying more than £350,000, it says, meaning those taking their first step on the housing ladder must typically fork out nine times their average salary.

The 26% increase has further fuelled fears of a property bubble, says the Times, although it points out that: "Excluding London... price growth looks fairly ordinary." This is displayed in a table in the Daily Express, which shows that average prices remain below their 2007 or 2008 peaks in all regions except the capital, south-east and east of England.

For the Daily Mirror, a £265,000 difference between average prices represents "the real north-south divide". It adds: "The statistics from Nationwide seem to confirm warnings that the south is becoming more prosperous at the expense of the rest of the country."

A case study in the Daily Mail shows how one family sold up after the value of their four-bedroom south-east London Georgian cottage rocketed from £190,000 to £910,000 in 16 years.

It all leaves the Daily Express's cartoon pondering the plight of a buyer who looks in an estate agent's window and comments to a friend: "I'm only window shopping. I can't afford a whole house."

Meanwhile, the Times quotes property analysts saying that "hard up twentysomethings are cramming into converted sitting rooms and cupboards in an attempt to save money on rent".

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Guardian: Man vs Food star has show taken off air after 'thinspiration' rant

Porn laws and Python reviews - papers

Chris Grayling

The prospect of prosecution for jilted lovers who upload sexually explicit videos of their ex-partners to the web makes headlines.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's response to a question about the practice, in which he said ministers would have "serious discussions" on the topic, forms the basis of the Daily Telegraph's lead story.

The paper points out that while some US states have introduced laws to address concerns, the UK's legislation on "malicious communications" and harassment usually require a number of offences before prosecutions can take place.

According to the Daily Mail there are some 30 UK websites used by men to post intimate pictures of former lovers. It says women find them impossible to remove because they are so quickly reproduced on other sites and quotes former Culture Secretary Maria Miller - who's campaigning on the matter - describing the use of revenge porn as "a form of sexual violence".

The Metro, which also has the story on its front page, points out that Mrs Miller's call for action comes as figures show the number of convictions for domestic violence has reached a new high.

Party time

Much excitement is generated by a party which took place over a year ago, thanks to the leak of a guest list for the Conservative Party's annual fundraising dinner.

"Revealed: the billionaires who came to Tory dinner," is how the Guardian presents the story on its front page. "Six billionaires and 15 people with a personal wealth above £100m were present at the closed event at Old Billingsgate Market, in the City of London," it explains.

Inside, the paper sets out the table plans showing some of the key guests, revealing that an investor, financier, property tycoon and charity boss were on David Cameron's table. It hears strip-club owner Peter Stringfellow complain that - in an age of austerity - champagne was off the menu, and notes that attendees were "forbidden from reporting on the event using any kind of social media".

Love game

Grigor Dimitrov

While the exits of former ladies champion Maria Sharapova and men's world number one Rafael Nadal make front-page picture stories for many papers, there remains as much interest in the off-court activities at Wimbledon.

The Daily Mail describes a "bromance" between reigning champion Andy Murray and his next opponent, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. It pictures them enjoying a post-match bath together in Melbourne, and Murray blow-drying his rival's hair. However, it adds that the "old pal's act" will end on Centre Court on Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph points out that Murray isn't the only top player with a soft spot for Dimitrov, saying he is currently stepping out with Sharapova and had previously dated the Russian's on-court rival, Serena Williams. The latter declared that he had a "black heart", it's reported.

The Sun envisages a "Wimbo Wags showdown", contrasting the very different lives of the two opponents' girlfriends.

The Daily Mail is particularly interested in two guests: "ultimate jet-setter" Nicolas Berggruen - who lives in hotels around the world, rather than owning a home - and Russian President Vladimir Putin's judo partner, Vasily Shestakov. It's not clear how much the event raised, the Mail says, but it adds: "Electoral Commission figures show that since the ball, those present have donated £5m to the Conservatives. Of this £1.1m was registered in the week after the event."

It all sounds like good news for David Cameron as he prepares for this year's dinner, at west London's exclusive Hurlingham Club, on Wednesday evening. And the Times reports that his party's "war chest" for fighting next year's general election will be three times the size of Labour's.

With Ed Miliband having loosened ties with the unions, the paper says Labour hopes to tap into similar funding through a summer party of its own. However, it says wealthy individual donors are "thin on the ground" and points out that some within the party have concerns about the influence of one backer - property tycoon Andrew Rosenfeld - who has given £863,000 since 2011.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph says Labour's biggest donor - the Unite trade union, which has given £12m since Ed Miliband became leader - will insist unions are given a seat in government, should the party win, in the form of a "Ministry for Labour".

The Times says the Liberal Democrats will be left to fight the election "on a shoestring", having collected just £10,000 in donations in the first three months of 2014. "The party's spending power was hugely reduced when it joined the coalition and lost its taxpayer-funded 'short money' given to opposition parties," the paper adds.

Meanwhile, the Independent's Matthew Norman reflects on a different sort of party - Monday's Foreign Office reception thrown by David Cameron in celebration of the UK arts and entertainment world's contribution to society. Dubbing it Cool Britannia II: This Time It's Personally Embarrassing For Us All, the writer reckons absentees Dame Maggie Smith, Nicole Kidman, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Cumberbatch were more intriguing than those present.

Wondering why Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly was there without husband Vernon Kaye, he suggests: "Could it be that the presenter of All Star Family Fortunes and public face of the Beefeater restaurant chain regarded himself - HIMSELF - as too cool for Cool II? If so, he had a point."

'Something completely familiar'
From left: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Terry Jones bow to the crowd after the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly)

A long-awaited show, described by the Mail as "the Holy Grail for Python fans", opened at London's O2 arena on Tuesday. But its reviewer, Quentin Letts, found the stars of Monday Python's Flying Circus: "Creaking and croaking, they sounded like a dodgy old tribute band."

In the Times, Dominic Maxwell writes: "Do this lot still have the comic vitality they had 40 years ago? They do not... Yet there are plenty of laughs here - sure, laughs of recognition rather than laughs of surprise, but genuine laughs all the same."

John Walsh, in the Independent, laments: "I was a fan of the Monty Ps from the start, and it pains me to criticise them. But this is a lazy production, resting on its laurels, uninterested in showcasing new material, relying on TV footage and the whooping adulation of an audience who know all the words."

"Maybe period flavour is part of the point," wonders the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw. "These sketches come from a time when some men really did go to work wearing bowler hats." Noting that John Cleese "isn't quite match-fit", he concludes: "Monty Python Live (mostly) isn't bad: it gives the crowds exactly what they want but presumes pretty heavily on the fan-love and makes a hefty withdrawal from the reputation bank."

However, others were more impressed. The Daily Mirror's Mark Jefferies writes: "It is very funny in places, mainly when we get the magic of the Pythons on stage. It is not something completely different, but that's exactly why fans will love it."

The Daily Express's Neil Norman awards a full five stars to a show "refreshingly free from political correctness" while, in the Sun, comedian Russell Kane found himself transported back to his childhood, saying: "I was back on the sofa with my dad, laughing my bum off."

And the Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish classes the show as "more golden than olden", writing: "They've still got it (just): this is an end-of-the-pier show fit for the funny, peculiar, poignant end of a comedy era, and at times, great wonder, this circus really flies."

Bad hair day?
The Duchess of Cambridge

There is much discussion of the Duchess of Cambridge's hair, with the Daily Mail devoting all of page three to discussion of a new style it describes as: "Part Little Bo Peep, part pantomime dame and shinier than a fresh conker."

The paper's Catherine Ostler says it "rather stole the limelight" being, as it was, "half-up, half-down style, back-combed on top, and teased into tight ringlets". She quotes a former stylist to the Royal Family saying the duchess's hair is "wonderful, maybe a little overdone at times", before adding: "Looks like yesterday was one of those times."

"Ladies, there is a god," declares the Daily Mirror's fashion and beauty director Amber Graafland. "Even the Duchess of Cambridge can fall foul to the odd bad hair day. Despite having the most enviable and emulated locks in the country, Kate had a serious hair malfunction."

The Sun declares it a "Mane of Thrones", reckoning it was a brunette version of the style sported by the dragon queen in the TV fantasy, Game of Thrones.

However, the Daily Express calls her a "trendsetter", suggesting she "stepped back in time" to the 1970s to recall her husband's great-aunt Princess Margaret, or the style of Katharine Ross in the film The Graduate.

All this focus on hair was exactly what comedian John Bishop had asked the press to avoid when teaming up with the duchess to promote the work of M-Pact, a project to help children whose parents suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, reports the Telegraph.

Bishop had asked reporters not to focus on "the style icon, where the clothes are from or whether the hairstyle is in place", before quipping: "Basically, don't make the story about me."

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Portraits of a predator - the papers

The mournful police mugshot of Rolf Harris stares from the pages of Tuesday's newspapers as if in lament for the sudden fall of a man who many papers say was a "national treasure", but all now revile as a "predator".

Rolf Harris

The Daily Telegraph's headline points out that the 84-year-old entertainer could now die in jail after being convicted of 12 sexual offences.

The paper adds that he also faces the possibility of more charges as "dozens" of new potential victims of his abuse have come forward during his trial, and he could face a "string of compensation claims" which could diminish his "£11m fortune".

In a commentary piece in the Telegraph, Mick Brown sums up the feelings of many by saying "unlike Savile, [Harris] seemed entirely beyond suspicion".

"Of all the people brought to book by Operation Yewtree, Harris's conviction is perhaps hardest to countenance, for it implies the biggest betrayal of trust," Brown continues.

He mentions Harris's 1985 child protection video, where the star - surrounded by children and two policemen - sings "my body's nobody's body but mine".

"'Irony' really doesn't describe it," Brown comments.

In a sidebar inside the paper, John Bingham says Harris "benefitted from the so-called 'chilling effect' on media reporting of the Leveson Inquiry, enjoying five months of anonymity while under suspicion of sexual abuse."

It's a theme developed in other papers, notably the Sun.


Its leader column says: "It may be too much to hope that the celebrities backing Hacked Off's tribal war on the tabloids would ever pause to think what they were doing.

"But let them not pretend, as they do, that Leveson's recommendations have anything but grave consequences for our press and our democracy.

Shopping phobia

Person packing groceries

If you're afraid of supermarket self-service checkouts then you are not in a minority, a study has revealed.

The Daily Mail reports that 93% of shoppers surveyed admit to having frustrations with the DIY tills, with one in three saying they actively avoid them.

Wanting personal interaction is the biggest reason given for self-service phobia, but a quarter say the tills are too slow - and 17% are worried they may not work.

The study, by Glory Global Solutions, unsurprisingly found that those most at home with scanning their own groceries were the young.

"In this case they would have shielded a nasty old pervert with a taste for little girls."

The Independent's leader column reflects on how some people say groping, sexual harassment and abuse are a reflection of the "culture" of Britain in the 60s and 70s.

"It can be a convenient concept for those individuals who are guilty of wrongdoing: they believed, they might say, that their actions were simply part of 'the way things were'. In their own eyes their culpability is dimmed," the paper writes.

However, it adds, it is "very necessary" to "put the past on trial".

Something, that has been widely "put on trial" in the media is Operation Yewtree itself.

Joan Smith, writing in the Guardian, says many had labelled the police probe into historic sexual abuse cases by celebrities "a witch hunt".

"For a time it looked as if public opinion, initially outraged by the Savile revelations, was swinging in the opposite direction" and agreeing with the characterisation, Smith writes.

However she adds "the Harris conviction is undeniably a blow against impunity for sex offenders, no matter how famous or elderly.

"But the furore over Operation Yewtree suggests that the criminal justice system may be ahead of public opinion on the question of sexual abuse and rape."

Jaws in pinstripes

The Guardian may have a cartoon of David Cameron on a football-style tour of honour bus labelled "26-2" and "defeat is victory", but it seems that the prime minister's failure to persuade other European leaders not to appoint Jean-Claude Juncker to the EU's top job may have been a mixed blessing.

The Daily Express is one of a number of papers to carry a poll - commissioned by Conservative Party donor Lord Ashcroft - which suggests the Tories now enjoy a two percentage point lead over Labour, following Mr Cameron's Brussels rebuff.

The paper's leader column says it knows why. The PM's "efforts have endeared him and his party to voters.

"David Cameron has stood up to Europe and stood up for what the British public want."

In her parliamentary sketch in the Times, Ann Treneman lampoons "heroic Dave" who took on the "Euro-monster" to much cheering from his backbenchers.

"It takes a certain type of man to carry off being victorious in failure, and, after yesterday, I can tell you that Dave is that man," she writes.

David Cameron defending his EU policy before parliament David Cameron received vocal support from the Conservative benches when he was questioned over his EU policy

Ed Miliband's attempts to taunt the PM that his efforts in Europe ended in "utter humiliation" were greeted by massed yawning from the Conservative benches, she adds..

"Rows of gaping Tory mouths, expensive implants gleaming, molars visible from the Moon. 'Jaws' in pinstripes."

In the Daily Mail, former Thatcher government adviser Robin Harris writes "whatever Dave says, we're now weaker".

"History records so-called Pyrrhic victories - ones in which a battle won entails such losses from the victor that it amounts to a defeat," he continues.

"But David Cameron seems to have invented a new concept - the Pyrrhic defeat.

"To embark willingly and wilfully on a minor confrontation, the forerunner to far more important ones, and then not just to go down to defeat... but to brag about it, is surely unique, even in the long and inglorious history of British diplomatic bungling."

In the Independent, columnist Steve Richards worries the EU issue will bring civil war to the Conservatives and distract the government.

"Europe does not merit becoming yet again the overwhelming issue of our times.

"The next government faces far bigger challenges - from meeting the costly and growing demands of elderly care to building houses in a country that has been incapable of doing so since the 1970s.

"Yet if Cameron and his party are returned Europe will dominate. Other policy areas will hardly get a look-in."


As the fighting in Iraq continues, the declaration of an "Islamic caliphate" by the extremist insurgent group Isis is examined in many papers.

The Daily Mirror is one of a number of papers to carry an "Isis map" of the eventual boundaries of their "Islamic state".

The carefully labelled map stretches from Spain, Portugal and the Balkans in Europe to most of Africa north of Tanzania and across Asia to Indonesia and the Philippines.

Pocket the difference

Boy receiving pocket money

The promise of extra pocket money may not necessarily be the best way of ensuring children do good things, the Times reports.

The paper says a nine-year study of thousands of cadets at the US military academy West Point found that those motivated just by a desire to do a good job got better grades than those who faced some external reward.

The Times says this shows "bribery harms children's chance of success".

Dr Amy Wrzesniewski, who led the study says: "There's lots of research that suggests that if you reward people for doing things that they would have done anyway it does undermine people's performance and persistence in those activities."

Its analysis - from Chatham House regional expert Hayder Al-Khoei - says "it is this potent mixture of ideology and a limitless supply of funds that makes [Isis] so powerful.

"All Europe is now vulnerable."

The Independent says the declaration of a caliphate "will surely electrify many radicals, and probably draw new recruits to the cause from the millions of young Sunni men across the Arab world who live in oppressive regimes, with scant prospect of work or a better future."

The Times says Isis has overtaken al-Qaeda as the "biggest threat to the West".

It says the group had won the backing of Islamist insurgents in Yemen and North Africa which marks "a game-changing powershift in global jihad".

Writing in the paper, Anthony Loyd argues that the West must "recalibrate" its supply of arms to Syrian rebel groups opposed to Isis and halt its "inaction" which "has earned us Sunni opprobrium".

"Those in the West who now argue that the Damascus regime, though blood-stained, may somehow be a necessary ally of circumstance against Isis are entirely bankrupt in their logic.

"Rapprochement... would be akin to neglecting a primary cancer while treating a secondary tumour," he concludes.


Monty Python - like its famous "Norwegian Blue" parrot - is not dead, but has merely been "resting".

The papers make much of the opening of the comedy group's 10 reunion shows, which begin on Tuesday night in London's O2 arena.

Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch Everyone should expect the Spanish Inquisition...

The "last ever" chance to see the Pythons - minus of course Graham Chapman, who died in 1989 - will feature contributions from Sir Mick Jagger, Prof Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking, the Daily Telegraph says.

The paper says Sir Mick appears in a short promotional film for the shows saying "they're ... a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make loads of money."

It showed, the Telegraph decides, "a hitherto unknown flair for comedy" in the veteran Rolling Stone.

The £4.5m extravanza - employing, the Daily Star tells us, 10 male and 10 female dancers as well as John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam - will be "now for something completely smutty".

The Star hails the comeback as the Python's "rudest ever" with "x-rated" jokes due to the troupe being "no longer restricted by TV rules".

Rules or no rules, the Daily Express tells us, the final show will be broadcast - both on comedy channel Gold and live at nearly 1,200 venues in the UK, Ireland and US and to 36 other countries.

And in case you're wondering if the new show features your favourite sketches, the Guardian lets on that you can expect the Spanish Inquisition, a dead parrot and John Cleese as Anne Elk, who has a theory on brontosauruses.

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The Prince's pressure and a mixture of Dollies - the papers

Prince Charles in a butterfly sanctuary

Prince Charles's "quiet words" with government ministers from the last Labour administration are now not so hushed, as they feature in several of Monday's newspapers.

The Daily Mail leads on what it says are "extraordinary revelations" on "how Charles influenced key policies" in dealings with former Labour ministers.

The paper explains that the Prince of Wales had discussions about climate change and genetically modified crops with environment minister Michael Meacher, lobbied Northern Ireland minister Peter Hain for complementary medicine to be made available on the NHS and (unsuccessfully) tried to persuade education secretary David Blunkett to increase the number of grammar schools.

The Mail says the prince "bombards" ministers with handwritten "black spider" memos about his "pet projects".

The comments have been seized on by critics, the paper adds.

Labour MP Paul Flynn said: "Charles has strong opinions on lots of things, including eccentric anti-science views on homeopathy and GM foods.

"If there is a clash, he may have such strong views as to refuse a bill."

Anti-monarchist group Republic said the prince's views showed he had "a political agenda" which "was at odds with a lot of voters".

In its opinion column, the Mail says: "Engaging in secret plots to change government policy surely endangers the political neutrality of the monarchy and will give ammunition to those who think the institution is past its sell-by date."

Spuds u don't like?

Sacks of potatoes

Britain's favourite vegetable could have had its chips, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The paper says sales of fresh potatoes have slumped by 8%, with rice now making up the starch content for an increasing number of UK meals.

The shock news comes from the rather unimaginatively titled Potato Council.

The council's Caroline Evans is quoted in the Mail as saying, "People still like potatoes, but we need a different approach for the supply chain. A lot of shoppers make an emotional connection when they see a potato in its prepared form."

The paper's columnist, Dominic Lawson, tells the prince to "put a royal sock in it", opining that "for his entire adult life the prince has encountered such sycophancy from anyone in his presence, which is bound to make even a kind person (which he is) suffer from delusions of wisdom."

Putting "a sock in it" is not what the Daily Telegraph leader writer thinks the prince should do.

The paper says: "It should be clear to anyone with a little knowledge of history that Prince Charles is acting precisely in accordance with this country's tradition.

"He has been consulted by ministers, and has chosen to encourage and warn where he felt appropriate."

It adds that Charles knows that when he ascends the throne he will have to be neutral, and "this is not news to him".

On its front page, the paper notes Conservative proponents of grammar schools have been keen to use the prince's apparent enthusiasm for academic selection as an excuse to ask the prime minister to "look again" at the issue.

The Guardian's leader comment says that as the bill for the royals rose by an "inflation busting 5.6% last year", the family should "do all they can to avoid losing friends and alienating people, including sometimes keeping stumm".

It says that in order to "forewarn" the country, what sort of king it can expect in Charles, the case for publishing his "still-secret missives to ministers grows ever stronger".

The Independent lets broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer have the last word.

She tweeted: "Surprised that Prince Charles wanted more grammar schools. You'd think that selection based on ability and merit wasn't really his thing."

'Elephant traps'

The Times leads on a "grand plan" from Chancellor George Osborne to "join up tax systems" by merging income tax with national insurance.

The paper says plans are "being lined up" to include the proposal in the Conservative manifesto for the next general election.

The Times quotes an "informed source" who says that Mr Osborne came "within a whisker" of announcing such a plan in the last budget.

The fear of an IT disaster "similar to those that have beset universal credit" halted Mr Osborne then, the source claims, but it could be introduced in the longer time frame of the next parliament.

Storm in a World Cup

Ghanian fan at World Cup

Like England, Cameroon and Ghana were eliminated in the group stages of the World Cup.

In England the blow was pretty much greeted by a resigned national shrug, but in the two African nations, the presidents have called for investigations, the Guardian tells us.

Cameroon president Paul Biya has given his prime minister a month to investigate and report to him on the national team's "inglorious campaign". Ghana's president Jon Mahama has sacked the country's sport minister and his deputy and also opened an official probe.

Maybe Wayne Rooney et al should count their lucky stars.

National insurance has long been a bugbear to the chancellor, the paper says, as he likens it to a "stealth tax", saying it is hard to calculate how much anyone is paying.

In its leader column, the Times welcomes the proposals.

National insurance "is not a system for the 21st century", it states, adding that a "more transparent" taxation system would increase pressure to reduce the burden on those in the 50% tax bracket.

However, it writes: "It would be a big step. Radical steps can sometimes have unforeseen and contentious consequences."

The Independent's leader column agrees that scrapping national insurance "makes sense".

"While the coalition has done well to take the threshold for income tax up to £10,000, the low-paid are liable for NI, a point rarely acknowledged," it notes.

"Though abolishing [NI] is full of elephant traps and politically hazardous, it is time to end this national fiction."

The Sun devotes three pages to a tax crusade of its own.

The paper has launched a campaign to persuade the government to cut VAT on tourist accommodation and attractions in order to persuade more holidaymakers to take their break in the UK.

It says Britain has the highest VAT rate on hotel rooms and B&Bs in Europe and is amongst the highest in charges levied on entrance fees to tourist attractions.

