IDS pensioners 'plot', castaway doubts, sugar fears and Tim Yeo's Tea Party Tories
It's hard to know whether it's a good day, or a bad one, for pensioners.
According the the Daily Express, "all three main Westminster parties are expected to include a commitment to the 'triple lock' guarantee", which could give pensioners an extra £20 per week by the end of the decade.
The move would peg state pension increases to inflation, wages or 2.5%, whichever is higher. However, the paper quotes Neil Duncan-Jordan, of the National Pensioners' Convention, as saying that this is flawed because it links only to the lower Consumer Price Index inflation measure, rather than the Retail Price Index, which he reckons better reflects the cost of living.
The Express also notes that the three main parties are yet to commit to preserving other pensioner benefits. And the Daily Mirror says Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is ready to drop a "bombshell" with plans to "mug" pensioners of the winter fuel allowance, their free bus passes and TV licences for the over 75s.
"The savings will be relatively small but the suffering immense," argues Mirror columnist Paul Routledge, saying Mr Duncan Smith "tore off the mask and revealed the evil face of the nasty party".
Reviewing the papers for the BBC News Channel, Independent feature writer James Rampton said the Labour-supporting paper's attack was unusually strong, adding: "It's not holding back at all. The way the Mirror is spinning it, it does look like an attack on pensioners."
Mina al-Oraibi, from London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, added: "As you read the story and try to understand how it's going to happen… there's very little to explain it. This is a long way from the 'mugging' stage."
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph quotes one minister as suggesting solar panels - rather than a pension scheme - may hold the answer to a comfortable retirement. Energy minister Greg Barker reportedly says that, with tariffs guaranteed for 20 years, well-sited panels that feed into the national grid could yield a greater income than many annuities.
After spending more than a year drifting at sea, drinking your own urine and eating raw turtles and seabirds to survive, the last thing you might expect would be people poking fun at your weight.
Nonetheless, "Castaweight... fisherman is 'too fat' for year adrift," is how the Sun describes officials' doubts over the account of Jose Salvador Albarengo, who washed up in the remote Marshall Islands, north-east of Australia, last week. The paper uses a photograph of a similarly bearded Tom Hanks, in the film Castaway, to illustrate what they might have expected him to look like.
Albarengo claims to have been blown off-course while shark fishing off Mexico in December 2012. However, the Mirror says the islands' foreign affairs secretary believes his "miracle story" to be "not turtley convincing". It quotes Gee Bing as saying: "He was not really thin compared to other survivors in the past."
Still, as the Mail points out in a Q&A, doctors say his swollen appearance could be caused by edema, a swelling brought on by too much sun and salt, and that it is possible to survive by drinking urine for a few days.
Not too sweet
While Albarengo - photographed clutching a well-known brand of fizzy drink - might benefit from a couple of cans of pop, the Metro is among the papers to highlight concerns about the UK population's consumption of sugary drinks.
It says research shows that millions of people are increasing the risk of dying from a heart illness by drinking as little as one can per day, and quotes health campaigners as saying the findings "strengthen calls for prominent health warnings on packaging" or even new taxes.
The typical Briton consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar per day, with some taking as many as 46, says the Daily Mail. However, it quotes a spokesman from industry-funded Sugar Nutrition UK as saying the consensus of the scientific community is that "eating a diet containing added sugar does not cause heart disease".
If it's enough to make readers give lemonade the swerve and opt instead for a pint, the Sun has bad news. It points out: "One pint of real ale might contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar - even more than the eight found in a Mars bar."
The paper has a chart spelling out how many teaspoons each alcoholic drink contains, alongside a cardiologist's warning that: "Sweet liquor is killing us." It makes grim reading for those with a penchant for gin and tonic, alcopops or lager, although those with expensive taste might be relieved to find only a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar in their glass of champagne.
Even so, French chef Raymond Blanc is quoted by the Times as suggesting that "wine-loving British women 'are too fat'," because they down six glasses a day, as opposed to the one said to be preferred by their continental cousins.
Some 100,000 adults in Stoke-on-Trent are overweight, reports the Daily Express. But it's unimpressed by the city council spending £10,000 sending them "motivational texts" to encourage them to "walk to the shops more often" or eat smaller portions. It argues that if all it took to deal with the problem were "fatuous messages", then "we'd be a country of sylphs".
Tea Party Tories?
Michael Gove continues to attract headlines, as captured by Times cartoonist Peter Brookes. He sketches the education secretary on stage - in front of a backdrop reading "Government", with only the letters "G.O.V.E." in lights - shouting: "Me, me, me, me, me, ME!"
However, the press also focuses on the fortunes of another Conservative, Tim Yeo, who's been deselected by his constituency party.
Given that his sacking comes on the back of a similar move to oust another long-serving MP, Anne McIntosh, the Daily Telegraph describes it as a "Tory Spring" against a "controlling central party". It quotes Robert Woollard, the chairman of the Conservative Grassroots organisation, as saying he hopes it will herald a "more democratic" organisation.
The Daily Mail notes that Mr Yeo had "faced criticism for juggling his multiple business interests alongside his job as an MP", and for spending more time at a house in Kent or in London than in his Suffolk constituency.
The Guardian also notes that the "revolt is spreading" and suggests that while "some see a healthy revival of activism... others see Sarah Palin and the Tea Party" - a reference to the conservative wing of America's Republican Party.
"Most activists are significantly to the right of most of their MPs... they are definitely out of love with [Prime Minister David] Cameron," it says, adding that while it's "no bad thing for long-serving MPs to watch their back" it could be a problem - and not just for the Tories - if an unrepresentative minority takes control of selections.
Simon Heffer, in the Daily Mail, notes the slump in Conservative Party membership under Mr Cameron, leaving it less well-organised in many areas than younger rival UKIP, and argues the Tories must "nurture the grassroots or pay a heavy price at the polls".
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