Newspaper review: Papers ponder burka escape


The Times leads with news that the terrorist suspect who escaped in a burka from a west London mosque on Friday had been cleared of tampering with his security tag just hours before he absconded.

The paper says the case apparently exposed flaws in the design of the tags used by the security G4S.

The Daily Mail describes the case as a "tagging fiasco" and says it has "plunged the monitoring of Britain's most dangerous terror suspects into chaos".

The Sun blames his escape on the demise of control orders and says it was "folly to water them down".

"The Tories should have stood their ground against the Lib Dems," says the paper, but it concludes that between them the parties have "compromised national security".

The Independent exposes what it calls "Britain's secret listening post in the heart of Berlin".

The paper reveals that leaked American documents, aerial photographs and information about past spying activities suggest Britain is operating a "covert listening station within a stone's throw" of the German parliament and the offices Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Pilot training

Spying also preoccupies the Guardian, which leads with a call by David Blunkett for a commission to review Britain's intelligence laws in order to provide a stronger framework for the activities of the spy agencies.

The former Labour home secretary tells the paper it is "human nature" for the secret services to "get carried away" and that ministers often come under pressure to "do something".

The Daily Mail says taxpayers face a bill of "tens of thousands of pounds so a failed asylum seeker can train to be a pilot".

It says 21-year-old Yonas Admasu Kebede, from Ethiopia, will receive up to £10,000 in living expenses even though he is due to leave the UK next year.

According to the paper, a court ruling - which could set a precedent - means Newcastle City Council must also pick up the bill for Mr Kebede's brother to start a university degree.

The Mail says the brothers' lawyers argued that the council should foot the cost because their immigration status barred them from applying for a student loan.

Growers stung

"A tech giant rises - another falls" is the headline in the Financial Times which contrasts the differing fortunes of Twitter and Blackberry.

The FT values Twitter at more than $17bn after the microblogging site increased the price of its initial public offering by 25%.

By contrast, says the paper, Blackberry - once a market leader - called off its sale and removed its chief executive, sending its share price to its lowest in a decade.

Police dogs are to be given pensions worth £1,500 each, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper describes the pension plan, introduced by Nottinghamshire Police, as "the first of its kind in Britain" and says it will "ensure that the animals will have their medical bills paid after they are retired from service".

The Financial Times warns that snacks and sweets "face a price sting from the plight of the humble bee".

California's almond orchards - which produce 80% of the world's crop - have been hit by a dearth of bee colonies, says the paper, with the price of renting a hive for pollination tripling over the past decade to as much as $200.

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