"Slashing VAT" in the sector, the paper says, will create 120,000 jobs and give a £4bn boost to the economy.

'Missionary zeal'

The call by former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer to "wind up" police investigations into criminality in newspapers is, perhaps unsurprisingly, carried in much of the press.

The Daily Telegraph says three separate investigations - Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta - have looked at how the media operates at the combined cost of £31.4m so far.

The paper says 150 Metropolitan Police officers have been deployed in the probes, compared to 27 investigating paedophiles in the capital.

The Sun says Sir Keir told Sky News that it was "not healthy in the long term to continually prosecute journalists and they must be able to do their jobs".

Rebekah Brooks Rebekah Brooks was cleared of five charges over intercepted voicemails, misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice.

Libby Purves, writing in the Times, accuses the Crown Prosecution Service of behaving "like activists".

She quotes senior CPS lawyer Greg McGill who said of the News of the World phone hacking trial, "this has been a lengthy and complex trial which was required to explore a culture of invading privacy".

"Whoa! Steady!" writes Ms Purves. "The Crown Prosecution Service is not tasked to 'explore cultures'. Its job is to prosecute and prove criminality: literal, factually, verifiable breaches of the law."

"Public prosecution requires a serious and willing complaint, evidence of criminality and a sense of proportion. Not missionary zeal," she concludes.

In the Independent, Matthew Norman takes a very different view.

"Following last week's Southwark Crown Court verdicts, the Murdoch titles would have us believe the person whose rights were shamefully violated was not a murdered schoolgirl, but a "vindicated" chief executive of News International."

In particular he accuses the Sunday Times of "self-righteous cant" for its leader column piece which said Rebekah Brooks was subject to "a witch hunt".

"Beside the Thames at Wapping, a tide of victimhood turns," he writes.

Benny Hill

For a tiny woman, Dolly Parton, 68, has cast a huge shadow over Monday's papers.

Few can resist putting an image of her Glastonbury Festival debut on their front pages, and even fewer have resisted writing about it.

The Glastonbury Festival crowd watching Dolly Parton Dolly Parton was watched by the biggest crowd of the festival

The Daily Star says the country singer "wowed" a crowd of 140,000 from the festival's main, Pyramid stage.

The Star says she told the hardy festival-goers - who have been periodically soaked by deluges since Thursday - "I grew up in the country so this mud ain't nothing new to me, and it ain't nothing new to you either."

She also "slipped in a tribute to Benny Hill" by playing the late comedian's theme tune on a saxophone, it adds.

The Independent's Jamie Merrill says that Parton "dazzled" the Glastonbury crowds and "brought the superstar quality" that had been missing from the rest of the festival.

"A country hoedown worthy of Dolly's Smokey Mountain hometown in Tennessee," Mr Merrill reckons.

The Daily Express says the "remarkably trim" star in the "rhinestone cowgirl-style outfit" was presented with an award before her set for selling 100 million records.

Festival founder Michael Eavis told the paper: "I'm really looking forward to hearing some of her songs live for the first time in my life, because the records are so good."

Reviewing Parton's set, Rebecca Nicholson in the Guardian said the star "had the packed crowd in the palm of her manicured rhinestone-studded hand.

"She said it best herself: it was corny, but it was fun."

Making people click

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NHS 'near collapse' and the 'cowardly' EU leaders - the papers

If there's one theme running through Sunday's papers, it is how Britain will react to David Cameron's failed attempt to block the selection of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission.

The Sunday Telegraph leads with the story. It says "senior Tories" have rallied around the prime minister and branded other European leaders "cowards".

David Cameron and Herman Van Rompuy David Cameron and Herman Van Rompuy held a stormy meeting in London, according to the Mail on Sunday

"Cowards" the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says because they "weren't prepared to stand up in public and say the things they had said in private".

In an analysis piece inside the paper, Iain Martin says at least one minister has privately conceded that the defeat "means we are probably going to get out" of the EU.

Martin says the supposedly "conciliatory" communique issued by EU leaders after the vote which Mr Cameron lost, makes "no reference to the UK winning back any powers".

The Mail on Sunday carries a detailed report on Mr Cameron's attempt to derail "der spitzenkandidat - the frontrunner".

The Mail runs through the PM's timeline - from an angry meeting with European Council head Herman van Rompuy, to his ominous warning to the other EU leaders "this time it is our problem. But next time, it will be you".

The paper also carries an opinion poll suggesting that 47% of Britons now want to exit the EU.

By contrast, the Sunday Times carries a poll - taken before rather than after the "Juncker vote" - in which 39% of respondents want the UK to stay in the union, as opposed to 37% who want to leave.

Music fit for a prince

Prince George

The Royal Family's youngest member is set to conquer the classical music charts, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Or at any rate, a lullaby dedicated to him is. It forms the opener for an album of royal-themed music which Sony Music expects will sell at least 100,000 copies.

The paper says Sony has been accused of "cashing in" on the Lullaby For Prince George, but the album will help raise funds for the Cruse bereavement care charity.

The lullaby - composed by Dr Olga Thomas-Bosovskaya - is performed by Britain's Got Talent runner-up Charlotte Jaconelli.

The paper says the affair leaves Britain "one step nearer the exit" and it quotes former Tory policy adviser Dominic Cummings who has said: "If a renegotiation [of the UK's membership] leaves the EU in control of immigration it will be seen as a big failure.

"Having raised false hopes, it will make people more likely to vote 'out'".

The Times notes "nobody in Downing Street thinks control of immigration is achievable".

The Observer focuses on fears that a British exit from the EU will harm the economy.

CBI director general John Cridland tells the paper: "The EU is our biggest export market and remains fundamental to our economic future.

"Our membership supports jobs, drives growth and boosts our international competitiveness."

In the Independent on Sunday, Lord Lawson says that by being vocal about his opposition to leaving the EU, Mr Cameron has thrown away "his entire negotiating hand".

The former chancellor says the PM "should have threatened to campaign for Britain to leave the EU as a way of strengthening his position".

In its comment section however, John Rentoul believes Mr Cameron may have lost the battle but won the war for new terms of EU membership.

"Merkel couldn't accommodate Cameron this time," he writes.

"Her own party and the German press wouldn't let her. But his defeat last week might mean that she - and the others who don't want Britain to go - will try harder next time."

'Grim analysis'

In recent weeks, there has been a raft of stories predicting a messy end for the NHS unless something is done.

The Observer's lead story is unusual among these in that the trio saying the health service could "collapse" within five years are two Conservatives, one a former health secretary, the other a chair of the Commons health committee, and a former Lib Dem health minister.

Stephen Dorrell, Sarah Wollaston and Paul Burstow say that with the economy growing, the NHS must receive a real terms increase in spending to cope with the rising demand for its care.

The lead barrister...

A dog

When love breaks down, it is not only the house and music collection that ends up being fought over.

The Independent on Sunday says increasingly there is a tug-of-love in divorce cases over ownership of the family dog.

A Northumbria University legal expert, the paper continues, is calling for the UK to "revolutionise" the way the UK deals with pet custody battles.

While being clear that pets are not the same as children, the lawyer tells the paper that the "best interest" rule applied to children in such situations "provides a useful eyepiece through which to view pet custody".

Mr Burstow puts the figure as being £15bn more over the next five years than the "ring-fenced", zero-growth budget that the service currently has.

The Observer says the government figures' "grim analysis" is backed by sector experts.

It quotes Chris Ham of the health think tank, the King's Fund, who says that without more cash "the quality of patient care will be compromised by not having enough doctors and nurses on the wards and in surgeries and clinics."

The Sunday Telegraph says one hospital trust which has been rated "inadequate" by official inspectors is already short of 125 nurses.

The Medway Foundation trust, the paper reports, nonetheless pays at least 10 senior managers more than £200,000 a year.

The trust tells the paper it is actively trying to recruit more nurses.

It is not just lack of nurses that worries NHS watchers: the Independent on Sunday says a lack of real cadaver dissection is leaving medical students "unconfident" and with a "worrying lack of knowledge".

Computer images and models mean some students now qualify as doctors without ever having seen a real body and this has led experts to worry about a lack of suitable surgeons in the future.

The Mail on Sunday reports a pledge by the health secretary to "name and shame" GPs who repeatedly fail to spot serious conditions such as cancer.

Mr Hunt's plans include a rating system with a red alert for surgeries who fail to refer on patients who subsequently are shown to have been suffering from cancer.

The Royal College of GPs tells the paper that such a "crude" ranking system "may not tell the whole story".

The Sunday Express leads on another of Mr Hunt's ideas - to deploy nurses within GP surgeries to carry out "routine" medical tasks, leaving doctors more time to deal with consultations.

The plan is a response to a shortage of family doctors, the paper says.

It has found that 75 UK practices have more than 5,000 patients per doctor and one - in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, has one GP for 8,000 patients.

Good people

Price hikes during the school holidays are the bane of many a parent of school-age children but things could change, the Sunday Times reports.

The paper says a wealthy American banker, living in the UK, is to challenge the policy of fining parents who take their children out of school except during designated holidays.

James Haymore, who works for US investment bank JP Morgan, says the policy is a "breach of the Human Rights Act" and his children's right to family life.

Children learning to surf Many parents would like to take their children on holiday outside of high season

He is contesting a £120 fine given to him when he took his three children to America to attend a memorial service at the start of the spring term.

Mr Haymore told the paper: "We are good people. I've never even been to court before.

"I just hope our speaking out and challenging the system will help to change it."

The Times explains that the fight is being supported by Lib Dem MP John Hemming.

He tells the paper: "There is a question here as to whether Michael Gove's judgement about when all children should always take holidays is better than a family's judgement."

The Times says "with the issue heading up the political agenda as the summer holidays loom, the head teachers' union is scrambling to help schools interpret the new rules consistently".

It adds that the National Association of Head Teachers is surveying schools to find out how its members are interpreting the government's rules on in-term absence.

The aim is to draw up comprehensive guidelines for all head teachers.


Other music festivals are out there, but there is only one winner when it comes to media interest and it is all over Sunday's press.

Yes, it's Glastonbury time and - in time honoured fashion - the Observer tells us "the weather can't dampen spirits" at the Somerset multi-media extravaganza.

Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey pictured failing to wow the Independent on Sunday

The paper notes it has been a "meteorologically strange" festival this year, with a "brutal" thunderstorm on Friday forcing a temporary pause in the music just an hour after US act Haim told the crowd that they'd brought the "Californian sunshine" with them.

The Independent on Sunday thinks a few of the acts have been slightly soggy too, singling out Lana Del Rey as particularly uninspiring.

"I lost my festival smile on Friday and none of the big acts have managed to bring it back yet," one punter tells the paper.

In a feature inside the Indy, DJ Taylor says of Glastonbury "there is no more deliciously ironic sight than the spectacle of something or someone that was once proudly counter-cultural mutating into an unashamed symbol of the modern establishment".

Taylor says Glastonbury's path to "sanitisation" is a well-travelled one, deriving from the mid 70s when it was discovered "you could make money" from music festivals and "the middle-classes wouldn't put up with squalor".

In her sketch of the festival in the Sunday Times, Camilla Long claims that this year's "Glasto" is "dominated by prams".

"Why do selfish people bring children to events such as this?" she muses, "For trophy memories?"

Stressed by the festival, Long tells us that she visited a "transformational coach" on site who tells her that he was unable to help a therapy seeker on ecstasy who had wanted to "punch seagulls".

There's plenty more strangeness in the article and a hilarious description of the "she-pee" female toilets which BBC taste and decency rules oblige me to omit, but which you can read here.

Making people click

The Sun: Manchester United hunt Chilean ace

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Star: White Dee attacked by holiday thugs

'Edging to EU exit' - front pages

There are striking similarities between many of Saturday's front pages, as they digest news that David Cameron failed in his attempt to prevent Jean-Claude Juncker being nominated for the role of European Commission president.

Several papers pick up on the PM's suggestion that it makes it more difficult for the UK to remain a member of the European Union, with the Times's headline summing things up by saying "Britain nears EU exit".

Some reports would make painful reading for the Conservative leader, who lost a vote on the matter 26-2. "Cameron crushed," is the Independent's verdict, while the Financial Times reckons his "principled stand" ended in "historic humiliation" and the Sun's Tom Newton-Dunn writes that "plucky Dave" was taught a "painful lesson".

The Daily Mirror's James Lyons is even less complimentary, arguing: "In Brussels, what he claimed was a principled stand was seen as a childish tantrum." And the Daily Mail reports a catty comment from German newspaper Bild which said: "Cameron is becoming the Wayne Rooney of EU politics: He lines up, he loses, he goes home."

David Cameron speaks during a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels

However, turn a few pages and there is more support for the PM. The Times argues he was right to oppose Mr Juncker's appointment to the "bitter end", saying the ex-Luxembourg president "is on record as being against every necessary reform".

Likewise, the Daily Telegraph's editorial says: "Mr Cameron's opposition to Mr Juncker was entirely rational and reasonable." And the PM's former cabinet colleague, Liam Fox, writes in the Sun that Mr Cameron's stand proves that "he will fight [the] tyranny of Europe's red tape".

The Telegraph's Michael Deacon found the PM in bullish mood: "At least one man was prepared to stand up and applaud David Cameron for his efforts. Admittedly it was the prime minister himself, but in a tough old game like politics, you take praise wherever you can get it."

The result of it all, according to the Independent's editorial, is "the worst of all possible EU worlds", while the Guardian's Ian Traynor says the European Commission now has the "president nobody wants".

'Shots that changed world'
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, on the day they were assassinated in Sarajevo

After reporting Mr Cameron's combative language in Brussels, the papers mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - the incident that triggered the First World War - with many examining the 19-year-old who fired the shot, Gavrilo Princip.

The Daily Express revisits "the gunshots that changed history" in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which had been annexed by the Austro-Hungarian empire six years earlier but which neighbouring Serbia still regarded as its territory. Writer Simon Edge explores the love story between the archduke and his wife, Sophie, who died alongside him in the back of their car.

To sleep, or not to sleep?

Generic image of a man asleep in bed

"Getting a good night's sleep could be the key to beating dementia," reports the Daily Express, citing research that suggests a lack of rest overnight could cause memory problems and affect a person's ability to carry out everyday tasks.

However, the Daily Mail digests the same study and warns that "too much sleep in middle age is as bad for you as too little". Over 65s can suffer a reduction in "brain power" if they sleep for longer than eight hours, it says.

In modern-day Sarajevo, the Guardian's Andrew MacDowell finds division between the many, particularly Bosnian Croats and Muslims, who think of Princip as a coward who killed a pregnant woman and others - mostly Bosnian-Serbs - who still see him as "a revolutionary hero who fought for the freedom of all southern Slavs".

Tim Butcher, who spent three years researching Princip for a book, writes in the Times that the three communities view the Princip narrative "through the filter" of the Balkans conflict of the 1990s. He believes Princip's "naive hope" was that the assassination would inspire all local Slavs to rise up against their Austro-Hungarian occupiers.

In that respect, he says, the war was "based on a lie" - cooked up in Vienna - that he was acting for the Serbian government. "Princip was not a Serbian nationalist at all but a Yugoslav nationalist... Vienna's claim of Serbian involvement was but a fig leaf by Austro-Hungarian hawks to conceal their desire to invade a neighbouring country regarded as an irritant," Butcher writes.

Meanwhile, in the Daily Mirror, historian Andrew Roberts speculates as to what might have happened had Princip fired wide. The paper also traces a great-granddaughter of Franz Ferdinand, who lives in Twickenham, south-west London, who tells of the importance of passing on her ancestor's story.

In the Independent, editor Amol Rajan agrees that commemoration is important. "Now more than ever, we can best shape our future by learning from the follies of the past," he writes.

Extreme concerns
Screengrab taken from YouTube of a recruitment video for the extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant purportedly showing British Islamist fighters

After Muslim preachers across the UK used Friday prayers to discourage youngsters from travelling to fight in Syria's civil war, papers raise questions over the efforts of authorities to halt extremism.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a "hardline preacher" from a Cardiff mosque linked to two men who appeared in a video encouraging Britons to become jihadists gave lectures at the city's Cathays High School. Messages reportedly included that both music and contact between boys and girls, were "not permitted in Islam". Cardiff City Council is quoted as saying it acted as soon as concerns were raised.

To pay, or not to pay?

Generic image of sterling notes

Getting customers to stump up the cash has been a problem for more than one business, according to Saturday's papers. A Blackburn hair salon called police after a woman was so incensed by the results of her dye job that she refused to pay the £54 bill, reports the Express. The paper says five officers turned up, telling the customer her new do looked "lovely", before informing the hairdresser it was a civil matter to be pursued through the courts.

That's exactly what Sotheby's did in the case of another non-payer, according to the Daily Telegraph, which says the auction house issued a £3m High Court writ against art dealer Olyvia Kwok after one of her clients failed to cough up for two contemporary works. The paper quotes her spokesman saying: "This gentleman asked to buy the paintings then turned out not to have the funds." Miss Kwok is reportedly in the process of forking out for the works from her own funds to sell at a later date.

Meanwhile, the Independent's Cahal Milmo finds third and fourth-generation Muslims in the city wondering why their sons are being drawn to extremism.

In the Times, reformed extremist Maajid Nawaz - now a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate - tells Alice Thomson he was like the Cardiff students until he got locked up for being a member of a banned radical group. "In prison I changed, I realised I hadn't really been religious, I was just angry with the neo-Nazis and racists I had encountered on the streets of [his native] Essex," he's quoted as saying.

The Daily Mirror reports that a student from East Sussex has appeared in a video urging young Muslims to secretly leave home and help him wage holy war against Syrian government troops. Dr Natasha Ezrow, who lectures on radicalisation at the University of Essex, writes of the 20-year-old: "He speaks in a calm and assured manner but his naivety is glaring. Young men such as him face a series of unknowns and brutality. They are deluded to believe they are improving the human condition in Syria."

Another extremist is featured in the Sun, which says a former rapper posted a series of abusive tweets after finding out his family home in West London had been raided by anti-terror police. "They have nothing to do with this, they did not even know where I am. I haven't lived at home for years, you pagans," he reportedly wrote.

But the government is fighting back with its own propaganda video, according to the Independent. The paper says the Home Office has commissioned a film based on interviews with relatives of Britons killed in the Syria fighting to be shown in schools and mosques.

Making people click

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Mirror: Hollywood star Amy Adams praised for her generosity after giving up first class plane seat to US soldier

Times: Caitlin Moran - we can be heroes

Telegraph: United fend off Chelsea to seal Shaw deal

Daily Mail: The 13 secret signs that tell you what a man will be like in bed (and why you should keep your eye out for one who bites his nails)

Savile's 'reign of abuse' - front pages

The full extent of DJ Jimmy Savile's abuse of patients in NHS hospitals is outlined in Friday's newspapers.

Dozens of victims, aged between five and 75, were assaulted in 28 hospitals, reports the Guardian in its summary of investigators' reports into the late entertainer's activities.

"Jimmy Savile spared no-one in the half a century he manipulated his way into hospitals before abusing and raping staff, patients and visitors," is how Paul Gallacher sums things up, in the Independent.

Jimmy Savile visiting the patients and staff of Leeds General Infirmary in 1972

Several papers report the victims' individual accounts of the assaults, with the Times describing a rape in Savile's campervan, a repeat victim deliberately injuring herself to avoid meeting him and a patient abused in a lift while rendered immobile by a back injury.

As the Sun points out, there are suggestions he interfered with bodies in hospital morgues, including by taking false eyes from the dead and making them into jewellery. It uses a photograph of him wearing a ring which would appear to back up the claim.

The Daily Mirror says more still could be uncovered, reporting: "Police have also launched an investigation into shock claims the former DJ was involved in the death of a child who he was allegedly spotted dragging away at a children's home."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to victims on behalf of the government and NHS but the Daily Telegraph's Michael Deacon argues: "It's hard to see what worth there is in an apology from someone not remotely to blame for what happened. Apologies must come from those who owe them."

The sketchwriter says: "The point is that Jimmy Savile committed crimes, and some people helped or protected him."

"Often the encounters took place in public areas. Patients complained to staff. Yet, inexplicably, nothing was done," writes the Guardian's Randeep Ramesh. "The hospitals Savile volunteered for, and for which he raised millions of pounds, were apparently aware that they were harbouring a serial predator. But it seems they were more concerned with raising their media profile or pulling in donations."

The Daily Mail says his £3.3m estate will be used to pay compensation to victims but that such is the number of people affected that the taxpayer may have to foot the remainder of the bill if it tops that sum.

Positive energy?
Two fishermen sit in their boat at the Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

The announcement that regulator Ofgem is to investigate the energy market puts the price of power back on the front pages, with the Daily Mail pointing out that firms expect to make £101 profit a year from every family.

That amounts to a 1,000% increase in profit in just five years, the paper says. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror highlights the rise in profit margins in the past year. It says they've shot up 260%. Its business editor Graham Hiscott says the probe is "long overdue" but warns: "It also allows the issue to be kicked into the long grass... That means another two winters when bills could soar, millions battle to make ends meet, and, in the worst scenario, die in their homes, as the suppliers fatten their coffers."

The Independent is in more optimistic mood, however, declaring Britain to be "in the midst of a green energy revolution" when reporting official statistics suggesting combined wind, solar and hydro energy generation has soared by 43% to account for a fifth of production. "Increased capacity and falling prices offer hope for a non-fossil-fuel future," it says.

However, the Daily Telegraph reminds readers it's not all good news in the renewable energy sector. It points to a National Audit Office report suggesting that "energy companies are likely to reap hundreds of millions of pounds in excess profits after ministers failed to ensure good value when awarding £16.6bn in green subsidies".

Ministers signed contracts with companies to build five offshore wind farms, convert two coal power plants to burn biomass and construct one new biomass plant without putting them out to tender so as to stay on course for green energy generation targets, it explains. But they will add £11 to every consumer's bill by 2020, the paper reports.

