Newspaper review: Hospital probe impact assessed

Papers

The government investigation into 14 NHS trusts in England with high death rates is widely explored in Wednesday's newspapers.

The Daily Telegraph says the review of failings has laid bare the "shocking conditions in Britain's hospitals".

"Labour's day of shame" is the main headline in the Daily Mail, which is clear where it believes blame should lie for the "appalling catalogue of failings".

The paper says the inquiry rates "demolished Labour's claim that the NHS was safe in its hands".

But the Daily Mirror takes issue with that analysis, and with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, accusing him of "deviously misrepresenting the Tories' share of responsibility".

It says Mr Hunt has been "caught red handed running down the NHS for party political gain".

The Times believes it is "beside the point" to blame either the previous government for poor regulation, or the present one for cuts. It says the central problem with the NHS is its failure to take patients seriously, or to seek their views.

'Blood money'

The Liberal Democrats' review of Britain's nuclear deterrent goes down well with the Guardian.

It believes the idea of reducing the number of nuclear-armed submarines "deserves a serious public debate" and says the suggestion that such a move would risk national security is "absurd".

The Daily Mirror reckons the main threat to the UK now comes from "suicide terrorists, undeterred by any deterrent".

But the Times says the UK needs to insure against long-term risks, not just current threats and Trident should be replaced with a comparable system.

The disclosure by MPs that the government has approved more than 3,000 export licences for military sales to countries such as Iran, China and Sri Lanka is the main news in the Independent.

The paper's headline describes the sales as "blood money" and it says there are three existing contracts for Syria, even though the UK is sending equipment to rebels fighting the Assad regime.

'Smart and poised'

With the Duchess of Cambridge due to give birth any day now, the Sun is keen that its readers don't miss a thing.

The paper has positioned a camera outside St Mary's Hospital in London and, from this morning, the paper's website will show continuous live footage of all the comings and goings.

The Daily Express believes "the world has descended into royal baby frenzy".

But not everyone seems to have caught the bug. The Daily Telegraph says the Queen's cousin, Margaret Rhodes, was interviewed by a US cable network, which asked her if she was excited about the impending royal birth.

Her reply was: "Not terribly", to which she added, "everybody has babies".

BBC journalist Mishal Husain is widely pictured after getting a new job as a presenter on Radio 4's Today programme.

Several papers refer to her appearance on Celebrity Mastermind four years ago, when the question master - one John Humphrys, and also a Today presenter - asked her whether she was employed by the BBC only because she was good looking.

He has told the Times that he was making a point about the BBC's attitude to older women.

The Daily Telegraph believes Mishal Husain is "more than a pretty voice" while the Guardian agrees that she's "smart and poised".

The Independent sees her appointment as a signal by director general Lord Hall of his intention to tackle a gender imbalance at the BBC.

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