Newspaper review: Focus on speedboat tragedy

Papers

Several papers carry front page pictures of the victims of the speedboat accident in north Cornwall.

The photo shows Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter, Emily - both of whom died - as well as Mr Milligan's wife, Victoria, and the couple's three other children, all of whom were injured.

"A family destroyed" is the main headline in the Daily Mirror.

The Daily Mail asks why a safety device fitted to the boat did not work - the "kill cord" is designed to shut down the engine if the skipper goes overboard.

The Times says the maker of the boat has called for amateur sailors to have compulsory training before taking the helm of pleasure craft.

The Daily Telegraph says David Cameron has, in effect, been barred from visiting China, because Beijing is so angry at him for meeting the Dalai Lama last year.

The paper says Britain is in the "political dog house" for refusing to accept Chinese demands for the prime minister to apologise. The "stand-off" is said to have jeopardised Chinese investment in Britain, which was worth £8bn last year.

Tuition funding

The government's plan to stop people receiving a state pension based solely on their husband or wife's employment record goes down well with the Daily Express.

It says paying pensions to people who have never contributed to the national insurance system is nothing short of "a disgrace".

The Express wants the rules changed immediately, and not just for future claimants, as ministers intend.

The Guardian reports that growing numbers of state primary and secondary schools in England are paying thousands of pounds a year to private tuition firms to provide extra help for their pupils.

The paper says the schools are using funding from the pupil premium - a state subsidy intended to increase support for children from poor backgrounds.

One teaching union suggests schools would be better off paying overtime to their own staff, or employing another teacher.

Degree debate

People with a first-class degree may struggle to get a job, at least if Lord Winston has anything to do with it.

According to the Times, the scientist and television presenter has said he deliberately does not employ applicants with a first at his laboratory, because he would rather have people who had taken the time at university to develop other interests.

The Times believes he should "go the whole hog" and hire people with no degree at all - citing, by way of example, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Winston Churchill, none of whom were hindered by the lack of a higher education qualification.

Finally, after her run-in with a group of street drummers in the West End of London, Dame Helen Mirren appears in several papers offering something of an olive branch.

Dressed as the Queen, she stormed out of the Gielgud Theatre to chastise the musicians when they interrupted her performance in the play, The Audience.

In what the Independent describes as a "royal act of redemption", Dame Helen is pictured wearing a T-shirt with a drawing of a drum and two drumsticks, and the hand-written message: "Yes please - just not outside a theatre".

Writing in the Mail, Max Hastings has nothing but praise for her intervention which, he says, "struck a blow against the bane of our times - promiscuous din".

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