'Muddy moshpit'
Wellingtons visible beneath the long-drop toilet doors at Glastonbury

The main acts are yet to take to the stage at Glastonbury Festival but it's already generating plenty of excitement in the press.

Along with the usual predictions of the rain creating a "muddy moshpit", as the Metro puts it, there is much excitement at glamour on show at Worthy Farm. "Music? We're at Glasto for the facials," is how the Mail describes beauty-conscious revellers trying to look their best.

How many shopping days?

Christmas presents under a tree

"Midsummer? Here's the top Christmas toys," says the Daily Express, as it explains that toy store Hamley's has released its list of 10 gifts expected to be on children's lists to Father Christmas.

The list includes a doll that hooks up to a phone or tablet and uses the internet to enable it to have a proper conversation, reports the Sun under the headline "Goo Google ga-ga".

The interactive monster, robot T-Rex and smart watch might be lots of fun, but they're also "tons of cash", says the Mirror, noting that some come with price tags as high as £135.

"The girls at Glastonbury are more likely to be slapping [mud] on their faces than wading through it," the paper reports. Meanwhile, columnist Jan Moir is full of admiration for two Scouse girls who still "managed to look lovely" despite sticking their hair in rollers the moment they'd pitched the tent.

The trend for looking good leaves welly-seller Herbie Needham chuckling, as he counts the proceeds from the couple of hundred raincoats and pairs of boots he's already sold. He tells the Times's Billy Kenber: "These days everyone wears expensive clothes and trainers. They come here from the cities and they are in a field in the countryside and they're not prepared. Everyone knows it was going to hammer down."

Another trader making hay whether the sun shines or not is Hamish Skermer. He tells the Independent how his firm has installed 1,000 chemical-free composting toilets across the festival site. Using sawdust to break down waste to be spread on Glastonbury's fields, the toilets are reported to lack the "chemical stink" of plastic portable alternatives and are painted with vivid artworks.

Another eye-catching installation is Banksy's Sirens of the Lambs which, the Guardian reports, "may make the festival's 177,000 campers think twice about their gourmet hamburgers - it is a delivery truck filled with about 200 shrieking, animated stuffed toys hanging out of the side as they are driven to slaughter".

The Daily Star is sparing a thought for Dolly Parton, who will perform at the festival for the first time on Sunday. She had to fork out £210 for her own ticket, it says.

Meanwhile, in a reference to recent health warnings, Telegraph cartoonist Matt sketches a mother seeing her festival-bound daughter off with the advice: "Be careful. I've heard these music festivals are rife with fruit juices and sugary drinks."

No allies?
David Cameron, France's President Francois Hollande and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at a ceremony in Ypres

As David Cameron tries to block Jean-Claude Juncker's bid to become European Commission president, the Daily Telegraph reports that others in Brussels harbour doubts about the former Luxembourg PM's suitability. Its sources suggests the man whose appointment has been publicly backed by leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel has a drink problem, something that's reportedly denied by a figure "close" to Mr Juncker.

However, the cartoonists still don't fancy Mr Cameron's chances of winning the argument. A day after European leaders attended a ceremony marking the centenary of World War One in Ypres, the Daily Telegraph's Adams imagines the British PM as a Tommy standing alone, bayonet fixed, in No Man's Land.

In similar vein, the Independent's Dave Brown reimagines David Low's famous WW2 "Very Well, Alone" cartoon, of a soldier on Britain's shores shaking his fist at enemy bombers. Instead, he has Mr Cameron, standing naked and preserving his dignity with Margaret Thatcher's handbag, fist raised at gold planes in the formation of the EU flag.

Meanwhile, the Times's Peter Brookes has the PM "in a tight spot" - namely between the bared butt cheeks of Chancellor Merkel - in a reworking of the Athena Tennis Girl poster. Still, according to the Financial Times, Mrs Merkel has been working to limit the fallout from the dispute, urging fellow leaders "not to push the UK prime minister further to the margins of the EU".

The Daily Mirror has little sympathy for the PM's predicament. "If Cameron loses he has only himself to blame. He failed to build alliances," it argues. Times Europe editor Charles Bremner agrees that: "Mr Cameron's blunder was to opt for a shoot-out with guns blazing against the unassuming Luxembourger last month, rather than seek allies to oppose the selection method on principle."

However, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson writes in the Telegraph that most of the leaders voting for Mr Juncker regard him as "fairly useless" and that Mr Cameron is the only one with the "courage to take on Europe".

While the PM has been copping some flak, the Sun says Labour leader Ed Miliband - who also opposes Mr Juncker's appointment - isn't getting away from the argument unscathed. His predecessor Gordon Brown's suggestion that an immediate referendum on EU membership might be the best thing for the UK "piled pressure" on the embattled party leader, who has rejected calls for a poll, the paper says.

Making people click

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Guardian: Icelandic girls can't be called Harriet, government tells family

Daily Mirror: Stonehenge was 'constructed by cowboy builders who did a botch job claims expert'

Daily Telegraph: Wimbledon women forced to go bra-less due to all-white rule clampdown

Times: Drunk princess stripped off at university party

'Ban' fruit juice and Wonga 'Wronga' - front pages

A child drinking orange juice

Fruit juice might be a staple for many families but some papers lead on warnings from government advisers about its sugar content.

"Ban fruit juice at dinner time," is how the Daily Mail sums up the recommendation, quoting an Oxford academic. The paper points out that a 250ml serving of orange juice contains just two teaspoons of sugar fewer than a can of cola.

The Daily Telegraph quotes the government's chief obesity adviser saying that parents should ensure only water or milk is on the dinner table. It looks ahead to the publication of two reports - one setting out new recommendations on daily sugar limits and another considering the merits of tighter restrictions on advertising processed foods, or taxing sugary products.

Meanwhile, orange juice has escaped a ban in one primary school which - the Daily Star reports - has barred pupils from drinking fruit squash, on the grounds it makes them naughty in class. The school head is quoted saying sugar-laden drinks make children disruptive, while a mum has reportedly started a petition to have the "barmy" ban scrapped.

Bad pennies?
File photo of sterling notes over the logo of website

The actions of payday loan firm Wonga - which sent threatening letters from imaginary lawyers to debtors, and charged them for the privilege - are roundly condemned, with the Sun renaming the firm "Wronga".

Not so grim?

Recession-hit northern towns are "bouncing back" with thousands more jobs, according to the Sun. It points to research by an employment website suggesting that competition for posts in places such as Wirral and Salford has dropped, as evidence the north is "finally sharing the recovery sweeping the capital and the South East".

Meanwhile, commuters' paper Metro reckons it's "grim down south" for train travellers. It points to National Rail Passengers Survey figures showing customers are largely happy with services in Hull and Merseyside, and Yorkshire's Grand Central. Meanwhile, companies serving London, such as Greater Anglia, South West Trains and First Capital Connect, languish at the foot of the table.

"It was so pernicious because it would have frightened many already in debt into borrowing more just to get themselves out of a hole, and thus landing themselves - needlessly - in even more trouble," says the Independent.

"Wonga's abuse of its customers makes the case for tighter regulation of legal loan sharks," argues the Daily Mirror. The Financial Times's Lex Column agrees, saying: "Charging lawyers' fees without paying lawyers, in an industry that will always face moral scrutiny, is picking up pennies in front of a regulatory steamroller."

But the Daily Mail goes further, asking: "Why isn't Wonga in the dock?" The company has apologised and is to pay £2.6m in compensation to the 45,000 people who were targeted by the letters. But, noting that City regulators have sent a file to police, the paper hears one lawyer describe how a criminal investigation could proceed, if police so wished, by examining laws on fraud, blackmail and falsely claiming to be a solicitor.

As the Sun notes, with some irony: "Wonga's £50 [compensation] to each customer sent a fake legal letter in 2010 would be worth £12,194 now if the firm applied its own interest rate of 5,853% per year." It also hears from money saving adviser Martin Lewis, who says hard-pressed families would be better off raising cash by selling unwanted belongings at car boot sales and advises people to visit credit unions before going to payday loan firms.

Poor judge?
David Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions

For a second consecutive day, the Guardian's front page calls into question David Cameron's judgement, reporting how the judge in the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking trial criticised the prime minister for speaking about the case before the jury had finished deliberating.

The Daily Mirror's mind is made up, its editorial arguing: "High standards in government do matter. So too does the prime minister's judgement. And yet again the PM has been found wanting."

Likewise the Daily Mail criticises the PM for taking on ex-NoW editor Andy Coulson as his media chief, calling it a "gross misjudgement", and says his "leaping in with an apology" before the trial was over only served to "compound his folly".

His opposite number, Labour's Ed Miliband, doesn't fare much better in the judgement of sketchwriters watching his efforts to embarrass Mr Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions. The Guardian suggests he "dropped the ball when faced with an open goal", while the Mail's Quentin Letts reckons "toothless Ed drew less blood than Suarez" - a reference to Uruguay striker Luis's World Cup "bite" at an Italian defender.

Mind you, says the Times's Ann Treneman, the PM did have a "friend" on his side - Sir Brian Leveson - from whose report into press practices he quoted: "There can be no criticism of Mr Cameron..."

Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph, would disagree, arguing that "it it is no longer possible to regard [Mr Cameron] as a man of sound character and reliably decent morality".

Condemning politicians' reliance on "PR cronies", he adds: "It is not just the prime minister, and the coterie of chancers who surround him, who carry on as if nothing has changed. The same is true of Ed Miliband."

Tennis shorts
Composite image showing the Tennis Girl poster, left, and Judy Murray handing out coffee to tennis fans

Thursday's papers enjoy as much of the action away from Wimbledon's Centre Court as within the famous arena, as - according to the Times - did the Duchess of Cornwall.

She "flouted convention" by abandoning the Royal Box to instead head to Court One to follow the fortunes of reigning champion Andy Murray. And the Sun is as interested in "lanky" groundsman Lydon Sutcliffe who, at 7ft 1in, is "such a giant of the game that even celebrities look up to him". He's pictured with singer Sir Cliff Richard and TV presenter Holly Willoughby.

The Independent's main interest wasn't even within the grounds of the SW19 venue. Its main image is of Murray's mother, Judy, handing out coffee to drowsy campers at the front of the queue for entry.

Back on the court, the Daily Telegraph enjoys suggesting that racquet-smashing Frenchman Benoit Paire might be considered a "mauvais perdant" (sore loser) for moaning after his first-round exit. "I'm not at all sad to leave this place where the atmosphere displeases me greatly," he grumbled.

However, there's trouble round the corner, according to the Daily Mail. "Ball boys are on the brink of extinction," it complains, suggesting the "PC brigade" is behind a change to "ball kids". It notes that BBC commentators have used the latter, although the corporation has insisted there is "no official policy" on the matter and a Wimbledon spokesman says there are no plans to stop using the terms "ball boys" and "ball girls".

Readers who fear things are going to pot can indulge in some tennis nostalgia in the Metro. The paper reports that the dress worn by a model who posed as a tennis player, scratching her naked behind, in one of the most famous posters ever produced is to be "saved for posterior-ity". The revealing garment is being auctioned and, says the Daily Express, could fetch up to £2,000.

Making people click

Daily Mail: England and Italy are blowing 'bite' storm out of proportion says Suarez's lawyer as pictures reveal disgraced striker's previous 'attack' on SAME player a year ago

Guardian: North Korea threatens 'merciless' response over Seth Rogen film

Times: Como locks down to shield Clooney and his British fiancee

Financial Times: Google takes 'wearable' battle to Apple with smartwatch services

Press verdicts on hacking trial

Andy Coulson leaves the Old Bailey, watched by a police officer

While the verdicts in the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking trial make most front pages, the papers take distinct approaches.

For the Guardian, the conviction of Andy Coulson raises questions about David Cameron's judgement, given the PM appointed the ex-NoW editor as his media chief months after he'd quit the Sunday tabloid following the jailing of its royal editor for phone hacking.


Generic image of a child flying a kite

"Perfectly normal" ideas, such as flying a kite, could be banned in a Nottinghamshire country park, where councillors are proposing new by-laws to "discourage nuisance behaviours and minor anti-social behaviour", reports the Metro.

The Daily Star reckons the proposals - which also clamp down on ball games, singing, picnics and camping - are "park, raving mad".

"This was not just a man misreading the character of a man he chose to employ. Cameron chose not to find out about him," writes Patrick Wintour.

Likewise, the Daily Mail's Stephen Glover describes it as "the most foolish blunder of Cameron's career" to have "stubbornly and arrogantly" taken Coulson with him to Downing Street on becoming PM in 2010.

Viewing Mr Cameron's "full and frank apology" for the appointment, the Daily Telegraph's Michael Deacon found the PM looking "oddly stern", writing: "If your TV had been on mute, you might have assumed that he was demanding an apology, rather than offering one."

He noted that the Conservative leader said it was a "bad decision" to give Mr Coulson a second chance, adding: "Mr Cameron's failing, in his view, was that he was just too damned kind for his own good."

And the Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire reckons the apology was neither full nor frank, arguing that the PM had previously "stood behind his mouthpiece when damning evidence emerged, then stuck two fingers up to the nation by inviting forced-out Coulson for a weekend at Chequers".

'Not so wicked'
Rebekah Brooks leaves court

For the Sun, there's plenty to celebrate in the acquittal of five others including its former editor - and Coulson's one-time boss - Rebekah Brooks.

It declares it a "great day for red tops", in a reference to both Mrs Brooks's hair and the tabloid industry. Its associate editor Trevor Kavanagh describes the verdicts as a "triumph for British justice" but warns that the innocent will unfairly be "permanently tainted" by the phone-hacking allegations, which he feels were used to "smear" papers - like his own - in the News UK stable alongside the now-defunct NoW.

Another News UK paper, the Times, suggests some of the trial evidence proved some celebrity victims were "not so innocent". "The cross-examination revealed that, in some cases, tabloid stories had been instigated by the victims themselves, or by their families and friends," writes Fiona Hamilton.

Like the Times, the Telegraph focuses on Mrs Brooks's acquittal. As its writer Philip Johnston puts it: "The Wicked Witch, as [satirical magazine] Private Eye lampooned her, was not so wicked after all."

The Daily Express's John Twomey charts her meteoric rise "from sweeping floors and making tea... to become one of the most influential women in Britain", while the Mail describes the "world-class schmoozer who bewitched three prime ministers".

And while several papers wonder what she will do next, the Independent's Ian Burrell suggests she could "return to her master's side in the US" by working again for media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

At Her Majesty's pleasure
The Queen with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on a visit to Belfast's Crumlin Road jail.

The Queen's visit to Northern Ireland provokes some interest, with several papers focusing on her trip to Belfast's Crumlin Road jail alongside First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Both men spent time in its cells.

The Telegraph's headline imagines them telling the Queen: "And this, Ma'am, is the jail where we were held in the Troubles." Meanwhile, the Daily Express picks up on Mr McGuinness's praise for her contribution to the reconciliation process, describing the prison visit as "astonishing".

In an editorial, the Telegraph says the image of the Queen "beautifully dressed in a summery outfit of yellow sherbet and holding a posy, in a corridor of the old Crumlin Road jail" is a strange one. "The jail is now a tourist attraction; the ministers are law-abiding; and the Queen - she stays the same. Long may she do so."

Other papers, such as the Sun, use photographs from her visit to the set of Game of Thrones, where she viewed the TV show's "Seat of Power". It imagines her declaring: "I've got one just like this."

The Daily Star, meanwhile, prefers to highlight the actions of one teenager, who snapped a selfie with the Queen in the background. "It's hard not to laugh at the cheeky young scamp," says its editorial. "Let's hope he didn't chop off her head."

Englan's footballers after the final whistle against Costa Rica

"England 0, Apathy won," declares the Daily Mirror, as it pictures a solitary man in a pub watching the nation's footballers bow out of the World Cup with a whimper by drawing 0-0 with Costa Rica.

And the Daily Mail reports that the early exit may have cost the economy £1.3bn, quoting a report suggesting it will result in "declining sales for retailers and a drop in productivity in the workplace".

Not toothless

Luis Suarez's teeth

The team don't even manage to provide the day's main football story, with their nemesis in the second group game - Uruguay's Luis Suarez - again snatching the headlines amid allegations he bit an opposing player for the third time as his side beat Italy to progress to the knockout stages.

"Jaws III," is the headline in the Mail and others, while the Sun restyles Suarez "Chewy Luis" after the 80s US pop star Huey Lewis. "Three bites and you're out," declares the Daily Mirror, suggesting that the Liverpool star faces a two-year ban if he's found to have bitten Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. The Times feels 24 matches is a more likely number for leaving the Italian a "marked man".

The Guardian prints images of the two previous occasions when Suarez went dental, on PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal when playing for Ajax in the Dutch league, and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic during a Liverpool game.

Its writer, Paolo Bandini, says: "Another World Cup and another controversy with the Uruguay striker at its heart. His goal-line handball against Ghana in South Africa four years ago divided opinion. But there is no such obvious defence for chomping down on an opponent's shoulder."

"The man-child who destroyed England's World Cup hopes has a pathological problem and must pay for it with a minimum six-month ban from football," demands the Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward.

Making people click

Telegraph: Suarez needs help - what he did was entirely self-destructive

Financial Times: China expands plans for World Bank rival

Times: Break-up of Iraq now inevitable, Kurds tell Kerry

Mirror: Shocking MRI scan picture of 64-stone man will put you off unhealthy foods for life

Jailing 'outrage' and PM 'isolated' - papers

Australian journalist Peter Greste stands inside a cage in a Cairo court

There is support for the three al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt from the British press.

Both the Guardian and Times give up much of their front pages to an image of Australian Peter Greste behind the wire of a court cage at Monday's hearing, during which he and two others were jailed for seven years for "spreading false news".

Al-Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed listen to proceedings from their cage in court

The Independent's Robert Fisk complains: "It is not just the outrageous, unfair, trumped-up crudity of the charges... No, it is the bald fact that prison for journalists in one of the world's most populous, historic countries must now be regarded as a normal part of the risks we take in covering the world."

In the Times, Russ Finn describes the conditions he found in a Cairo police cell after being arrested while working as an al-Jazeera producer. "The conditions were grim. We slept on the floor, which was covered in urine, blood and excrement," he writes.

The Daily Mirror can see the hope generated by the Arab Spring "mutating into fear and oppression", arguing: "Trumped up charges and the startling lack of evidence are a terrible modern stain on one of the world's earliest civilisations."

As the Times sees it: "Until the journalists are freed, international pressure must be piled on the Egyptian government."

According to the Guardian's editorial, the revelation that the US had recently released hundreds of millions of dollars in frozen military aid demonstrates poor judgement from Washington: "The United States and other friends of Egypt should be using the leverage represented by aid and other forms of assistance forcefully rather than just throwing it away."

Meanwhile, for John McTernan, writing in the Daily Telegraph, there are lessons for the UK in this "chilling reminder of the danger of state control" of the press.

PM v Europe
David Cameron greets President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, outside 10 Downing Street

David Cameron has been left "isolated" by other European leaders, according to the i's front page, which says he has been deserted by Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands in his bid to oppose Jean-Claude Juncker's election as European Commission president.

Going nowhere?

Ed Miliband in the Commons

Ed Miliband is prepared to fight to remain Labour leader even if his party loses next year's general election, according to the Daily Mail's sources. The Sun brands the Labour leader "arrogant" for wanting to emulate "double-loser" Neil Kinnock in remaining Opposition leader after failing to win an election.

However, writing in the Daily Telegraph, Dan Hodges believes that Labour is "almost unconsciously... starting to drift into the post-Miliband era". He adds: "This time last year, very few senior members of the shadow cabinet thought Labour would prevail in 2015. Now, none of them do."

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph is among the papers reporting a "foul-mouthed tirade" from the Polish foreign minister about the PM's "incompetence in European affairs". It prints a transcript of his complaints, which the Sun reckons leave Mr Cameron "Pole-axed".

The Daily Mirror says it proves the PM is "a naive operator, a figure of scorn in Europe's capitals who has failed, big time, in crucial negotiations". The Mail, too, reckons Mr Cameron's humiliation over the presidential appointment is "almost complete".

However, there is support for the Conservative leader from the Independent's Steve Richards. "Cameron is not to blame for the way he has sought to block Juncker or for the likely failure of his attempt," he writes, adding that it is, however, an indication of "the degree to which he is trapped by Europe".

And the Times believes the British prime minister has one more weapon in his armoury in the form of the "L-bomb". This "nuclear option" is known as the Luxembourg Compromise and can be invoked - indefinitely deferring a decision - when a country believes "a very important national interest" is at stake, the paper says. It also suggests Mr Cameron is preparing to toughen his rhetoric, as far as threatening to leave the EU.

George Osborne gives a speech in Manchester about the prospects for northern England

A "supercity to rival London" is how the Daily Star describes George Osborne's vision for northern England. And the cartoonists give their take on his motives for mooting a high-speed railway line between Manchester and Leeds to develop closer links among cities between the ports of Liverpool and Hull.

Adams, in the Telegraph, pictures the chancellor in flat cap, a whippet at his side and pint in hand, as he points to map of the proposed rail route with the line meandering to spell out "vote Tory". The Independent's Dave Brown has Mr Osborne as the Fat Controller from the Thomas the Tank Engine stories with the prime minister as Thomas, towing ballot boxes instead of carriages.

"This sort of scheme could be a template for what government can do well," argues the Times. The Independent also welcomes the idea as a "worthwhile project" but points out that without financial commitment "it is little more than a pipe dream".

The Financial Times's editorial argues that a train leaving Manchester might not get up to top speed before having to apply the breaks to stop at Leeds. The chancellor "has missed an opportunity to address the real connectivity problem: the myriad bottlenecks on existing roads and railways that limit the effective size of the region's economy", it adds.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph's Michael Deacon notes that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said he wants the creation of a "Northern Golden Triangle". The sketch continues: "The 'Golden Triangle' is the name of the so-called 'business improvement district' in Washington, DC, although interestingly it is also the name of the huge area in south-east Asia where opium is grown. It is not known which of these two ideals Mr Clegg has in mind."

