UK

Newspaper review: GCHQ cyber-spy row continues

Sunday newspapers

Many of the Sunday papers reflect on allegations that the government intelligence agency, GCHQ, had access to the online data of British citizens via US spy agencies.

The Sunday Times acknowledges that tapping into electronic communications is a vital tool in the fight against terrorism, but says a delicate balance between safety and privacy must be arrived at.

Reporting that ministers will be forced to reveal to Parliament on Monday the extent of British links to the US data spying scandal, the Observer demands "straight answers".

The Sunday Express warns that the public will soon lose faith in the system of national security if it's shown to operate outside the rule of law.

The Sunday Mirror calls for an end to what it sees as snooping on websites used by British citizens. Echoing a warning by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it says the practice is an "intrusion on basic human rights".

The Sunday Times also reports that the controversial "snoopers' charter" could be rushed into law using an obscure European directive.

The paper claims the seven-year-old ruling - obliging internet firms to store vast amounts of data for potential use by intelligence agencies - has so far been only partially implemented.

Living in poverty

The Independent questions on its front page whether the £2.7bn promised at the G8 food summit in London on Saturday will all arrive - and whether it will be enough.

But the paper believes David Cameron is right to argue that what he calls "smart aid" has helped many of the poorest to help themselves.

However, the Sunday People thinks charity must begin at home; it says it's shameful that more than a million children living in poverty in Britain are missing out on free school meals.

The Times highlights a warning - from a team of government advisers - that 8,000 school canteens are facing closure because of changes to the way they're funded.

The Daily Telegraph leads on what it describes as the "most strongly-worded attack on Europe yet" by a senior member of the government.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling tells the paper that jobs and growth are being put at risk by what he calls the "mad policy agenda" of the European Commission.

He's especially critical of plans to reform data protection laws, which Whitehall estimates will cost businesses hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Telegraph says Mr Grayling's comments will delight Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, while inflaming tensions with the Liberal Democrats and provoking ire in Brussels.

Health warnings

The Sun says the prime minister will go to war on internet giants for failing to halt the tide of child abuse images.

The paper - which launches a campaign for stricter controls - takes companies such as Google to task for not doing more to weed out illegal sites from its search engines.

The Mail on Sunday also argues that inertia and excuses are no longer enough, especially when the lives of innocent children are at stake. "Don't be evil" is Google's motto; "Now prove it," says the Mail.

The Sunday Express highlights research suggesting that drinking more than two pints of beer a year raises the risk of cancer. It says the findings have led to demands for cigarette-style health warnings on alcohol.

In an editorial, the paper denies that it's scaremongering, pointing out that about four-and-a-half thousand people in Britain die from alcohol-related cancers each year.

'Have a go' Harry

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Buckingham Palace has been caught up in a row over plans by MPs to allow same-sex weddings to take place inside the Houses of Parliament.

The paper says it's obtained correspondence showing that the Queen's private secretary is being consulted over the possibility of allowing the ceremonies to be held in St Mary Undercroft - the Anglican chapel at the Palace of Westminster.

The Telegraph describes the move as "highly controversial" because it would require the chapel - which is under the authority of the Queen - to break its ties from the Church of England, on whose property gay marriage would not be permitted.

A gay soldier tells the Mail on Sunday how Prince Harry rescued him from what's described as a "terrifying homophobic attack" by squaddies from a rival regiment. Trooper James Wharton sought the help of the Prince - a tank commander in the Blues and Royals - who promised that he would sort the matter out "once and for all".

The soldier - who's since left the Army - tells the paper that he poked his head out of the turret of his tank to see Harry "having a go" at his tormentors.

Sublime and ridiculous

The Telegraph examines the enduring appeal of the ITV show, Britain's Got Talent, which reached a climax with Saturday night's seventh series final.

All human - and some animal - life is here, it says: pint-sized prodigies and pensioners, semi-pros and plucky amateurs - the sublime and the ridiculous.

The Sun and Star carry the same headline - "The Eggs Factor" - after a former contestant burst onto the stage during the show and hurled eggs at the judges, including Simon Cowell.

Finally, the Telegraph brings news of a small but significant victory for grammarians. It says Telford and Wrekin council in Shropshire has reinstated an apostrophe on signs for Prince's Street in Wellington after pressure from campaigners.

A local history group argued that the road was named after Prince Albert, and that the meaning had been lost as a result of omitting the punctuation mark.

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