UK

Newspaper review: Press focuses on future regulation

Papers

With press regulation dominating many front pages and editorials, the Daily Mail suggests the coalition has been torn apart over the issue.

The paper believes the government is heading for an unprecedented split after Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg forged an "unholy alliance" to try to force through laws which the Mail claims would shackle Britain's press.

The decision by Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg to work together is an extraordinary foretaste of a potential Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition after 2015, the Mail suggests. The Daily Telegraph describes the alliance as unprecedented.

The Guardian says David Cameron "startled" his coalition partners by unilaterally announcing that he was curtailing months of talks on press regulation. The Financial Times talks of him wrong-footing his political opponents.

The Times believes he has gambled his authority on a Commons showdown. Using similar language, the Sun agrees that the prime minister dramatically lit the touch-paper for a historic showdown.

The arrests of four people who worked as editors at Mirror Group newspapers on suspicion of phone hacking is widely covered. The Independent claims the evidence has come from a supergrass.

It says an insider with knowledge of the workings of a number of tabloid titles is thought to have handed the Metropolitan Police significant new information.

Liability

We're all for austerity, it seems, unless it's George Osborne's idea. The Independent, Guardian and Mail publish the result of a poll which suggests people are less likely to back the government's core economic policies when they are told they come from the chancellor.

The Guardian says the survey of 1,000 people will raise further doubts among Tory backbenchers about whether the chancellor is a political liability.

The Pope's behaviour on his first full day in office doesn't go unnoticed. The Daily Mirror notes that Pope Francis shunned his Vatican One Popemobile. Instead, he boarded a bus with the other cardinals to make the short journey from the Sistine Chapel to the Vatican.

The Telegraph says that after being elected, the new Pope turned up unannounced at the hostel where he had been staying to retrieve his bags and pay the bill - saying he wanted to set an example.

The Telegraph and Independent have a picture of an elderly woman who claims to be the childhood sweetheart of Pope Francis. The woman, known as Amalia, says a young Jorge Mario Bergoglio told her when they were both 12 that if he couldn't marry her he would become a priest. Her parents didn't approve - the rest is history.

The Guardian reacts to President Hollande's call for the EU arms embargo on Syria to be lifted. The paper believes that France and Britain have moved a step closer to arming rebels in the country.

It says the radical move is aimed at tipping the balance in the two-year civil war but British officials are emphasising that no decision has been taken to supply weapons to the Syrian opposition.

Monitoring

The Telegraph reports that the head of the independent body responsible for military pay has been sacked by David Cameron after calling for servicemen and women to be given a rise. It claims the decision to remove Professor Alasdair Smith was made weeks after he said services personnel needed more money to reflect the additional pressure put on them by redundancies and cuts.

Military campaigners have described the move as "vindictive". But Number 10 insists Professor Smith wasn't dismissed and the decision reflects a government-wide policy of not making automatic re-appointments.

There is concern that restrictions on the movements of six terror suspects will be lifted by the end of the year. The Sun reports that the group includes an alleged would-be suicide bomber and someone who attended a training camp with four bombers involved in the failed London bombings on 21 July 2005.

The Times says the government's anti-terror watchdog has warned that the six will be "free and unconstrained" because they can only be monitored for two years unless new evidence is found against them. The Home Office says the police and security services have been given substantial extra resources to increase opportunities to prosecute for terrorist-related activity.

The Times publishes a letter from leading schools and colleges in England appealing to the government to keep AS-levels as part of the A-level exam.

They say that doing away with the current system will mean to return to the worst aspects of A-levels when a significant number of students came away with little to show for their work in terms of qualifications.

The lead in the Daily Express makes welcome reading for fans of coffee and green tea. A 13-year study found that people who have at least one cup of coffee or two cups of green tea a day reduce their chances of suffering a stroke by up to a third. There are even greater benefits if you drink both, according to the Mail, because the drinks work in different ways.

Many of the papers report that a violin found gathering dust in an attic in 2006 has been confirmed as the instrument which was being played as the Titanic went down a century ago.

The Daily Express says the discovery bears out a newspaper report at the time which said that the bandmaster, Wallace Hartley, was found with the instrument strapped to his body.

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