Star attraction?
Amelie Mauresmo and Judy Murray greet each other

Sports writers note how defending champion Andy Murray breezed through his first round match at Wimbledon but their news colleagues are more interested in what was going on in the crowd.

Mug's game?

Composite image of Chris Smalling and Barack Obama

There's a silver lining for fans of the England football team after the side's elimination from the World Cup, as the Daily Express reports. The paper says supermarkets have slashed the prices of merchandise, with Sainsbury's reducing the price of mugs by up to 70%.

However, it appears the price of one set of mugs - those bearing the name of defender Chris Smalling - could be about to rise. The Metro says 2,000 were accidentally printed with the photograph of US President Barack Obama, instead of the Manchester United star. And the clearance company who bought up the rejects reckons they could turn a healthy profit.

The Metro spots singer Pixie Lott, comedian Jack Whitehall, actress Naomie Harris and DJ Jameela Jamil in attendance and suggests they're taking their minds of England's performance in the football... And the rugby union... And the cricket.

The Daily Express points out the "generation game" in play, with Murray's father and grandparents in the stands, while other papers focus on the player's partner Kim Sears and mother, Judy. The latter is pictured on the front of the Telegraph, greeting Sears and her son's new coach Amélie Mauresmo.

Meanwhile, the Mail says Mrs Murray is soon to be centre-stage, rather than centre court, quoting sources who say she's in talks to appear on BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing.

Murray apart, British players were "dropping like flies", according to the Independent. However, the Telegraph hails the performance of the "bad girl of British tennis" - Naomi Broady, of Stockport, Greater Manchester - who won her first-round match. It recalls how seven years ago she was suspended by the Lawn Tennis Association for "unprofessional behaviour" and stripped of funding after posing as a 17-year-old next to a nightclub condom machine.

Making people click

Daily Telegraph: Greenpeace executive flies 250 miles to work

Times: The demise of the food snob: how we fell out of love with farmers' markets

Guardian: US student is rescued from giant vagina sculpture in Germany

Daily Mirror: Award-winning Luis Suarez stands by his claim that he is NOT respected in England

Iraq, the NHS and Murray and the labradoodle - the papers

Once again, it's Iraq - its conflict, the Britons fighting there and the implications for UK security - which is the prevailing topic for our national newspapers.

The Independent devotes six pages to the conflict, which it calls "the great unravelling" of a country.

The paper says that Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned against US intervention in Iraq.

Ali Khamenei Ayatollah Khamenei's intervention could scupper the hopes of those who hoped for a US-Iranian raprochement

"US officials suspect that Iran wants to use its co-operation in political changes in Baghdad to extract concessions in negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme," the paper notes.

The ayatollah's view on US intervention certainly seems to merge with the mood of the American public, the paper reports.

It says "most Americans would rather forget where Iraq was on the map".

In an opinion piece in the Indy, Robert Fisk says oil politics has hidden who has been playing a leading role in the various waves of conflict in Iraq.

"There's been a stubborn refusal to accept that the revolt in Iraq has been going on for years - and that behind it all lies Saudi Arabia," he writes.

The Daily Telegraph says that MI6 and the CIA were alerted that the Isis insurgent group were planning a major assault on Iraqi government-held cities in the north of the country, but they "failed to act on it".

The paper says "there is a widespread sense in Iraq that Britain and America were so disillusioned by their failures in the [Iraq] war that they lowered their presence in the region."

Elsewhere, the Telegraph reports on potential links between the three Cardiff-based Britons whose presence among Isis militants was highlighted in a propaganda video shot by the group, and two other men from the same part of the Welsh capital, who are in prison for planning to blow up London's Stock Exchange.

The Daily Mail hypothesises that the Cardiff men may have been "radicalised" by attending a mosque in the city where a visiting Saudi Arabian cleric preached.

TRhree Britons in Isis recruitment video

The man, Mohammed al-Arifi, has "called for a jihad in Syria" the paper says.

The Daily Express quotes a trustee at the mosque - the Al Manar Centre - who says "we're against going to Syria for the armed struggle and have spelt this out." He says the internet may have influenced the young men to join insurgent forces.

The Guardian says the former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox says the UK's spy agencies could be given more power.

Dr Fox comments: "If required, it is the first duty of the state to protect its citizens.

"The whole area of intercept needs to be looked at.

"We have got to have a real debate... between the libertarians who say the state mustn't get too powerful and pretty much the rest of us who say the state must protect itself."

'Fragmented NHS'

There is a "care crisis" within the NHS which can only be fixed by an urgent injection of £2bn, the Times reports in its lead story.

The figure comes from the British Medical Association which warns that without it there will be "longer waiting times and staff cuts as hospitals slide into the red," the paper says.

The doctors' union tell the paper "there is no vast pot of wasted billions in the NHS" and after £20bn in cuts over the past four years the service cannot cope with Britain's ageing population and the service needs more money in the next autumn mini-budget.

Down boy!

a German shepherd dog catching a frisbee

The world of health and safety is not only a concern for the human population, a story in the Daily Telegraph suggests.

The Kennel Club has supported a decision by a dog show in Keswick to scrap a dog frisbee and biscuit catching competition "on safety grounds".

The club says it has concerns over the "extreme form" of frisbee catching, noting that dogs will "jump and twist" and this can "cause strains and injury".

The Cumbrian show's organisers decided that it was safety first, and dogs should compete in less vigorous categories such as "the dog that looks most like its name" and the "best howling performance".

BMA head Dr Mark Porter told the Times that it was "economic illiteracy" to expect the NHS to improve without extra resources.

"The national health service is by objective measurement the most effective health service on the planet," he argues.

The Independent reports that "senior Liberal Democrats" have taken up cudgels within the coalition in support of the BMA's call.

A source within the government told the paper: "If there is chaos within the NHS four months before the election, we... can be put under huge pressure by NHS managers who realise they have leverage over us.

"If we act now, we can look proactive. It will even see the electorate agree with us about something."

Elsewhere, the paper notes a BMA claim that political parties use healthcare "to score points over the dispatch box" rather than "protect and improve" the service.

It says a poll shows that 66% of people asked would "like the NHS taken out of the hands of politicians".

The Daily Mirror goes into attack mode over the Health and Social Care Act - the legislation that opened parts of the NHS to private sector involvement.

It says the BMA reckon that 95% of senior doctors think the legislation - which the Mirror calls a "flagship Tory policy" - has not improved patient care, with GPs finding it harder to refer patients for treatment in a "fragmented" NHS.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham tells the paper that the act has turned the NHS into "the world's biggest quango".


It's that man again! It's fair to say that a couple of months ago few British newspaper readers would be familiar with the former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker, but now his name is everywhere.

As the leading candidate to succeed Jose Manual Barroso as European Commission president, his credentials - and David Cameron's seeming impotence at stopping his rise to power - are much discussed.

As the Daily Mirror tells it, Mr Cameron's "bid to thwart new EU boss is left in tatters" in an "EUmiliation" for the prime minister.

The listening bank

Generic image of a man on the phone

"The days of memorising long passwords and answering tedious security questions when calling your bank could soon be over," according to the Daily Mail

The paper reports that Barclays is to trial new voice recognition software which will recognise customers.

Recordings of telephone banking customers will be kept on a secure database and when they call their bank sophisticated software will be able to recognise the person within 10 seconds, allowing staff to grant access to account details.

The paper adds that "even the best impressionists such as Rory Bremner and Alistair McGowan" could not fool the software, which works by recording unique breath patterns and the speed at which people say particular words.

The Daily Express says the seemingly unstoppable rise of Mr Juncker, who is seen as a keen "federalist" in European matters - is "a slap in the face for all voters".

Its leader comment adds: "Across Europe there is a clear wish to turn back the powers of the European face, something that was obvious through the support of eurosceptic parties in the recent European elections."

The attempt to "rubberstamp" Mr Juncker into the union's top job "highlights how divorced from reality EU officials have become".

The Guardian leads with the words of work secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who warns that the appointment of Mr Juncker in the face of British opposition would leave the chances of Britain remaining in the EU "very bleak".

The Times says European leaders are planning on "saving Private Cameron" by offering him a package of reforms to the EU as a "consolation" for having lost his bid to block the Luxembourger's ascendancy.

The Daily Telegraph says that Mr Cameron's position in Europe was left isolated because he had been "privately assured" by German and Italian leaders that they supported the British view, but then decided to endorse Mr Juncker.

The paper's leader column says if the PM's last ditch attempts to stop the appointment fail, it "will be a slight to the country."

"If Britain cannot stop a man who few think is any good from taking over the helm of Europe's bureaucracy, what hope what realistic chance is there of renegotiating this country's position in the EU," it asks.

Mr Juncker may have one Fleet Street ally though: in the Independent, columnist Matthew Norman says "right-leaning tabloids claimed over the weekend that the Luxembourger is a curmudgeonly heavy drinker and smoker who takes a drop of brandy for breakfast.

"What's wrong with any of that? Sounds reassuringly Churchillian to me."

Fox population

Wimbledon begins today, and before Andy Murray picks up a racket in anger, the papers go in for a stat attack on the British public's annual tennis love-in.

The Sun tells us that 54,250 tennis balls will have to be collected by the 250 ball boys and girls on duty; 38,500 spectators are in the grounds at peak capacity and 8,615 punnets of strawberries and 14,400 glasses of Pimm's will be demolished by said tennis-lovers.

It also records two things that may enhance the public's support for our defending champion.

It reports that Murray spotted and rescued a stray labradoodle when he was practising for his first round match against Belgium's David Goffin, telephoning the dog's delighted owner.

A labradoodle A labradoodle - similar to the one detained by Andy Murray this weekend

The Sun also says Murray has found time to guest edit The Beano this week, and stars in the comic alongside Dennis the Menace who is given some lessons on how to "menace" on court.

Hopefully, Murray will not fall foul of Wimbledon's crackdown on players who are not whiter-than-white.

The Times reports that rules will be tightened at this year's championship to ensure the follow the dress code which allows no more than a "1cm coloured trim" . The paper notes the ruling extends to undergarments.

The Daily Star says the crackdown has been extended to fans who will be warned that "annoying behaviour, using abusive language or removing items of clothing" could lead to their ejection.

It quotes "manners guru" William Hanson as saying the notices are "a sorry sign of the times".

Rather poor manners have already been displayed by some of SW19s four-legged residents, the Independent reports.

The paper says some of Wimbledon's extensive fox population have taken to raiding the tents of spectators queueing overnight to get into the site.

"We got no sleep at all," keen fan Gary Ascott, told the paper. He has been camping on the pavement outside the ground since Saturday.

Making people click

FT: Britain "failing to defend Hong Kong democracy"

Guardian: Saturn's mystery object

Telegraph: Scandal of "fiddled global warming data"

Mail: Prince Harry's merry weekend

Sun: Name-and-shame England football refuseniks

'Jihadist threat to the UK' - the papers

Saturday's newspapers had much about the recruitment video released by young British and Australian Muslims fighting with the extremist Isis group in Syria and Iraq, and Sunday's press takes on the story, with more details of the UK-born militants.

The Mail on Sunday focuses on one man, 20-year-old Reyaad Khan from Cardiff, showing a picture of him as a young teen among friends in his Welsh school. It asks "What turns this boy from a leafy British suburb into a terrorist?"

The paper traces his changing life by examining his Facebook posts, which start as a sport-loving teenager, complaining about homework and posing with a family pet, and end as a young man "revealing his increased fanaticism" in "rants" about Isis and its increasing control of parts of Iraq.

Isis supporters in Iraq wave Jihadi flag Isis controls a large swathe of central and western Iraq with the help of Sunni Muslim sympathisers

In a comment piece in the paper, Maajid Nawaz of the anti-extremist Quilliam think tank calls for the West to use a pragmatic strategy over the conflict of Iraq,.

He said it should assert what influence it has over regional allies to ensure they take on the fight against Isis, rather than directly intervening and resurrecting "domestic sympathy for extremism".

The Sunday Telegraph's story focuses on Nasser and Aseel Muthana who it calls "the brilliant brothers" - high academic achievers who left Cardiff with Reyaad Khan to fight in Syria.

The paper says the boys' father, satellite dish fitter Ahmed, "collapsed with shock" and needed hospital treatment on being told by police that both his sons had obtained false passports and had travelled to the combat zone.

The paper highlights other Britons linked to the extremists, including Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary from London, whose father, the Telegraph says, was a confidant of Osama bin Laden.

He has posted tweets aimed at his fellow Britons warning of "beheadings in your backyard", the paper adds.

In its leader column, the Telegraph says "education is the key to combating fundamentalism".

It praises the government's push to teach "British values" in schools and instil an understanding in youngsters "of the organising principles of the society they live in".

"If they fully understand British values, they will understand how vastly superior these values are to the barbarism of Isis and its international brigade."

Hitler's hidden hoard

Adolf Hitler

Despite portraying himself as being uninterested in money, Adolf Hitler had a fortune that would be worth £3.6bn today, the Sunday People reports.

The paper carries a preview of a Channel 5 programme The Hunt For Hitler's Millions, which claims that the Nazi leader had numerous very lucrative ways of making money.

These included copyrighting his own image - so the German state paid him royalties for every stamp sold - and making cash from the sales of his book Mein Kampf, copies of which were given to every German married couple.

The paper says the frugal fuhrer cancelled a £1.75m unpaid tax bill on assuming power, and never paid anything to the exchequer thereafter.

The whereabouts of much of Hitler's money remains a mystery, the People adds. It was stashed in secret bank accounts and not mentioned in his will.

The Sun on Sunday focuses on what the paper says is the youngest Briton to fight in Syria: 18-year-old Mohammed Hadi from Coventry.

The paper speaks to friends of the teenager who say that he adopted extreme views after being "brainwashed" at "extremist mosques".

The Sun echoes the Telegraph's call for the education system to combat extremism, but adds "social media like Twitter need to realise that they are becoming an essential tool in the extremists' tactics.

"They need to take responsibility - and act."

The Independent on Sunday leads with a claim by the former head of anti-terrorism at MI6, that as many as 300 Britons who have fought with jihadist forces in Syria may have returned to the UK.

Richard Barrett says the conflict has been an "incubator of new terrorists" with combat skills.

He has co-authored a report suggesting that one in nine foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq will return to become a terrorist threat in their home countries.

Mr Barrett and his co-authors claim there are more than 12,000 foreigners fighting in the Syrian civil war.

The Sunday Times says that some Britons who have fought in the Middle East are "faking their deaths to sneak back in" to the UK.

It adds that one "martyred" jihadist has already been arrested by the security services after turning up alive in Dover.


David Cameron's immediate battles are within the context of the European Union - and he appears to be losing them, according to much of Sunday's press.

The Sunday Times says former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker is set to be appointed as the new president of the European Commission, against Mr Cameron's implacable opposition.

A Downing Street source tells the paper: "Our chances of stopping him are now the same as England's of winning the World Cup."

Mr Juncker, the paper continues, has signalled he "will not tolerate" changes to Europe's rules on the free movement of workers, which Mr Cameron is seeking to renegotiate.

Jean-Claude Juncker David Cameron told Chancellor Merkel that the election of Jean-Claude Juncker (above) would make the UK more likely to leave the EU

In its inside pages, the Times carries a letter from 54 leading British business people warning they are "extremely concerned" that the government is failing to "protect the UK from European plans to tax the City and impose new red tape".

The Observer says an "angry" Mr Cameron is to force a vote from other EU leaders at a forthcoming summit to try to find out why other candidates have not been considered.

Amid the turmoil the paper publishes a poll, which suggests that 47% of Britons would vote to leave the EU if treaty renegotiations fail (against 37% who would vote to stay), but if the prime minister's moves to change the terms of British membership succeed, more would want to stay in than would want to exit.

Matthew Elliott, of the campaign group Business For Britain, writes in the Sun that Mr Juncker -"another career politician" and an "arch-federalist" - is the last thing the EU wants in its top job.

"If the EU is serious about sorting its own act out, it would appoint a successful businessman, not another eurocrat, to the position.

"Imagine an EU run by someone with experience of running a successful enterprise - someone who had worked in the real world?" he adds.

Writing in the Independent on Sunday, John Rentoul says Mr Cameron has "misjudged" the position of his "main ally" German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and faces an uphill battle in the struggle to achieve his sort of Europe.

"Cameron often scoffs at people who said it would be 'impossible' for him to veto the banking treaty, or to block the rise in the EU budget... but renegotiating new terms of UK membership is a quite different kind of 'impossible'," Rentoul reckons.


The British Army is losing a fight too, the Sunday Times says: it is losing the "battle of the bulge".

The paper explains that 32,000 soldiers were too unfit to perform basic fitness tests - push-ups and sit-ups - at some time during the past three years.

The figures - obtained by a freedom of information request - have been blamed on the "appalling" diet served to recruits.

The Times says troops in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan enjoyed "daily cooked breakfasts, a cheeseboard, pizza and choice from an extensive dessert buffet boasting profiteroles, ice-cream and cheesecake."

Amazing 'scope

Galaxy NGC 4485

The search for new Earth-like planets could make a giant leap forward, if a new project reported in the Sunday Times ever comes to fruition.

The paper says scientists are planning a giant telescope - four times larger than the Hubble one - which could see planets up to 30 light years away.

The huge device - codenamed Atlas - would be so large it would not be able to be lifted by any rocket, but would need to be assembled in space by astronauts, working a million miles above the Earth's surface, the paper says.

Don't expect to apply for a job as an astronaut construction worker soon however. The Times says the projected date for Atlas's construction is 2030.

A senior officer told the paper: "Walk around any British Army barracks anywhere in the world and you will see plenty of overweight male and female soldiers."

The paper's report reveals that 50 soldiers have been dismissed for obesity in the past three years, and weight issues seem particularly problematic in Scottish units, with the Royal Regiment of Scotland alone recording 630 fitness failures.

Perhaps the military should call in Jamie Oliver.

In an interview in the Observer, the former Naked Chef, now - as the paper reveals - the head of enterprises employing 8,000 people, with an annual profit of £10m, reveals how he thinks technology can beat obesity.

Oliver shows the paper a "Jawbone" device - a wristband that records sleep, movement and dietary information about its wearer.

He tells the paper that with more development "the devices could prove the key to helping doctors understand their patients' lifestyles and become an enormous help in the battle against a destructive and unhealthy diet."

That's a battle in which children are at the frontline and the Daily Mirror reports that the health secretary is considering banning celebrities from endorsing "unhealthy" foods.

Jeremy Hunt commissioned a report from Action on Sugar over concerns that one in three British youngsters are overweight.

The ideas also include banning "junk food" from sponsoring sport, a move the Sun decries as "nanny state".

It looks like there are many more battles ahead in the pages of Britain's newspapers.

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Star: Luis Suarez's death threat hell

People: Lottery winners ten weeks of living it up

Jihadist 'recruiters' unmasked - the front pages

The appearance online of a Jihadist "recruitment video" made by three young Britons and two Australians is examined in many of Saturday's newspapers.

Isis video claiming to show British and Australian fighters The video which appeared on Jihadist sympathising websites had "high production values" experts said

The Daily Mail leads with the story and examines the background of the one Briton identified in the video - student Nasser Muthana from Cardiff.

Muthana, who urges fellow Muslims to join him fighting for the extremist Isis group in Syria and Iraq, was an academic high-achiever, the paper says, having gained 13 GCSE's, 12 at A or A* level.

The paper reports that Mr Muthana, 20, left Cardiff eight months ago with his 17-year-old brother. Their family says they had no idea of any intention to go to Syria.

His father, Ahmed, tells the paper that he thinks the "Westernised" boys were "brainwashed" at a mosque he did not attend.

"They don't represent me now and I don't want to see them again," he says.

The Daily Mirror says Britain's security services are investigating reports of another Briton, an 18-year-old from Coventry, who is said to be fighting with Isis.

The paper's commentary adds that intelligence sources fear that the trans-national Jihadist group will attack Jordan next.

The Daily Telegraph reports that in a separate development, the Americans arrested a US-based Bangladeshi who was allegedly involved in recruiting Westerners to fight in Somalia for the Jihadist group al-Shabaab.

Red faces over red carpet

Li Keqiang and David Cameron

At the height of the Cold War, mainland China was routinely described as "Red China", however it was a red carpet that seems to have sparked a little Sino-British disagreement recently.

The Financial Times says the Chinese have complained that the carpet unrolled at Heathrow airport for premier Le Keqiang's visit to London was "too short".

In correspondence with British officials, they said the VIP walkway was three metres below what was required, the paper adds.

The FT asked the government for a comment on its story, but Downing Street would only say the "£18bn business deals" discussed during the visit were more important than the carpet.

The man was in contact with a Briton who was arranging travel for men from the UK to join al-Shabaab, the FBI told the Telegraph.

In a feature in the Telegraph, Philip Johnston looks at the work to identify the Britons fighting abroad and, if possible, to bar them from returning to the UK.

It quotes MI5 director-general Andrew Parker as saying:"we only know what we know".

"But that is a lot more than they are letting on - or at least we hope it is," comments Johnston.

Looking at the wider issues of the conflict in Iraq, the Independent predicts that the days are numbered for the country's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The paper says the US and Iran have lost faith in his administration, and Iraq's leading Shia cleric has called for an "effective" government to be appointed that "avoided the mistakes of the old".

The Guardian's leader column says "the danger now is that Mr Maliki, having governed in such a sectarian way, will fight his war in an equally sectarian manner.

"What he wants from allies abroad is not advice, criticism or political recommendations, but military help with no strings attached."

The paper concludes that Mr al-Maliki should change his ways "or go".

'Hasty proposals'

The government is to announce the "end of the road for car parking zealots", the Daily Telegraph announces on its front page.

The "zealots" concerned are "greedy" councils who use "spy" parking cameras and mobile vans as a "cash cow" to "rake in cash", according to local government minister Eric Pickles.

The paper says Mr Pickles will ban the use of "spy" cameras and encourage more appeals against fines, by giving a 25% discount to those who try to overturn a fine but fail.

Eric Pickles Eric Pickles said councils were bending rules to use parking fines to make a profit

The Telegraph explains "ministers are trying to ease the policing of parking, as they believe it often makes driving to the shops too difficult and forces people to go out of town or online."

The Daily Mail reports that pedestrian groups have been less-than-enthusiastic about the new guidelines.

Dr Kevin Golding-Williams, of the charity Living Streets, told the paper: "This hasty proposal is contrary to any strategy to encourage families to walk or cycle and once again places priority on motor traffic above the safety and ease of pedestrians."

The Sun publishes a list of how much councils do "rake in" via parking charges and fines, with London councils taking the top seven spots nationally and two boroughs, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea making above £30m each annually.

However the paper despite hailing Mr Pickles' plan as an easing of the "war against motorists", is not fully convinced.

Its leader column says that the recently increased maximum fines for speeding - which it dubs "draconian" hardly makes for "joined-up government".

The Times headlines another of Mr Pickles' parking plans - a relaxation of policy that will allow motorists to park in streets for free if the parking meter is broken.

In another government road initiative, the prime minister has promised a "blitz" on potholes, the Daily Express says.

An extra £168m would be spent on fixing "three million potholes", David Cameron is quoted as saying.

The cash - first announced in March's budget - will be distributed nationally, but councils such as Hampshire's, Northamptonshire's and Lancashire's, which have demonstrated "best practice" in road-mending, will get the most.


Good news could be afoot for those who - like this writer - live in areas with little or no mobile coverage.

The Times headlines a government plan to end rural phone reception blackspots by forcing the various operators to share networks.

This will enable mobile users to switch to rival networks instantaneously when they lose the signal from their own provider, creating "national roaming", the paper explains.

Bend it like bunting?


In a move seemingly pre-destined to be labelled "health and safety gone mad" a council has banned bunting over fears it will bend its lampposts.

The ban has been slapped down in Masham, North Yorkshire, which is preparing to greet the Tour De France Grand Depart when it passes through the village next month, the Times reports.

Villagers had festooned the streets with 20,000 hand-knitted miniature cycling jerseys to mark the occasion, but these have fallen foul of the county council.

"We noticed that the lighting columns were leaning and in the interest of safety, we asked for [the bunting] to be taken down. We are happy for it to be put up elsewhere," a spokesman said.

The Times says the plan, which is unprecedented worldwide, will set the government "at loggerheads" with phone service providers.

The paper says the scheme is the brainchild of culture secretary Sajid Javid, who won the PM's support for it after David Cameron became exasperated when repeatedly losing his phone signal on a recent visit to Norfolk.

There are challenges, however, as the Times points out.

"National roaming" would need a system that could drop calls being made by customers as they moved from one area into another where a different service provider had a stronger system.

It could also "disincentivise" companies from providing expensive facilities in rural areas if their non-spending competitors could simply use them.

The problem of poor mobile coverage is not just a countryside one, the Daily Mail adds. It says that Downing Street itself "is a notorious mobile backspot".

The paper says that phone operators are putting forward a counter-suggestion to national roaming involving a network of "neutral masts" that are co-owned by all the major firms.

This may not be enough for Somerton and Frome MP David Heath, the Mail notes, who has said he has to "squat against the sink" in his constituency office in Somerset in order to be able to make calls.


Italy's loss to Costa Rica in the World Cup has meant that for England, the contest is finished -and Fleet Street being Fleet Street the protracted inquest starts now.

The Sun seems quite sanguine about the side's early exit, quoting the Monty Python song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, and headlining "Roll on 2018".

The paper reckons "England's youthful side have at times - OK, only at times - looked their most exciting for years."

The Financial Times' pundit, Simon Kuper, says the cause of the ignominious group stage flop was simple.

"Other countries understand the key element in football is the pass," he writes, yet in this cup and others in recent times, "England passed poorly."

England fans in Brazil England's banana skin came in the form of Uruguay's Luis Suarez on Thursday night

The Guardian's coverage asks "so whose fault is it this time?" and draws up a case for the prosecution against England's manger Roy Hodgson ; players; the system, and even the media and the public.

The paper concludes "in the final analysis, most fans said before the tournament that the minimum they wanted to see was evidence of improvement and hope for the future.

"The disappointment over the display against Uruguay stemmed from their absence.

"Hodgson's future, and the final analysis of England's performance, may now rest on whether they can salvage some pride from the wreckage against Costa Rica."

The Times points out that there are more losers than the team, with the pub trade anticipating the swift curtailing of the "£45m bonanza" it enjoyed for the first two England matches.

The paper adds it's not just pubs and those selling national team merchandise who are suffering, but the country as a whole is missing out on a "feel-good factor", according to economist Howard Archer.

He may well not be talking about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when he made that assessment.

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Mirror: The rise of the C-string

Guardian: Lana Del Ray's difficult interview

England 'despair' and US Iraq vow - the papers

England players are consoled by Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez after defeat in the World Cup Group D football match between Uruguay and England on 19 June 2014

Photographs of dejected England players and supporters adorn the front pages of almost every newspaper following the team's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay in the World Cup.

The Sun is among the papers to acknowledge that England's World Cup hopes were "virtually blown away" by the loss, summing up their chances of progressing into the second round with the tongue-in-cheek headline "We're through!"

"Although they are still mathematically capable of qualifying if results fall their way... the familiar inquest will now begin," writes Owen Gibson in the Guardian.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez scored both Uruguay goals and the Daily Mail says England's World Cup dreams were "left in tatters by an all-too familiar villain".

The paper reminds its readers that Suarez proved a controversial figure in past Premier League seasons after being banned for racial abuse and biting an opponent. It suggests he is sure to be public enemy again after "breaking England hearts".

Wayne Rooney's first World Cup goal had "felt like it could be significant" and momentarily brought England level in Sao Paulo but overall it was a "just a very poor" performance, reckons the Independent's Sam Wallace.

"In past tournaments, England's demise has been a slow drawn-out affair, with the handwringing and the tears and the dreadful sense of foreboding. Brazil 2014 promises to be short and sweet," he adds.

The Daily Telegraph's Gordon Rayner spoke to England fans in Brazil and confirms they "think it's all over".

Back home, it was Britain's biggest TV event since the Olympics, reports the Daily Express. But the faces of despairing England supporters watching the match at a pub in London featured on the paper's front page tell the story of the night.

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'Daggers drawn'
Barack Obama

The Times sees President Obama's pledge to use US air power in "targeted and precise military action" against Islamist-led militants in Iraq as a "dramatic announcement".

He did not hide his exasperation with Iraq's political leadership but stressed there were no plans to send ground troops into action, it says.

Law in action

UK Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is proving a tourist draw in London, the Times reports.

The UK's highest court has been awarded a certificate of excellence on the Trip Advisor website, with an average of 4.5 stars out of five - placing it in the top quarter of visitor attractions in the capital.

Although the public are able to attend hearings in most courts in Britain, the Supreme Court in Parliament Square has made efforts to woo visitors, with a museum section and cafe.

Since it opened in 2009, more than 350,000 people have been through its doors to watch the 12 justices rule on points of law.

Writing in the Times, Ben Macintyre says the ISIS insurgents wanted to redraw the region's map "with the same arrogance and self interest" as European colonists did a century ago.

But he adds: "For all their imperfections, the existing national borders are preferable to letting the region shatter into a series of sectarian states at daggers drawn."

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent warns that if US strikes do take place ISIS "is an efficient, experienced and fanatical movement... it may not be long before it sends its suicide bombers against American targets... to exact revenge".

The Daily Telegraph carries an interview with David Petraeus, the former head of coalition forces in Iraq. He says the US should launch attacks against the emerging "terrorist army" in Iraq if it jeopardises the security of the West.

However, writing in the same paper, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, said it would be "madness" for the US to launch air strikes; he fears the impact on civilians and says the turmoil should be sorted out between Iraqis alone.

According to the Guardian, President Obama remained "mindful of the long shadow cast by the last Iraq war".

In its leader column, the Financial Times says while it is wrong to say the US and UK action in Iraq in 2003 was solely responsible for the current situation, it was "absurd" to play down the impact.

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Reign in Spain
Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid after swearing-in ceremony on 19 June 2014

The papers believe the swearing in of Spain's King Felipe VI provides the country with an opportunity for renewal.

His call for a "new Spain that we will build together" is widely reported.

But the ceremony at the country's lower house of parliament had little pomp and circumstance compared with royal hand-overs in other countries, with no foreign leaders invited, reports the Daily Express.

It says the official royal statement stressed the event was deliberately low-key, in line with Spain's austerity drive.

The Daily Telegraph says the new king's "message of hope" to the population will resonate in a country with 26% unemployment and facing an independence referendum in Catalonia.

According to the Guardian, for many in Madrid the events were a welcome distraction from Spain's other news of the day, its football team crashing out of the World Cup.

The Independent agrees that Spain faces something of an identity crisis,

A Times leader suggests the "unity of Spain matters".

King Felipe's position is "unenviable" but he has "vital constitutional work" to do in holding Spain together, it says.

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'Not tactful'
Helen Grant (library photograph from September 2012)

Tourism minister Helen Grant's suggestion that families caught up in the delays in processing passport applications may want to consider taking their summer holidays in Britain attracts comment.

Mrs Grant "risked the wrath of people caught up in the passports fiasco", says the Daily Telegraph.

Her comments to the House magazine sparked fury, says the Daily Express. It points out that Mrs Grant, who is also a sports minister and currently at the World Cup in Brazil on ­government business, is planning a holiday herself in Spain later this year.

The Daily Mail says "for all those Britons with an overseas holiday booked and paid for but still waiting for their long-delayed passports to drop through the letter box, it wasn't the most tactful of remarks".

Comments from shadow immigration minister David Hanson are carried in the Daily Mirror. He says the government "shouldn't be trying to divert attention from chaos they created".

But the Department for Culture says Mrs Grant was "crystal clear that she was confident that people would get their passports to be able to travel overseas. As tourism minister it is completely right that she champions the domestic tourism market, but she was in no way linking the two issues".

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Making people click

Daily Mirror: How can England still qualify for the World Cup knock-out stages after defeat to Uruguay?

Times: We are the lab rats in China's big experiment

Independent: What British cities can learn from Detroit

Guardian: The death of the American mall

Labour welfare and 'do or die' England - the papers

Labour Party backing for plans to reform the welfare system generates headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

The Guardian and the i both lead on the proposals by the IPPR think tank to end out-of-work benefits for 18-to-21-year-olds and replace them with a less costly means-tested payment, dependent on training having been undertaken.

Loneliness league

Man standing by himself

Official figures suggest British people are among the loneliest in Europe, the Daily Telegraph and Times report.

Half of all people over 75 live alone and about a million people say they often go a month without speaking to anyone apart from shop assistants, the analysis by the Office for National Statistics is said to indicate.

The Daily Mail says the "uncertainties and isolation of life in Britain" were thrown up by wellbeing measures introduced by David Cameron as a way to check the country's progress beyond traditional financial and population statistics.

The move intends to cut £65m from the welfare budget and "reflects a recognition of anger among some voters that some people are getting something for nothing out of the welfare system", says the Guardian.

Denying benefits is "bound to cause controversy" but in a speech later, Mr Miliband will describe the move as "progressive not punitive", explains the i, noting that the plans would not apply to people with young children or disabilities.

The Daily Telegraph chooses to highlight another IPPR suggestion - that people who have worked for at least five years should be entitled to get higher unemployment benefits.

The plan is to reward people for what they put into the system, it says. But the Telegraph says the Tories are likely to criticise Labour's pledges as unaffordable and unfair.

Labour leader Ed Miliband will unveil the plans in a speech but according to the Times, the announcement will be overshadowed by two opinion polls suggesting voters do not believe that he is up to the job of being prime minister.

The Sun says it is confused. "Is Ed Miliband appealing to left-wing voters or right-wing voters," it asks. "With his personal ratings at rock bottom, it all smacks of sheer panic."

In its leader column, the Independent says "some of the disappointment with Mr Miliband has clearly been driven by an almost universally hostile press".

But it says "as the economy recovers, and the voters seem prepared to give the coalition the credit for that, the need for Mr Miliband and his party to project a clear, credible economic policy grows more urgent".

'Chilling threat'
Kurdish Peshmerga security forces fighting militants from ISIS, near Kirkuk, Iraq, on 14 June 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron's warning to Parliament that Britons fighting as jihadists with the Islamic terrorist group Isis are planning attacks on their return home from the Middle East attracts concern.

The Daily Telegraph says his comments show that last week's debate about the "dissemination of British values" in Muslim schools was "more than theoretical".

"How have we created the circumstances in which hundreds of young men born and raised in this country want to fight, and possibly die, on foreign battlefields?" it asks. "Even worse is the likelihood that some may return home determined to inflict mayhem."

The Daily Express describes the Britons fighting abroad as a "most chilling aspect" and says, "Foiling any and all of their attempts to stage terrorist attacks in Britain has to be our top priority."

The Guardian sees the prime minister's remarks echoing "Tony Blair's warning that the fresh crisis in Iraq affects us all".

A leader in the Daily Mirror says Mr Cameron's comments are a "reminder that we are not insulated from the carnage thousands of miles away".

It says UK cannot avoid "some responsibility" for what is unfolding because of its role in the 2003 invasion but the "best strategy" now is to support Iraq financially and diplomatically. The threat should not be used as a "smokescreen" for a crackdown on civil liberties of British Muslims, it adds.

'Huge match'
England coach Roy Hodgson and midfielder Steven Gerrard at press conference in the Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo, ahead of their match against Uruguay on 19 June 2014

The phrase "do or die" is used by several papers to describe the England football team's task in their World Cup match against Uruguay in Sao Paulo later.

After losing 2-1 to Italy in their first match, England need to avoid defeat in the "knockout" match if they are to avoid the "shock exit" of current world Cup holders Spain, who crashed out of the tournament on Wednesday, says the Daily Mail.

More than 10,000 England supporters are thought to have made the trip to "join the party" in Brazil's biggest city but are "scrambling" to get tickets for the match, says the Times. And they are heavily outnumbered by about 25,000 Uruguayans, who have crossed the border.

The Daily Mirror is among the papers to portrays the clash as a "showdown" between England's Wayne Rooney and Uruguay's Luis Suarez, saying both players "know they carry the hopes of their nations".

But Daily Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter suggests England must avoid a "fixation" over Liverpool striker Suarez to have a chance of victory in the match.

"England know they are not simply fighting to stay at this carnival staged day and night in stadiums and on beaches. They are fighting for credibility and continuity," he adds.

According to the Daily Express, the clash is a "huge day" for bookmakers who are believe to have taken £10m in bets on Rooney breaking his scoring duck in the nine matches he has played in World Cup finals to date.

And Simon Kuper in the Financial Times suggests that "statistics and history" means England should have "cause for optimism".

Paxman bows out
Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman's final programme as the presenter of BBC's Newsnight programme after 25 years attracts the attention of the leader writers.

The Daily Telegraph says ministers feared to be questioned by him although there was "something about his manner that hinted the whole performance was just a little absurd".

But it adds Paxman "will be missed" even if his trademark combative interview style was eventually replaced with something "cuddlier".

Paxman enriched public debate, says the Daily Mail, which wonders whether a replacement "of stature to fill his shoes" can be found.

He was one of the "greatest exponents" of the "set-piece political ping-pong match" but the media has changed since the 1980s, says the Guardian.

"Rather than recruit another silverback gorilla, Newsnight and other news outlets would be better off experimenting with other means of political discussion," it suggests.

The Times agrees, saying Paxman would not have wanted to hold the programme back as it develops a new style.

But it concludes that Paxman's work will be "remembered as political television at its finest and politicians will sleep easier in their beds".

Making people click

Times: Spain stars face axe after World Cup exit

Financial Times: Advertisers have lost the attention of a generation

Daily Mirror: Naked woman sunbathing causes car crash

Daily Express: We must fight to cure dementia: David Cameron joins the battle against Alzheimer's

Health focus and spying revelations - the papers

Health stories seem to have captured the interest of the papers, and they certainly cover a wide area.

The Times reports that nurses will call for patients to be charged £10 a time to see their GP to deter people troubling doctors with minor ailments.

The paper says the Royal College of Nursing congress in Liverpool will be told the move would raise £1.2bn a year for the NHS.

It says fees would go against the the health service's founding principle of free care at the point of use.

But in a leading article, the Times says there is no such thing as free healthcare, and sooner or later NHS patients may have to accept this means charging for doctors' appointments.

All ears


The Times says there are many unanswered questions - are we alone in the universe, how did life begin? But one mystery has been put to rest - can crabs hear?

A team of US ecologists have found that rather than respond to chemical cues, as thought, crabs have a reasonable sense of hearing underwater despite having no ears.

The paper says the study suggests the bottom-dwelling crustaceans use sound to avoid predators and may even make noises to communicate.

"We all think of how dolphins use a lot of acoustics. No one had looked this far down the food web until now," says ecologist David Kimbro.

Its front-page cartoon has a nurse at a patient's bedside, saying: "According to his notes, doctor, he's not short of a bob or two."

The Daily Telegraph says new medical recommendations have warned that the benefits of taking aspirin to combat the dangers of heart rhythm disorders are outweighed by the possible side-effects.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express says the government has unveiled a scheme to reward health trusts which reclaim money for treating EU patients - what the paper calls a new crackdown on welfare tourism.

In an editorial, the Express declares: "We should reclaim what we are owed for NHS care."

The Daily Mail leads on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's call for cosmetic surgery to be no longer available on the NHS.

The paper says he said he could understand public anger at high-profile cases of breast enlargements, dental work and slimming treatments.

Mr Hunt insisted that all decisions must be taken on "clinical need", and public money must not be used to pay for surgery just to improve someone's looks, it added.

Spy anger

The papers are full of the revelations that UK security services are legally monitoring people's activity on services such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Guardian says the government's most senior security official, Charles Farr, detailed how searches on Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as emails to or from non-British citizens abroad, can be monitored because they are "external communications".

The paper says it is the first time the government has admitted that UK citizens are deemed legitimate targets that do not require a warrant before intercepting messages.

War cake

Cake bowl

Made with a dose of vinegar and without any eggs the "trench cake" does not sound the most appealing of treats, says the Telegraph.

But for soldiers fighting in World War One it was apparently a taste of home they could not wait to receive in parcels on the front line.

Now, the paper reports, children across the country are to be encouraged to bake the cake as part of plans to mark the centenary of the conflict.

A recipe will be issued by the government to local authorities, schools, groups and communities to help them encourage the public to take part in the commemorations.

In a comment piece, James Ball says the intelligence agencies' interpretations of the laws that underpin mass-surveillance programmes are so broad as to effectively render UK citizenship an almost irrelevant protection from government surveillance".

"To enter your house, the government needs a warrant," he writes. "You have a right against self-incrimination in police interviews. But online, through legal sophistry, such rights dissolve to nothing."

The Daily Mirror has the headline: "Spooks: We ARE spying on your Facebook."

The Mirror says a fierce row broke out after the government admitted using a loophole to monitor Facebook and Google searches because the accounts are based outside Britain.

Mr Farr's admission of mass surveillance without a warrant sparked angry reactions from privacy campaigners and MPs, says the paper.

The Times says Mr Farr's statement was made public after a legal challenge by a number of privacy and civil liberties groups - and his "rationale was roundly attacked by campaigners".

Mr Farr argued that online surveillance was needed for the protection of national security.

"Law permits snooping on everyday web use," is how the Daily Telegraph sums it up in its headline.

"Google and other web firms' largest data centres are generally found in the US and elsewhere in Europe, meaning a search in the UK is likely to involve an overseas communication," it notes.

China deals

The visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Britain generates plenty of attention and analysis.

The Times says China could design and run the next generation of British nuclear power stations after a series of deals ushered in a new era of co-operation over energy and infrastructure.

In the light of a wider package of £14bn worth of deals, Times political sketch writer Ann Treneman says: "The Chinese premier's first name is Keqiang which, when pronounced, sounds a bit like 'Ker-ching' which, really, is just about perfect."

The Guardian says China was given the chance to take a decisive stake in the next stage of Britain's energy and transport infrastructure.

But the two most controversial aspects of the deals will allow Chinese firms to own and operate a Chinese-designed nuclear power station and to build and operate rail lines in Britain, it adds.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

"The double doors opened and in walked the most important man in Britain. Quickly followed by David Cameron," says sketch writer John Crace.

"It's a deal: China to run our N-plants," is the headline in the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, the Mail's Quentin Letts writes: "Prince Charles, gifted diplomat, once referred to Chinese officials as 'appalling old waxworks'. Premier Li Keqiang is an altogether sparkier figure - a far cry from Madame Tussauds."

The Daily Telegraph says China signalled its opposition to Scottish independence when Mr Li said he wanted to see a "united United Kingdom".

In yet another boost for the No campaign ahead of September's referendum, Mr Li said he wanted a "strong" union, the paper continues.

The Financial Times says Mr Li became the latest world leader to oppose Scottish independence, at a press conference intended by Downing Street to show a new warmth between him and David Cameron.

Diplomatic thaw

The Financial Times leads with a report saying the Iraqi Islamist militant group Isis has since 2012 issued annual reports outlining in numerical and geographical detail its operations.

"It is not a corporation and does not have shareholders," says the FT, "but the military success and brutality of the jihadi group surging through Iraq has been recorded with a level of precision often reserved for company accounts."

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph covers the announcement that the British embassy in Iraq's neighbour Iran is to reopen.

The paper says the move will go ahead without agreement on compensation for the damage caused by a mob almost three years ago.

The Telegraph calls it a new chapter in relations with Iran.

But it comments: "The question is not whether Mr Hague should reopen the the embassy, but whether he is doing so on the right terms. Sadly, the foreign secretary has failed to show the sort of firmness that authoritarian regimes respect."

Protests at the British embassy in Iran in 2011

An Independent editorial says improved diplomatic relations with Iran are a silver lining to the vast black cloud hanging over the advance of Isis.

"The return of a British embassy to Iran is a concrete sign of progress in a historically strained relationship," it says.

The Daily Mail says Britain signalled an extraordinary U-turn on Iran in a bid to halt the march of jihadi extremists in Iraq.

The move is aimed at brokering talks with Iran on helping to combat the threat posed by Isis fanatics who have swept through northern Iraq, it adds.

In an editorial, the Mail urges the foreign secretary to "keep his mind on the job" - a reference to his appearances with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, among other things.

It says: "To most of the world, it is blindingly obvious that Tony Blair, who inflamed the Middle East by invading Iraq, could hardly be worse qualified to serve as the international community's peace envoy to the region.

"Yet far from acknowledging this, Foreign Secretary William Hague defends the former prime minister's warmongering."

The Sun says the reopening of the embassy signalled a thaw in relations with Iraq.

It comments: "It is bizarre that we should be warming to our old enemy Iran. But neither nation wants Iraq to implode."

The UK's 'litmus test' and the return of school milk - the papers

Eritrean migrants in Calais, hoping to come to Britain

The political "earthquake" caused by UKIP's advance in the European and local council elections in May continues to reverberate, and it is small wonder that the results of the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey attracts much attention.

The Daily Telegraph headlines its story on the survey "politicians blamed for hostility to migrants".

It says the results of the study show a "widening 'disconnect' between the 'liberal political class' and public opinion".

Most notably, the paper says 77% of those surveyed wanted immigration to be cut (56% wanted that cut to be 'substantial') and 47% believed immigration had a negative economic effect.

The paper also identified a growing trend of people saying "British ancestry" is an important factor in having "British identity".

Quite a spectacle

A spectacled bear

True love never came easy, especially if you are a rare spectacled bear living in Chester Zoo.

The Daily Telegraph tells us that Bernardo the bear has been flown 2,500 miles to a zoo in Oklahoma in the hope he will mate with a female of his species called Franka.

Spectacled bears, the paper tells us, are "by and large a mysterious species and not a great deal is known about them".

Experts will be monitoring the progress of Bernardo in the hope of learning more, the Telegraph says. In its Asian natural habitat the bear is endangered thanks to poachers seeking to remove gall bladders for traditional medicine.

The Times' leader column says the result that "stands out" from the survey was that 95% of respondents believed you must speak English in order to be truly "British".

The paper agrees, saying that the UK should join other "advanced economies" and make English proficiency "a condition of work and settlement visas as well as citizenship".

The Daily Mail's comment says the BSA survey provides a "litmus test of the nation's thinking" which "mainstream parties ignore at their peril".

On the subject of migration, the paper says "how comfortable it is to be 'liberal' when this entrenches your own economic advantage and there's no threat to your own job or pay".

The Daily Express focuses on "benefit tourism" fears, with almost two-thirds of those questioned in the BSA study wanting EU migrants to be unable to claim anything from the state for three months.

The paper also ties in studies by the Open Society Foundation which concludes white, working-class Britons face "systematic marginalisation" due to "immigration and badly paid jobs", and a study last year by the think-tank Demos which showed ethnic minorities are becoming less integrated in England and Wales.

The Independent knows how the BSA research exposes a divide in British thinking, with young, metropolitan professionals believing immigration is "economically and culturally" positive.

There is also a geographical divide, the Financial Times explains, with Londoners more than twice as likely to welcome immigration than those elsewhere in the UK.

The Daily Mirror challenges the relevance of the findings of the survey by citing the example of one man - athlete Mo Farah.

"Farah wasn't born in Britain. He could barely speak English when he arrived. But we bet most would agree, indeed are proud, that he is English."


As the shock of the pictures of apparent atrocities carried out in Iraq by the Sunni extremist group ISIS sinks in, the papers seek a way forward.

The Times notes that the US is to open talks with its "arch-enemy" Iran to try to stop Iraq from "unravelling" under the ISIS onslaught.

The move, the paper says, has split opinion in America with some, like former Republican presidential candidate John McCain arguing that a deal with Iran would be "the height of folly" and saying that Tehran's involvement in Iraqi affairs would "make matters worse".

On the other hand, the Times continues, other senior senators such as Republican Lindsey Graham argue: "Why did we deal with Stalin? Because he was not as bad as Hitler. The Iranians can provide some assets to ensure Baghdad does not fall."

The latter strategy, the paper adds, will be tested by the presence in Iraq of Qassem Suleimani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general said to have "been the architect of numerous attacks on British and American personnel throughout the region".

Gen Suleimani, who is helping the Iraqi government co-ordinate its defence of Baghdad, has been in the past described as "a truly evil figure" by the former American commander, David Petraeus.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 1987 Iran's Revolutionary Guards were at the forefront of their country's battles with Iraq in the 1980s.

In Baghdad itself, the Independent notes, there is an atmosphere of fear.

The paper says this can be shown by the fact that the price of bullets has tripled.

The Financial Times says the Sunni population of Baghdad has started to leave the city, as sectarian violence flares, many saying they will try to leave Iraq for good.

The paper also reports on Kurdish ambitions in the north of the country.

The FT says the Kurds are "watching cautiously" with the aim of expanding into the "vacuum" left by ISIS, taking oil-rich areas currently outside the defined Kurdish self-ruling region.

A Kurdish shopkeeper seems to sum up the feeling of many Iraqis, when he tells the paper: "Let everyone split and rule themselves.

"Iraq needs to do what Berlin did and build a wall between the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia."

Iraqi refugee Sami Ramadani, writing in the Guardian, says it is a "myth" that his homeland's different ethnicities and religious faiths cannot co-exist.

He says the different peoples of Iraq lived together throughout history, but a three-way division risked "permanent wars" driven by "violent sectarians and chauvinists" and only "oil companies, arms suppliers and warlords" would benefit.

Mr Chips

The diet of our schoolchildren is under the microscope, with the papers reporting new rules to limit unhealthy food served in schools.

The Daily Mirror says it will be "Goodbye Mr Chips" for pupils, with just two portions of deep fried food being allowed to be served per pupil in any week.

The regulations, which apply in all state schools, as well as new free schools and academies , ban salt cellars from tables and encourage children to "talk about their food", the paper adds.

The Mirror says the guidelines intend to replace earlier rules which school chefs criticised as "overcomplicated" and which required schools to run a computer program to regulate the nutritional value of their offerings.

The Sun describes the change as "the tuck stops here", saying schools will no longer be able to sell sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks to their pupils.

The Times quotes restaurateur Henry Dimbleby who co-wrote the new guidelines.

Henry Dimbleby Henry Dimbleby, who co-wrote the new regulations, runs the London restaurant chain Leon

He says: "The previous standards did a lot of good in removing the worst foods from children's diets.

"But when we were writing the School Food Plan we met lots of wonderful cooks who were restricted by them."

The new rules, he says, offer much greater flexibility to schools in setting their menus out.

It's not just food in schools which concerns the government - the Daily Mail says it has looked at what children drink.

The paper says school milk will be offered to all pupils from the New Year, reversing the decision of Margaret Thatcher who phased it out when she was education minister in 1971.

However unlike the bottles given to children in the past, school milk will not now be free, the paper notes.

The intellectual diet of our children is the subject of another school-related story in the Times.

The paper interviews Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw who suggests "bad parents" should be fined if they didn't attend parents evenings, did not read to their children and allowed homework to go undone.

The paper says Sir Michael's comments will "provoke anger from poverty campaigners who say that poor families are least able to pay the fines and that their children will suffer".

However, Sir Michael says "deprivation was used as an excuse for low achievement" and teachers should tell parents "if they weren't doing a good job".

'Dry up'

Just like the stereotypical Briton, the newspapers love to talk about the weather, and a story in the Daily Mail may have some readers looking to the heavens.

The paper reports that weather forecasters are warning that parts of southern England are facing a drought.

Mercedes beans

Coffee beans

It's the fuel that gets many of us through the morning and it may be the stuff that can get our cars moving too, the Daily Mail says.

Coffee has been found to be a viable source of biofuel, the paper explains.

University of Bath researchers have found that 22lbs of waste coffee grounds - thrown away by millions of cafetiere and espresso machine users - can make two litres of biodiesel.

And with a third of the world's population regularly drinking coffee, that could add up to a lot of mileage.

With parts of Britain, notably areas of south-west England, unlikely to see much rain for the next 10 days, the Mail says, the Met Office is warning people to "use water wisely".

The Times points out that the drought warning comes after "the wettest winter since 1766".

Despite the warning, the paper says, experts say water stocks are at healthy levels and forecasters are only cautioning people to be sensible with the use of a "precious resource".

"Absolute drought" - the paper explains - is defined as when no more than 0.2mm of rain falls for more than 15 consecutive days.

The Daily Telegraph has no truck with the official advice, particularly that from the Environment Agency "whose very name has become 'mud' along Somerset's undredged waterways".

The paper's leader column says "The big water companies are allowed a virtual monopoly to catch [rainfall] and sell it to us. Perhaps they should hold more in reserve.

"To be told not to splash about is like being told to breathe less deeply lest there be insufficient air to go around.

"Bossy, self-appointed water guardians should just dry up - at least until Wimbledon fortnight is over."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror tells us that MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee have warned that last winter's flooding could be repeated this year unless "bare minimum" funding was increased.

"Regular maintenance" of defences is being neglected, the MPs say. It looks like it never rains but it pours.

Making people click

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Mail: Michael Schumacher no longer in coma

Star: Kenya: 48 massacred as they watch World Cup

Independent: Terminally ill forest ranger given last look at woods

Pictures of a 'war crime' massacre - the papers

The conflict in Iraq continues to dominate news coverage in Monday's newspapers, with pictures purportedly showing Sunni extremists killing rows of captured soldiers.

The images - posted on jihadist websites - are said to show fighters from the militant ISIS group murdering soldiers it captured in its three-day advance across northern and western Iraq.

The Independent says the group claims the murders were in revenge for the killing of a senior commander by Iraqi troops recently.

Volunteers for the Iraqi army Volunteers from Iraq's Shia community have flocked to join the country's armed forces

The paper says ISIS meticulously planned the attack, which has turned into "a bloody, merciless rampage".

The paper says that although the ISIS onslaught defeated the Iraqi army, there is a sense of a more general "Sunni uprising".

"The most important factor working in ISIS's favour is the sense among Iraq's five or six million Sunnis that the end of their oppression is at hand," it notes.

But it also quotes one Iraq resident who says the Shia majority see the conflict "as an attempt to establish the old Sunni-dominated type of government".

The Financial Times enlarges on the theme of the alliance of interests that has defeated the Iraqi national forces in much of central Iraq.

The paper says there are tensions between ISIS and other groups opposed to the Baghdad government.

It reports one hardline Sunni group has already called on its followers not to follow the ISIS exhortation to march on Shia holy cities.

Differences of opinion and approach also exist between many followers of fallen dictator Saddam Hussein and the ISIS leadership, the FT adds.

One expert tells the paper "one can imagine very soon infighting happening between anti-government forces" because ISIS are "not going to be able to be pragmatic".

The Sun says the militants' advance on the Iraqi capital has now stalled, but fighting has broken out in the town of Tal Afar.

Governor George?

George Clooney

The US state which has had two actors serve as governor could be getting a third, according to the Daily Mirror.

The paper says George Clooney is being "groomed" to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger and will run for California's top job in 2018.

Clooney - a firm Democrat - could emulate Ronald Reagan's success in using the governorship as a springboard to the White House, the paper speculates.

It quotes "pals" who say the actor has already turned down several film roles so he can pursue his ambition.

A resident tells the paper: "There is crazy fighting and most residents are trapped inside houses; they can't leave town.

"If the fighting continues, a mass killing among civilians could result."

The Guardian's coverage kicks off by exploring the wealth that propels the ISIS group.

The paper says control of oilfields and resources looted from banks and elsewhere gave the group a war-chest of £515m with nearly double that amount in plunder being seized during its advance into the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The Guardian says computer memory sticks captured by Iraqi forces are being deciphered by US experts and they contain the names - and even emails, phone numbers and next-of-kin details - of the British and other volunteers fighting with ISIS.

More tellingly, they name Iraqi government workers helping the group, although these men are referred to only by initials.

The Times tells of the fear felt in Israel and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - where many members of the Druze minority live - on the periphery of the Syrian and Iraqi conflict zones.

"Israel is not in the centre of these struggles, but they leak into Israel's territory," said one Israeli army officer.

Uniquely among papers, The Times questions the authenticity of the "massacre" images circulating online.

Its deputy picture editor Elizabeth Orcutt cautions that the pictures look too high-quality, too composed and are unusual for being shot by a stills camera rather than on video.

'Blame game'

Tony Blair's comments on the Iraq crisis have come in for what can only be described as a savaging in Monday's papers.

The former prime minister says the 2003 invasion of Iraq was not to blame for its present instability, and he argues that Western intervention in Syria would have prevented the emergence of radical Islamists like ISIS as a serious regional force.

The Daily Mail leads the attack with its headline "Fury at 'Blair the warmonger'".

It says his comments have provoked "an avalanche of criticism from both right and left".

Tony Blair

It quotes Mr Blair's former deputy Lord Prescott who accused his former boss of trying to take the West "back to the Crusades"; former Labour cabinet minister Clare Short who branded him "a complete American neocon"; Tory MP Charlotte Leslie, who said his views were "dangerous" and UKIP leader Nigel Farage who called Mr Blair "an embarrassment".

Its leader column says the status of Mr Blair as a peace envoy is "an obscenity".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson said Mr Blair's views had led him to conclude the former PM "has gone mad".

He says believing that Saddam Hussein was "always going to be toppled by a revolution to be followed by a protracted and vicious civil war" is an "attempt to rewrite history".

The London mayor - who admits he supported the invasion at the time - says the allies "destroyed the institutions of authority in Iraq without having the foggiest idea what would come next".

"That is the truth and it is time Tony Blair admitted it," he adds.

In a comment column, the Daily Mirror comes to similar conclusions.

It says "the prime minister was wrong in 2003 and he is wrong as a former prime minister in 2014.

"Blair advocating another wave of Western military assaults, this time in Syria as well as Iraq, is to repeat the mistakes of history."

The Guardian's leader column says "Saddam's Iraq was a shambles long before the decision to invade, and the blame lay both with us and him.

"That decision to invade was less about Iraq, its plight, or any threats it posed to its neighbours, than the Bush administration's perceived need for a crushing demonstration of American power after years of defeats... Mr Blair makes no mention of that."

In its leader column, The Times says "rehashing yesterday's debates will not help today's Iraq".

The paper says Mr Blair was right to say that the tide of Arab revolutions was "hardly likely to have left Iraq unscathed" even if there had been no invasion in 2003.

"In the longer term, the West must decide whether the ethnic fracturing of the Middle East is a process that can feasibly be opposed.

"The time has passed when Western leaders can truly have faith in grand plans to remake the world.

"Playing a parochial blame game helps nobody, however, when the world starts remaking itself."

'Double standards'

One of the non-foreign stories common to Monday's press is criticism of NHS bosses' pay awards.

A report by the Royal College of Nursing reveals that 11 NHS directors have been given pay rises of more than 15% in the past year, the Daily Mail reports.

The Mail focuses on the former chief executive of one NHS trust which was criticised after wrongly giving the all-clear to 810 cancer patients due to an administrative error. He received a £45,000 bonus on top of his £245,000 salary.

The paper contrasts this with the prime minister's salary, which is a more modest £142,500.

A bridge too far out?

London Bridge in Arizona

London Bridge really is falling down, The Sun tells us.

The bridge concerned is the original London Bridge that was sold to an Arizonan entrepreneur in 1968 and rebuilt in the desert as the centrepiece of a British themed tourist attraction at Lake Havasu City.

The paper reports the bridge has fallen into disrepair in the past decade as the attraction has been hit by the recession.

Now The Sun reports the bridge - which has become riven with huge cracks - could be pulled down as part of a plan to revitalise the area by turning it into a marijuana-themed attraction.

The Times says the RCN figures show that board-level hospital administrators' pay has risen by 6.1% at a time when nurses' average pay has increased by 1.6%.

Peter Carter of the nurses professional body says: "This is the worse kind of double standard and makes a mockery of [the government's] insistence that fairness has been at the heart of public sector pay."

The Guardian says the RCN has gone on the offensive at a time when there is anger among NHS workers at Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's rejection of a recommended 1% pay increase for all staff.

The paper says a programme of co-ordinated industrial action is being considered.

The Daily Telegraph was told by a Department of Health spokesman to use the RCN research "with caution".

"They have included exit packages for executive directors, but not nurses," the spokesman explained.

The Telegraph goes from NHS "fatcats", to reporting another type of obesity challenging the health service.

In a front page report, the paper says Britons' expanding waistlines mean that hospitals are having to widen corridors, order reinforced beds, lifting equipment and bigger morgue fridges.

Figures obtained by the Telegraph show that the NHS needed to spend £5.5m in the last three years adapting to treating larger patients, and the figure could rise to £10m next year.

Four million sausages

The footie-mad Monday newspapers take in England's weekend World Cup defeat to Italy and look ahead to the team's next challenge on Thursday - beating Uruguay.

The Sun tells the sad tale of England physio, Gary Lewin, who dislocated his ankle when leaping from the dugout to celebrate England's goal and slipping on a water bottle.

His wife Maggie told the paper: "Gary is obviously disappointed to be flying home early.

"The artificial turf was wet where the groundsmen had been spraying."

The Daily Mail is one of a number of papers to criticise BBC match pundit Phil Neville for his "soporific" commentary on the game.

The paper said fans "made fun of his robotic voice and dull insights", with many taking to social media to post their observations.

Phil Neville The BBC's Phil Neville was accused of sounding "like a hostage reading out a prepared statement at gunpoint" by one Twitter user

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann tweeted: "If Phil Neville reads his Twitter feed he may not come out for the second half."

However, the rookie commentator took the ribbing in good humour, the Mail says, tweeting: "Sometimes you have to take the criticism - it will only make me better. Thanks for the feedback (ahhahaha)!"

Whether he will return if England progress to the knockout phase of the tournament "is yet to be decided" the BBC told the paper.

The Daily Mirror reports the economic bonus of Saturday's match - which was watched by 15.6 million people.

The paper says England's pub landlords took in an extra £38m and an additional two million burgers and four million sausages were bought for pre-match barbecues. It does not explain how it calculated these figures.

The Independent says Fifa has come under pressure to explain why every match played so far in Brazil, bar the opener which featured the host nation, has had empty seats on show - despite all being recorded as sell-outs.

The Guardian says the tournament has not been "glitch-free" but "the worst doomsday scenarios" have been avoided.

Transport snarl-ups, it reports, seem to be the worst gripe of many Brazilians, with some cities seeing home-to-work commutes taking five times longer than average.

As for England's fans at the Cup, the paper says, they "revel in Brazil's big party". England fans at home will hope the mood will soar even further after Thursday night.

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Cameron's 'Magna Carta' and 'daddy leave' - the papers

The debate over "Britishness" and British values, and how to instil them in those who seem alienated from them, takes up much newsprint in Sunday's papers.

The seedbed of the debate can be found in the Mail on Sunday, which carries an article by David Cameron entitled "British values aren't optional, they are vital. That's why I will promote them in every school".

In the article the prime minister writes: "In recent years we have been in danger of sending out a worrying message: that if you don't want to believe in democracy, that's fine; that if equality isn't your bag, don't worry about it; that if you're completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you.

Artists impression of King John signing the Magna Carta King John's signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 is said to be the foundation of constitutional law

"This has not just led to division, it has allowed extremism - of both the violent and non-violent kind - to flourish.

"We need to be more muscular in promoting British values and the institutions that uphold them."

The paper says that although government sources were keen to stress that Mr Cameron's article was not just a response to reports of extremist Muslim activity in Birmingham schools, but was aimed at all members of society, they do "appear to signal a key change in the stance of the government".

In its opinion column, the Mail praises the PM's "wise words" but says he faces a problem because "so much of our bureaucracy, our local authorities, our school system and our media remain defiantly multicultural".

It's a position endorsed by Nick Ferrari, writing in the Sunday Express.

He says "While tolerance and respect for other cultures and faiths... are undoubtedly some of the 'British values' we have heard so much about over the last few days, the idea of being multi-cultural is dangerous, deluded and divisive."

The Sunday Times says Mr Cameron's call for action is his "Magna Carta pledge".

The PM made reference to using the 800th anniversary of the signing of constitutional charter next year as a "centrepiece of the fightback against extremism".

In an opinion piece in the paper, Dominic Lawson quotes Michael Gove who once wrote: "there is something rather unBritish about seeking to define Britishness."

Dogs' coats - and hats

A terrier in a hat and jacket

Now "dogs can look even more like their owners", the Daily Telegraph tells us, thanks to a growing new trend.

The paper reports on the "rising number of boutique stores for pets".

A number of British companies now provide doggy-sized coats, t-shirts, jumpers, bow-ties and even nail polish for canines - with chihuahuas seemingly being particularly well-dressed by their owners.

And if your dog is part of the "country set", then consider buying it its own waxed Barbour jacket, complete with corduroy collar and tartan lining, for a mere £39.95, the paper adds.

Lawson continues "If it can't be defined, how on earth is it to be taught? A teacher jumping up and down waving a Union Jack, singing Rule Britannia?"

His article argues that "British value" are already being taught in schools in citizenship lessons (which are now compulsory) and - in particular - in English Literature classes.

The Observer has a feature where foreign writers who know Britain well are asked how they'd define British values.

The answers range from China's Xiaolou Guo's "the eccentricities, the tolerance, the freedom" to American David Gordon's "the love we feel for a place" to Australian Thomas Keneally's "a liberality and a sense of fun".

The only negative viewpoint is expressed by Nigerian writer Chika Ungiwe who senses a rise in racial prejudice in today's Britain which had been lauded by her grandmother as a "big, munificent space".

Writing in the paper, Frank Cotterell Boyce ridicules Mr Cameron's call.

"Cameron's values turn out to be 'democracy, freedom and the rule of the law'.

Not to be rude, but those are not values. They are the basic qualifications for not being a failed state. And there's nothing British about them."

He concludes: "The trouble is that you can't teach values. 'Values' are what we call laws or ethics when they become part of the culture. When we start to breathe them.

"You can't Ofsted them into existence."


The rapidly moving events in Iraq are the second major theme explored in Sunday's papers.

The Independent reports that a "citizen's army" - made up largely of Shia Muslim volunteers - has halted the advance of the Sunni Muslim extremist movement ISIS.

The paper says that the US's continuing support for the "beleaguered" Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is "deeply damaging" to its interests.

Elsewhere in the paper, a journalist living in Mosul reports on the realities of living under ISIS occupation: cut off from the rest of Iraq; fearful of the strictures the militants will impose; beset with rumours and with palpable tensions between ISIS and Mosul's Shia and Turkoman minorities.

The paper also carries a column by former SAS commander Richard Williams who says "[ISIS commander] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's ambition is not just to set up a caliphate that attacks the Middle East but that also attacks us. Lee Rigby times 1,000 is what they are trying to do.

"You're not going to solve this with a couple of drone strikes. Let the Foreign Office, the Intelligence services and the International Development department work out what we need to do to make sure the country is safe and do it.

The big snapple

An alligator

It takes a lot to shake the composure of the average New Yorker - or so they frequently tell us - but the Daily Star Sunday reports on something that seemingly has.

The paper says Long Island has been "invaded" by alligators which were once exotic pets but have been turned loose once they became "unmanageable".

The Star speculates that millionaire Long Island residents, including Eddie Murphy, Billy Joel and LL Cool J may be forced to flee their luxury homes due to the reptiles.

It quotes Roy Gross of the island's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who says: "I've got a bad feeling about this."

"Whatever we do, don't deploy people from Horseguards Parade to go and be targets in Iraq - it doesn't work."

The Sunday Telegraph also carries a report from Mosul, but it says all the residents it spoke to told it that life there was "better than under Maliki".

"The armed men organised even the municipal services: Rubbish is being cleared; electricity is very fine, we now have it for more than nine hours a day, which is even better than during Saddam's rule," one told the Telegraph.

The Sunday Times says the Iranians have "taken command" of Iraq's crumbling armed forces.

Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani has said he would consider an alliance with the Americans "to fight terrorism".

In a two-page report, the Times says ISIS's advance into central Iraq has been a "blitzkrieg of the beheaders" - referring to the gory videos of summary executions that the group has posted online.

It quotes uncorraborated reports that the militants have executed 1,700 captured Shia soldiers.

The paper also reports on a closer-to-home threat posed by the chaos in Iraq and Syria.

It names various Britons who are fighting in the Middle East with militant groups who threaten to return home and "fly the black flag of jihad over London".

It's a theme developed by former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox in The Sun.

Dr Fox notes one estimate that suggests 80% of Britons going to fight in Syria have joined ISIS.

"We cannot afford to have Islamist extremists coming home with British passports, having waged successful jihad across the Middle East.

"If ISIS wins in Iraq, then it would become an ungoverned space that encourages and trains terrorists even more than Afghanistan before 9/11 - and we all know the cost we had to bear as a consequence.

"It is absolutely essential that we do not allow that to happen," he adds.

'Daddy leave'

Fatherhood issues are to be found in many of Sunday's newspapers.

The front page of The Sunday Times talks of "Labour's dosh for dads", commenting on a plan to double the length of paid paternity leave should the party win the next election.

The paper says the idea is part of Ed Miliband's attempts to "woo" working parents by promising "more family time".

Other ideas are to give expectant fathers the right to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments.

The cost of the extra "daddy leave" could be met by axing David Cameron's marriage tax allowance, the paper adds.

A dad with a new baby

The Sun says Mr Miliband believes the plan is the best way to strengthen relationships.

Elsewhere, there is good news for dads - expectant or otherwise - in The Observer.

It says the amount of time the average father spends with his children has risen sevenfold in a generation.

The amount of time dads today spend with their kids might only be 35 minutes a day, the paper continues, but this is a serious improvement on the five minutes researchers found in 1974.

Mothers - the University of London researchers found - spend an hour a day with their children.

The amount of time men spend with their children is also the subject of an article in The Independent on Sunday.

The paper reports on the backlash against childcare expert Penelope Leach's view that young children should not be allowed to spend the night with their separated dads.

Ms Leach, a former president of the National Childminding Association says that such sleepovers put adult rights above childrens welfare as there is evidence separation from mothers for under-5s "reduces brain development".

Ian Maxwell of the pressure group Families Need Fathers says Ms Leach's ideas "went against common sense" and "the bond between fathers and children is just as impoortant".

His view was supported by psychologist Dr Linda Nielsen who told the paper: that mother-only parenting models were "outdated" and appealed to people who believed that "females have a maternal instinct ... that better equip them to bond and communicate with infants."

Making people click

Mirror: Cressida Bonas' strategy to win back Harry

People: Child prostitutes in Brazil cash in on fans

Express: Riot police protect TV pundits

Mail: Prince Harry keeps Kate laughing

Telegraph: The 're-invention of Angelina Jolie'

The 'battle for Baghdad' and Dame Angelina - the papers

Foreign stories rarely claim the front pages of Britain's press, but the rapid advance of the ISIS jihadist group in Iraq - and how that that advance might be reversed - does.

The Independent and the Guardian both report on Iran's involvement in efforts to prevent the collapse of the Iraqi state.

Isis fighters ISIS fighters - reckoned to number around 7,000 have met little resistance from Iraq's million-strong army

The Independent says the Iranian revolutionary guards are already in Baghdad to coalesce a force from the most reliable elements in the Iraqi army, with the keenest of the Shia militias - religious sworn enemies of the vehemently Sunni Muslim ISIS fighters.

The paper explains: "The Iranians are horrified by the sudden military collapse of their ally and the prospect of a viscerally anti-Shia quasi-independent Sunni state emerging in northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria."

The Guardian says the US is mulling air strikes to support the Iraqi government.

It says drone attacks are being considered, but the preference would likely be for manned planes with the aim of striking "at the head" of ISIS.

American military analyst Charles Harmer told the paper: "With ISIS in the open, its positions are easier to strike... if the US is going to act, sooner is better, unless you want to get involved in urban conflict."

Britain's potential role in the conflict makes the Daily Telegraph's front page.

Although Foreign Secretary William Hague has ruled out British "boots on the ground", the paper says, the UK could send anti-terrorism advisers from the SAS and intelligence agencies.

The Times reports that 90,000 Iraqi soldiers have deserted "despite billions of dollars of American training and weaponry".

Eh oh, let's go

The Teletubbies

In a move that may spark joy in the under-fours and despair for many parents, a brightly coloured quartet are set to return after a 13-year absence.

The Guardian reports that a Canadian firm is making 60 new Teletubbies episodes episodes for pre-school channel CBeebies.

The new Teletubbies will make "more use of CGI", the paper notes, and Tinky Winky's controversial handbag could return.

But things will never be as they were in the series' 1997 to 2001 heyday as the original Teletubbies house has been bulldozed and the land is now a pond. The landowner was fed up with fans of the show trespassing, the Guardian adds.

The paper gives some indication why ISIS has made such rapid advances: a hatred of Iraq's "nakedly sectarian" prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in Sunni areas, and the support of Saddam Hussein's former loyalists.

It documents the life of ISIS's former second in command, Haji Bakr, a former colonel in Saddam's Army with a liking for Scotch whisky, who turned jihadist on his release from American military detention.

Bakr died in the Syrian conflict, but the paper says there were plenty of other Iraqis holding up pictures of Saddam when Isis forces drove into their areas.

The Daily Mail reports on life in the ISIS-occupied city of Mosul, where people have been summarily executed in their own homes and Islamists have issued proclamations ordering everyone to pray five times a day, and insisting women must stay indoors "unless there is an emergency".

In analysis for the Daily Mirror, Middle East expert Prof Peter Neumann says: "ISIS are drunk with success and making big announcements.

"The reality is there is no way they can take Baghdad. Even if they got in they wouldn't hold it for more than 24 hours."

But he cautions "there is no silver bullet" for dealing with their threat.

In a comment piece in the Financial Times, David Gardner agrees, arguing that "ISIS may be over-reaching - and uniting otherwise opposed regional actors against it."


The great, the good and the less heralded from the Queen's Birthday Honours list find themselves celebrated in Saturday's press.

The Daily Mirror focuses on the MBE given to cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton just days before his death, aged 19.

The paper says that when Stephen was told of the accolade he gave his trademark thumbs up gesture and said "awesome".

Angelina Jolie Angelina Jolie

While all the the papers discuss the "big names" on the honours list, such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Angelina Jolie, others less familiar are also noted.

The Daily Express has a picture of 99-year-old Ethel Dobbins, a former nurse, awarded the British Empire Medal for her work as secretary of the Hard of Hearing Club and Blackpool Jubilee Stroke Club.

The Daily Telegraph has a box on Hunter Davies, the journalist turned Beatles biographer. Mr Davies jokes that his wife "threatened to divorce him" for accepting an OBE.

The Guardian tells of Jessica Huie, who went from being a pregnant 17-year-old drop out living in a hostel, to founding the multicultural greeting cards company ColourBlind Cards.

Ms Huie, 34, who has been made an MBE, said the award was significant not for where she is today "but the distance I have travelled".

The Daily Mail seems less than enamoured with the decision to award actress Angelina Jolie an honorary damehood to recognise her work as a UN special envoy dedicated to stamping out the use of rape as a weapon of war.

Its headline says "after hobnobbing, starstruck Hague hands the queen of Tinseltown a gong".

It quotes Labour MP Paul Flynn who said: "Angelina Jolie is doing creditable work but it is ridiculous to honour people who are already over-endowed with privileges and wealth."

It's a point of view, the Mail has seemingly some sympathy for: Its comment section criticises the foreign secretary for "spending a fourth consecutive day posing for photographs alongside Hollywood star Angelina Jolie" whilst Iraq burns.

Amanda Platell, writing in the paper, is more blunt.

"If you want to fawn over celebs, Mr Hague, just buy Hello!" is her verdict.

'Unforced errors'

Papers - as a general rule - love stories about other papers, and Ed Miliband's apology to Merseysiders offended by his posing with a copy of The Sun is much discussed.

Valentine Low in the Times says "the very moment that the first images appeared of Ed Miliband posing with a copy of the Sun, it was obvious that disaster lay just around the corner.

Ed Miliband holds a copy of The Sun

"It was the look on Mr Miliband's face: a fixed nervous grin that suggested he was sure he was making a huge mistake, but had not quite discovered what it was."

Low notes Mr Miliband's explanation that he was posing to show his support for the England team, who were celebrated on the front page of the special edition of the Sun, has failed to satisfy many.

He adds: "It is entirely possible that Mr Miliband, on taking further advice, may decide that this apology made him look so ridiculous that it merits an apology of its own."

The Independent says that senior Labour Party figures have attacked their leader for taking part in the "stunt".

The paper says former shadow cabinet minister Tom Watson wrote of the affair: "Ed finds himself in an unnecessary embarrassing situation again.

"As any football fan will tell you, too many unforced errors ends in defeat."

Unsurprisingly, Mr Miliband's apology has not gone down well with the Sun either.

The paper says the Labour leader "grovelled when MPs moan" about their picture, which they said was "an unashamed positive celebration of Englishness".

Its leader column indignantly asks "What exactly is there to apologise for about having your picture taken holding our special England issue?"

Property jamboree

Like an incoming storm, we know that an interest rates rise is impending, thanks to Bank of England governor Mark Carney's recent warning.

The upshot, the Financial Times reports, is that "mortgage brokers are urging homebuyers to lock in fixed-rate deals quickly".

One broker told the paper: "We'll see most lenders increase the costs of their fixed-rate mortgages. I'd certainly expect some movement over the next few weeks."

In its leader column, the FT praises the way that Mr Carney announced that he was considering raising rates "earlier than had been expected".

Herd reich

An auroch

The Nazis were known for their grandiose (and impractical) plans, but the Daily Mail documents one of their strangest.

The paper says recent documents reveal a plan, spearheaded by Herman Goering, to resurrect a species of giant feral cattle called aurochs.

Aurochs, the paper says, became extinct in the 17th Century, but Goering's plan was to resurrect the 7ft tall breed through back breeding in German zoos then release the beasts into the forests of the fatherland.

The idea was to create a connection with the ancient Germanic tribes - and provide new hunting opportunities for Goering and his friends, the paper adds.

"By raising the possibility of a future policy tightening, he avoided the risk of administering a large and sudden shock to the economy further down the track".

Dr Adam Marshall of the British Chambers of Commerce is less admiring in the Daily Express.

He tells the paper: "The case for acting more swiftly has not yet been made.

"Companies need to be confident that they will be working in a low interest rate environment, facing only gradual rather than sudden change."

Economist Matthew Whittaker also urged caution in the paper.

He said hundreds of thousands of Britons already had "unaffordable" mortgage repayments and "there's no sign yet of a surge in wages which could help to deal with higher repayments."

Still on the subject of housing, the Daily Mail reports on one hitherto unreported factor in the explosion in UK house prices - investment sales to China.

David Jones reports from Hong Kong on a "glitzy property jamboree" in Hong Kong where "English estate agents vied like barrow-boys to sell flats and houses to cash-rich Chinese speculators who were using our booming housing market like some alternative stock exchange."

Jones says most of the investors - largely "middle-class Chinese who had saved prodigiously" intended coming to Britain and few had any idea of the towns and suburbs where their investments were based.

They were nonetheless "snapping up properties like squares on a Monopoly board."


You may find it hard to escape the fact today, that a certain football match is being played in Manaus, Brazil, later.

But leaving aside discussions of England's tactics for their inaugural World Cup game, or discussions of the likely result, there are other gems in Saturday's newspapers.

No-one does overkill like the Sun and it looks ahead to England versus Italy across five pages (and I'm not including the sport section).

Things might augur well for the English tonight if the mystic predictions "Doug the Pug" (a result selecting dog) or "Porker the Pig" (a porcine predictor) prevail.

A pig with glasses Porker the Pig mulls his World Cup selections (possibly)

Both animal pundits defied the bookies and went for a Dutch win on Friday against Spain, and both plump for England tonight.

On the other hand, England are also selected by "Sea Eagle Inowashi" (a sporting raptor) and William Hill (a retired builder, not the company) and both of these Sun pundits have had a 0% success rate so far.

A more feet-on-the-ground assessment might be made by Mark Williams.

The Daily Express reports that the 48-year-old head teacher resigned his job at a Bolton primary school so that he could fly to Brazil and support England.

Diehard fan Mr Williams said: "I offered my resignation to the governors so I could fulfil the trip of a lifetime."

The Daily Telegraph reports that many Manaus natives have adopted England as their "second team" despite having a genuine reason for holding a grudge.

The paper explains that the city's mid-Victorian prosperity collapsed almost overnight after Englishman Henry Wickham smuggled Brazilian rubber tree seeds out of the Amazon basin and began rival rubber plantations in Malaysia.

"Time is a great healer, but so is football, the game the British gave to Brazil and the rest of the world," the paper explains.

Making people click

Star: Manaus pitch painted green

Mail: Ross Barkley's Aristotle tattoo

Mirror: Old Apple earphones 'don't work'

Guardian: Spain humiliated by Holland

Express: Doomsday moon appears

Iraq crisis and World Cup - the papers

The crisis in Iraq, its causes and what is to be done about it dominates the papers.

The Guardian leads on the story, saying President Obama and his national security chiefs were looking at any and every way they could help the Iraqi authorities take the fight to thousands of Sunni jihadists.

In their respective commentaries for the paper, John McTernan says toppling Saddam Hussein was right but the West pulled out too soon - Owen Jones argues that to those who champion more intervention, the calamity of Iraq must never be repeated.

The Times says President Obama was considering sending drones and military helicopters to Iraq as Islamist group Isis vowed to press beyond Baghdad into the Shia heartlands.

The paper says hundreds of Shia men gathered at Baghdad's main army recruiting centre after the government begged for help to fight off the Sunni militants' threatened advance on the capital.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faced further humiliation when Kurdish forces took control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, it adds.

Former SAS commander Col Richard Williams writes in the paper that Iraq is failing as a unified state not because of Saddam Hussein's removal but because an exhausted coalition left it to its own devices and influences of its neighbours in 2011, and simply hoped for the best.

Wrong track

Train passengers

"Rail chiefs blame late-running trains on too many passengers," goes the headline in the Times.

The paper reports that Network Rail blamed a surge in passenger numbers for an increase in delays.

The operator of the nation's rail infrastructure promised to do more to make the trains run on time.

Certainly makes a change from leaves on the line or the wrong type of snow.

He says it is being watched with horrified interest in Kabul by Afghan citizens and politicians preparing to vote in presidential elections.

The Times says in an editorial that Iraq faces the risk of a return to full-blown civil war just three years after the withdrawal of American forces.

The lightning advance of Islamist rebels to within striking distance of Baghdad threatens to tear their country apart, it says.

The Daily Telegraph says a growing sense of panic was gripping Iraq as the al-Qaeda uprising in the country's north led to US contractors being evacuated from the region and European countries ordering their citizens to leave Baghdad.

Gen Jonathan Shaw, former commander of British forces in Basra, writes in the Telegraph that the disintegration of the Iraqi army in the face of the Isis advance should have taken no-one by surprise.

The Iraqi army lacks the historical and cultural foundations that create selfless loyalty and sustain fighting spirit, he says.

A Telegraph editorial says the Iraq conflict has entered a new, deadly phase. As Obama responds to Baghdad's appeals for support, the situation is dangerously uncertain.

The Isis group is undoubtedly frightening, it adds, but many in the West will still be urging caution.

Patrick Cockburn, reporting on the front page of the Independent, says Iraq "is breaking up".

A commentary by former UK ambassador to Syria, Andrew Green, in the Daily Mail says the news from Iraq finally disposes of the case for Western military intervention.

The Daily Mirror's leader says the chaos and destruction in Iraq should be a matter of shame for Tony Blair and George W Bush.

A country which has already endured appalling suffering in the 11 years since the allied invasion is now being torn apart by civil war, it adds.

Opening moves

A picture of singer Jennifer Lopez performing at the World Cup opening ceremony appears in just about every paper, as the football festival gets under way in Brazil.

The Sun says Brazil kicked off its shoes, as the world's biggest party burst into life.

But the paper's TV critic Ally Ross is not so impressed. "The greatest show on Earth?" he asks. "That opening ceremony was like sports day at an inner-city school."

The Mirror has the headline "Beautiful game on!".

"The 2014 World Cup kicked off in style as Jennifer Lopez starred in the spectacular opening ceremony in Sao Paulo," the paper says.

Jennifer Lopez

But the Telegraph says the World Cup got off to a faltering start when poor sound quality left many television viewers unable to enjoy the ceremony.

The Guardian's Hadley Freeman writes that anyone who tuned in to the World Cup's opening ceremony hoping to learn precisely what a World Cup opening ceremony is for would have come away slightly disappointed.

The Independent's front page carries images of a less pleasant side to the event with riot police clashing with protesters in Sao Paulo.

The Times says England fans can comfort themselves that there is one aspect of the World Cup where they are the best in the world - being totally miserable about their team's chances.

According to a survey, the paper says, England supporters are the most downcast in the world relative to the quality of their national team.

Home loans

There is much speculation that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney could raise interest rates sooner than expected.

"In his first hawkish comments since becoming governor almost a year ago," says the Financial Times, "the governor's Mansion House speech will heighten expectations that the Bank will be the first major central bank to raise interest rates since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis."

The Times calls it "his strongest hint yet that policymakers may have to respond to the recovery far earlier than than expected".

The Telegraph says interest rates could begin to rise later this year "in a move that will provide some long-awaited relief to savers but plunge many borrowers into difficulty".

The Mail says Mr Carney tried to reassure anxious homeowners by making clear that interest rate rises will be gradual and limited when they do begin.

Mark Carney

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that the chancellor is to give the Bank "sweeping new powers" to control the size of mortgages amid fears that rapidly rising house prices risk becoming a bubble that would threaten economic recovery.

The paper welcomes the move in an editorial.

"Tackling the overheating housing market is to be applauded, given the rapid rise in prices in London and elsewhere in the south-east of England. The IMF has warned that it is a major threat to stability and to the progress of the economy out of recession," it says.

"Acting on that without the clunking fist of across-the-board interest rate rises would be admirably surgical, since this way the residents of Kingston upon Hull are not punished for the spendthrift house buying of Kingston upon Thames."

Holiday mood

The row over delays at the Passport Office rumbles on - the Times says Home Secretary Theresa May made a statement to the Commons "in an attempt to deal with growing anger over the crisis".

The Telegraph says there was confusion after Mrs May promised that people with an urgent need to travel will get special help to renew their passports - "but refused to say who would qualify".

What a Life

The Telegraph has the story of a British airman who relied on his weekly edition of Country Life and its "girls in pearls" feature for a reminder of home through tour after tour of Afghanistan.

So when Sq Ldr Ian Fortune became engaged he wondered, just possibly, whether the magazine might consider featuring his fiancee.

The result, says the Telegraph, is that Ella Clark graces the page in the magazine's Best of British issue.

In its leader, the Telegraph says Mrs May announced a series of measures "to avert what was beginning to look like a full-scale mess".

It commends her for conceding that there is a problem and trying to do something about it, with so many people facing disruption to their summer holidays.

Guardian sketch writer Esther Addley says Mrs May has lost her passport to the Conservative leadership.

"A glorious day in London W1, and Hon Members' thoughts were turning to holidays, perhaps none more eagerly than Theresa May," she writes.

"Is it really just over a week since Basher May surged past Boris Johnson to become the Tories' latest leadership crush, after giving the Police Federation a thorough truncheoning?

"Since then she's been stripped of her closest adviser following her run-in with Michael Gove, and embarrassed by the PM's backing of water cannon before she has decided whether to allow them.

"Now the Passport Office is in meltdown. Hello? Is that Thomas Cook?"

Passport delays and Iraq violence - the papers

Passport collections entrance

The papers round on the Passport Office after it was revealed that up to 30,000 applications have been hit by delays - and in the process possibly spoiling people's holiday plans.

The Guardian says the agency has ordered its staff to relax checks on applicants for British passports from abroad.

The paper claims that a briefing note allows staff to drop checks on countersignatories, as well as requirements for evidence of addresses and letters of confirmation from employers and accountants.

Bride and groom cake

The Daily Mail says a wave of weddings among pensioners is driving a rise in the popularity of marriage, according to official figures.

The number of those getting married between the ages of 65 and 70 rose by a quarter among men and a fifth among women in 2012.

The Express says the figures prove weddings are not only for the young.

"It is heartening to see more people over 65 heading to the altar."

However, further on in the Mail it reports on research that found a third of brides regret their choice of wedding dress and would change it if they could turn back time.

The paper says more than half would edit the best man's speech if they had the chance to replay it and a third would choose a different honeymoon destination.

It says the "beleaguered" Passport Office has been given 100 more staff by the Home Office in an effort to clear its backlog of applications, which are causing people to delay or miss holidays unless they pay £55 to have their cases fast-tracked.

The Home Office later said ministers had ordered the Passport Office to withdraw the guidance.

"Cameron: What crisis?" says the Daily Mail.

It says the prime minister insisted there was no passport crisis despite admitting tens of thousands of travellers have been hit.

"The chaos shows no signs of easing with angry families telling of six-month delays and four-hour drives to obtain their travel papers," it says.

The Mail puts the backlog at 500,000 applications.

The Daily Telegraph claims that senior diplomats warned a month ago about critical problems which threatened to engulf the Passport Office.

According to a leaked document, the Telegraph says, the head of the passport agency was confronted with evidence of widespread delays in the wake of a decision to shut down overseas passport centres.

The Independent says it has emerged that staff numbers at the Passport Office have been cut by 15% in the last four years.

The Times says David Cameron's disclosure on the scale of the crisis came as Ed Miliband called on the prime minister to "get a grip" on the situation.

Fight for Iraq

The violent situation in Iraq is the lead story for the Independent, Telegraph and Times.

The Independent's Patrick Cockburn writes of Iraqi security forces discarding their uniforms and putting up meek resistance.

"The offensive led by the fundamentalist Islamist group Isis appears to be turning into a general uprising by Iraq's Sunni Arab community that lost power when Iraq was invaded by the US and its allies in 2003," he says.

The correspondent describes how 250 guards protecting a refinery in the town of Baiji withdrew after militant fighters asked local sheikhs by mobile phone to tell them to pull out or face a fight to the death.

David Dimbleby

The Daily Express reports that broadcaster David Dimbleby has been named Gentleman of the Year by Country Life magazine.

The paper says that as the voice of the BBC's Question Time, anchor man for royal events and presenter of many an election night, David Dimbleby is a national treasure of broadcasting.

Now he can add a new accolade, it says.

Dimbleby apparently beat "stiff competition" from David Beckham and Sir David Attenborough.

In an analysis piece, he says the capture of Mosul by Isis means a radical change in the political geography of Iraq and Syria.

"Iraq slides into the hands of terrorists" is the headline in the Telegraph. The paper says fighters were within 60 miles of the Iraqi capital.

Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne says a powerful and merciless force has emerged on the world stage.

And the West should regard Iran as an ally as Middle East borders are redrawn, he adds.

The Times goes with "Islamic insurgents push Baghdad to the brink" for its headline.

The paper says the US was rushing to arm Iraq's security forces after the unprecedented advance towards Baghdad by Islamist militants.

Writing an opinion piece in the same newspaper, David Aaronovitch says what matters is preventing the advance of Isis.

"We must do everything short of putting boots on the ground to help the Kurds to defend themselves against Isis and similar groups," he says.

"Britain and France should give President Obama whatever encouragement he needs to take this action, and render whatever assistance the Americans might require."

World Cup

The papers eagerly anticipate the World Cup in Brazil, which the host nation kick off against Croatia on Thursday evening.

The Guardian has a large close-up picture on its front page of the golden trophy being held delicately by gloved hands.

The paper's Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro says: "The countdown clocks have clicked down towards zero. The air force is on alert. Navy frigates patrol the coastline and an army of 147,000 police and soldiers has been mobilised.

"Roads usually choked with traffic are emptying of cars. Schools have been closed. Offices are finishing early. Hundreds of millions of TV sets are being tuned in to the same event."

Brazilian boy holding Neymar poster

The Times' leader says that with the relentless rise of club football it is hard to imagine a World Cup that has had more at stake.

"International football meets at a crossroads in Brazil over the next month," it says.

The Daily Telegraph says this World Cup has been dogged by controversy even more than is usual for a major sporting event.

But the paper hopes when it kicks off to see more of the beautiful game and less of its ugly business.

An editorial in the Guardian says Brazil is about to launch football's world festival: four weeks of skill and passion, a showcase for the people's game.

But behind it lies Fifa, an opaque, supranational institution run by an unaccountable elite with powers that more properly belong to a national government, it continues.

Campaign donation

The Daily Express and the Daily Mail both picture Harry Potter author JK Rowling on their front pages.

She has been targeted by online abuse after she donated £1m to the campaign against Scottish independence.

The Express says Gloucestershire-born Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, was branded a traitor on Twitter while others threatened to burn her books.

The paper says hundreds of foul-mouthed messages were posted on social websites after she confirmed her "substantial donation" to the pro-UK Better Together campaign.

The Mail says Rowling was subjected to a torrent of vile abuse by "Scottish nationalists" and many messages made crude references to her and fictional characters.

JK Rowling

The Daily Mail comments: "This paper salutes JK Rowling for putting her money where her generous heart lies, with a £1m donation to the campaign to preserve the Union between her adopted home of Scotland and her native England.

"What a contrast between her munificence and the mean-spirited abuse to which separatists subjected her on Twitter."

"Scot trolls attack JK for £1m 'No' vote cash" is the headline the Sun goes with.

The Telegraph notes that Rowling has become the largest backer of the campaign against Scottish independence after her donation.

Her declaration of support for the 'No' campaign prompted a wave of abusive messages on social media, it adds.

A Telegraph leader says Rowling is not Alex Salmond's stereotype of an English Tory coming north of the border to lecture the proud Scots.

The Times says her donation is a major coup for the pro-Union campaign which feared being out-financed by the 'Yes' camp.

Energy prices and statins row - the papers

Energy bill and coins

The energy regulator's warning that suppliers are failing pass on falls in wholesale prices to households grabs the attention of just about all the papers.

The Times says Ofgem fired "an extraordinary broadside" at the "Big Six" power companies after warning them that their failure to cut household bills is proof that the market is uncompetitive.

Ofgem's intervention prompted a fierce rebuttal from British Gas, the Times adds, which refused to divulge how it bought energy on the wholesale markets, based on commercial confidentiality.

The Guardian says the letter from Ofgem to the energy companies is expected to add credence to the view that Britain's energy firms are quick to put prices up when wholesale bills rise, but slow to cut them when they drop.

Ofgem's demand that the largest power companies explain to customers why a decline in wholesale prices has not led to lower fuel bills is a move that threatens to reignite the political row over energy costs, says the Financial Times.

"Watchdog rages at energy firms - Big Six savaged for not passing on fall in costs," is the headline in the Daily Mail.

Cherry pick

The Daily Express says Britain's cherry crop is in for a bumper year thanks to a pleasant spring and the more recent sunshine.

The homegrown yield is expected to double from last year to 4,000 tonnes.

The fruit is also likely to be larger, sweeter and juicier, the paper says.

Industry body British Cherries said: "The cherry harvest is expected to be £20m, up from £10m last year, and this year is set to last longer than ever, well into September.

The paper says energy suppliers were accused of "naked greed" and told they must explain why falling gas and electricity prices are not being passed on to consumers.

In what the Mail says is a public rebuke to the companies, they were told they needed to win back the trust of the public.

Ofgem's interventions triggered fresh allegations that power firms are profiteering by taking time to cut bills when costs go down, the Mail adds.

In a comment piece in the Daily Express, Mark Todd, the director of an energy helpline website, says one of the problems is that competition in the market is weak - the big suppliers have millions of customers who are loyal, who don't leave even when they raise prices.

In the paper's opinion, Labour has not helped matters with its pledge of an energy price freeze.

"This could have encouraged suppliers to buy in large amounts of gas and electricity as a buffer against future wholesale price rises," it says.

The Sun calls it a "gas outrage".

It says: "We didn't think trust in the energy giants could sink further. Yesterday it did. Even slumbering Ofgem is shocked."

"Still taking us for fuels," says the Daily Mirror. It says it is about time the heat was turned up on the energy companies.

Medics clash

Many of the papers report that a group of doctors have criticised plans to extend the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to millions more people, particularly the over 50s.

They say that evidence used to dismiss concerns about side-effects is flawed.

Football gaol

The Daily Telegraph has a warning for England football fans heading out to Brazil for the World Cup.

"Brazil's notorious prisons await World Cup fans who break the law," it says.

Fans have been warned they face spending time in the country's overcrowded and violent prisons, the Telegraph states.

The paper shows a picture from a jail in Sao Paulo showing dozens of inmates sharing cramped and dirty cells while on remand.

The Times says this drew a "furious response" from a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University, who accused the doctors of "irresponsible misinformation".

The Daily Telegraph leads with the story, reporting that the doctors say the proposals could have "worrying" consequences.

The story is also on the front page of the Daily Express, which declares that medics are "at war".

In an editorial, the paper says confusion over statins is a concern for all patients.

"It's a worry and the medical profession needs to get its act together," it says.

"Doctors warn guidance on statins could do more harm than good," is the headline in the Independent.

Royal cup

There are plenty of pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge as she helps launch Britain's bid to challenge for sailing's America's Cup.

Duchess of Cambridge with America's Cup

The Times says Britannia has never ruled the waves in the competition, but the country's chances of finally winning the oldest trophy in sport were given a boost after 163 years of frustration.

The duchess was revealed as the figurehead of the 2017 attempt to win the cup.

"In this sport of billionaires, could Britain ever hope again to reach for the 'Auld Mug'," asks the Daily Telegraph. "It just could happen," it concludes.

The Daily Express said the duchess appeared in her element, chatting to sailors, support workers and financial backers of the bid.

And the Daily Mirror has a message for another royal, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was at a Buckingham Palace garden party on his birthday.

The paper says Prince Philip decreeing that people should not to mention his 93rd "was a command never likely to be obeyed".

'Whitehall meddling'

The row over faith and extremism in schools rumbles on in the wake of the Trojan Horse investigations, and the government's desire to promote "British values".

In an editorial, the Daily Telegraph suggests we have never been especially good at defining what constitutes British values.

For more than two decades politicians have sought, with varying degrees of of success and enthusiasm, to articulate the the defining characteristics of the nation, it says.

The Times comments that "religious indoctrination cannot be permitted in the classroom".

"It would be wrong to impose more controls on schools... but what has been happening in Birmingham and Bradford cannot be permitted to continue," the Times believes.

Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian that "Whitehall meddling is only ever bad news for schools".

"[Michael] Gove, as education secretary, is a master of paradox. He wills a world that is born in liberty yet he puts it forever in chains," he says.

The Independent claims that Mr Gove's advisers knew about the Trojan Horse allegations four years ago.

The paper says this puts the education secretary's "handling of the affair under fresh scrutiny".

Making people click

Daily Star: Ade Edmondson's loving tribute as pal Rik Mayall dies at 56

Daily Mail: Family's moving tribute to comedy genius Rik Mayall

Independent: Britain could be in for the warmest summer ever

Guardian: 10 things teachers want to say to parents, but can't

Daily Telegraph: Rik Mayall may have died after fit in wake of bike accident

'Fostering Britishness' and RIP Rik - the papers

Rik Mayall The sudden death of comedian and actor Rik Mayall is one of the big stories

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw's report into 21 Birmingham schools, in the wake of allegations of Islamist infiltration of the city's education system, dominates Tuesday's press.

Although - as the Daily Mail says - the letter speaking of a "Trojan Horse" operation to take schools over is now widely believed to have been a hoax, evidence of a campaign to impose a "narrow faith-based ideology" in many schools was found.

Education Secretary Michael Gove's response to the revelations "strikes a blow for British values", the Mail continues.

Summer's gentle sneeze

Hay fever generic

Just about recovered from Britain's dampest winter? Prepare for fresh peril.

The Daily Telegraph reports that it could be Britain's wheeziest summer, with hay fever likely to be a particular problem.

Sufferers could be reaching for their tissues, the paper explains, because the combination of warm days interspersed with showers has created perfect conditions for grasses to grow, meaning a longer than usual pollen season.

And with temperatures this week already 20F (11C) hotter than this time last year, the pollen-producing heatwave shows no sign of abating.

Mr Gove has ordered that all UK schoolchildren are taught "British values" and has said girls should be told that "women do not have to wear veils".

The Times says that head teachers at "Muslim schools" in Birmingham claimed they had been intimidated by parents and governors demanding strict interpretations of Islamic rules.

The heads were told that children "should not draw, play tuned instruments or swim in mixed classes," the paper reports.

Its leader column says the evidence Ofsted assembled was "damning", not just about the schools but with regards to Birmingham City Council and the government's response to the initial allegations.

The paper adds: "One school official complained yesterday that the investigators came 'looking for extremism'. What is sobering is that they found it."

The Financial Times claims the government's attempts at dealing with the problems in some Birmingham schools have been "a fiasco".

Its opinion column says "David Cameron's solution to give Ofsted the right to carry out 'dawn raids' is too glib... the sort of headline-grabbing quick fix of which the prime minister seems sadly enamoured.

"Radical Islam is a threat... the issue needs to be dealt with seriously and with a sense of purpose. Mr Cameron and his team have performed shoddily."

The Sun's coverage asks an ex-governor of one of the "Trojan Horse" schools, a parent, Birmingham's former lord mayor and an Islamic expert their views on the issue.

Parent Mohammed Zabar tells the paper that last year, things changed at the school his children attend.

"My daughter came home and said she was told she was un-Islamic because she didn't wear a headscarf," he explains.

Gates of Golden Hillock school in Birmingham Some parents and teachers in Birmingham feel schools have been unfairly stigmatised

Ghaffar Hussain of the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation told the paper: "Some people say 'No, it isn't true, it's not our fault, we are being demonised for being Muslim'.

"The fact is, there have been some incidents of 'Islamising' in schools in Birmingham. We have to face up to things."

The Guardian interviews some parents and teachers at schools mentioned in the report who are worried that children's lives will be "blighted".

Lee Donaghy, assistant principal at the extensively criticised Park View school, said: "This is a normal state school, like thousands of others across Britain - 98% of our pupils just happen to be Muslim. British Muslims.

"Park View school is a beacon, and now that risks being extinguished."

Writing an opinion piece in the paper, John Harris says: "Ultimately religion is a second-order issue here.

"What's most important may be one of the most toxic legacies of this government: the fact that from plummeting morale among teachers, through a mounting shortage of primary school places, to the glaring failings of the free school programme, and now this latest controversy - we have a state education system in complete disarray."

'Burning charisma'

The sudden death of comedian and actor Rik Mayall is Tuesday's other big story.

The Daily Mirror uses its front and four inside pages to pay tribute to the "much-loved TV star".

The paper says his sudden death is still a mystery, but it points out that the entertainer - who suffered head injuries in a near-fatal quad bike crash in 1998 - had to take medication for epilepsy.

Colleagues who worked with him in the last few days while he made a film in Portugal say he seemed "healthy and happy", the Mirror adds.

In the Sun, Tony Parsons says the comic "taught an entire generation to laugh at the world - and ourselves.

"Rik was a lover of slapstick, extreme silliness and a very British kind of toilet humour.

Rik Mayall Rik Mayall in his 1981 television breakthrough role as hapless Brummie "investigative reporter" Kevin Turvey

"What was really special about him was there was a real intelligence behind the silliness."

In the Daily Mail, Maurice Gran - who co-wrote The New Statesman as a vehicle for Rik Mayall - explains how the idea for the role came about.

"We asked him what he wanted to do, what was his dream role, and he was very honest. 'I want to play a lead character who is just like me,' he said, 'vain, greedy, depraved, obsessed with money, and not afraid to kill.'"

The Daily Telegraph's obituary reflects on the impact that the breakthrough Young Ones series - written by Mayall with his then-girlfriend Lise Meyer - had.

"The show tore up the established rules of comedy; the resulting 35 minutes of rampaging, violent slapstick struck many as having more in common with Warner Bros cartoons than established sitcoms."

The performer himself was a contrast to his obnoxious characters, the Telegraph adds.

"Mayall was quietly spoken and shy... but also 'evasive, slippery, canny, cautious and a tad self-congratulatory'."

In the Times, Caitlin Moran reflects that "going too far was Mayall's exquisite talent".

She adds his "sheer, white-light, burning charisma" could enliven any role, no matter how peripheral.

"Memory tells you that he was actually a major part of Blackadder" even when he was on air for just a few minutes, she points out.

'Unexpected surge'

Thinking of going anywhere this summer? You may have to think again, if the newspapers are to be believed.

The Times is one of the many papers that tells of a "backlog of 500,000" passport applications.

They call it - puppy love

A puppy on a girl's shoulder

Dogs are generally affectionate beasts, but for those colder canines science has found an answer.

The Daily Telegraph reports on research from Tokyo which found that spraying dogs with the hormone oxytocin made them love their owners more.

The hormone - produced by women when they are breastfeeding - encouraged dogs to up their own oxytocin production, making them friendlier to humans - and other dogs.

Researchers in Japan say it may explain why the substance is an important mechanism in humans and animals forming emotional bonds.

The head of the Passport Office now faces a quizzing from the Commons Home Affairs Committee, the paper reports.

Paul Pugh, the civil servant in charge, denies there are such large backlogs, but admits there has been "exceptional early summer demand", the paper adds.

The Daily Star calls the situation a "passport crisis" and says Britons "face being stranded".

The paper quotes Labour's immigration spokesperson David Hanson who says "there are serious concerns that Theresa May's mismanagement of resources has left the passport services so stretched."

The Sun says unions claim the loss of 315 jobs and the closure of 20 passports offices are partly to blame for the crisis.

The paper quotes an anxious traveller who left six requests for calls from the Passport Office's help-centre, but still has not received her child's passport after weeks of waiting, and is concerned her family's holidays may be ruined.

The Daily Mail says workers from the PCS union at the agency are threatening a one-day strike unless matters improve.

The paper says that MPs have been "deluged" with complaints about passport delays from worried constituents.

The Passport Office, which made a £73m surplus last year, told the paper that it had dealt with one million applications this year to date, and had redeployed 200 staff - some from anti-fraud duty - to the frontline to cope with the "unexpected surge".

Footballers in favela

In case you haven't noticed, there's a World Cup looming, and today's raft of football stories show the "beautiful game" up in all its highs and lows.

After reporting on the England team's visit to one of Rio's notorious slum areas -"the gritty favela of Rochina" - to undertake some training exercises with local youngsters, sign autographs, make friends and pose for publicity photos, the Times notes an earlier British incursion in the city.

It recalls Brazil's first competitive match, held in 1914 against a visiting Exeter City side.

A Brazilian Navy warship pictured off England's World Cup base hotel The sight which greeted England's players from their hotel window

The paper says the Grecians, a professional side in England for six years, were "embarrassed" to lose 2-0 to a side of amateurs from Rio and Sao Paulo.

The aftermath of the match shows how much Brazil has changed in a century, the paper notes, as three of the visiting Devonians were arrested for taking their shirts off during a kick-about on Copacabana Beach.

The Daily Mirror remarks on the high level of security - including a navy gunboat - provided by the Brazilian hosts for the English team.

One fan who witnessed England's arrival tells the paper "it could have been Barack Obama coming in, not a national football team.

"There were so many soldiers in the cavalcade and two or three ambulances."

The Daily Star's coverage focuses on the fans back home, particularly those you might think have gone over the top.

Among them, perhaps is Southampton's Tony Baddams who - the paper tells us - has spent three weeks covering every inch of his home with England flags, shirts... and giant fluffy dice.

The Guardian punningly warns fans of a "Lo point" in the opening ceremony on Thursday.

Jennifer Lopez (aka J-Lo) has withdrawn from the event in which she was due to sing the official world cup anthem due to "unspecified production difficulties", the paper reports.

Jennifer Lopez J-Lo - a no show in Sao Paulo

The Brazilians may not care though, the Guardian adds, as many have complained the song "We Are One (Ole Ola)" sounds "too generic for the nation's bossa nova-crazed audiences and features foreign musicians singing mainly in English and Spanish".

But it's not just music lovers who may be worried about the impending tournament: The Daily Telegraph reports that teachers are worried about pupils being tired during their exams through watching too much late night football.

"Staying up late the night before an exam is simply scoring an own goal," says George Turnbull of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, who can clearly not resist a footie-themed pun.

"Now is the time to be disciplined, and there's no reason students can't record matches to watch later."

The paper notes most GCSE and A-levels will finish before June 24, allowing students to watch England's final group game against Costa Rica without feeling guilty. Whether that will be a good or bad thing remains to be seen.

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About this Blog:

A detailed round-up of the main stories covered in the UK’s national newspapers – including a look at the front pages and expert reviews on the BBC News Channel.

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