MH370 'suicide', Labour 'revolt' and Putin likened to Hitler

After relatives of those aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were told the plane must have crashed into the sea, killing all on board, the papers speculate as to why.

While the Guardian says we're no closer to the truth and the Daily Express talks of an "unexpected emergency", the Daily Telegraph's sources suggest the last movements of the aircraft, combined with it having severed all communication links, make pilot suicide the most likely explanation.

The Daily Mirror is among the papers to highlight the role of British firm Inmarsat in working out where the Boeing 777 flew in the five hours after leaving Malaysian airspace on 8 March. It did this by tracking hourly "pings" sent from the plane to the firm's satellite. And the Telegraph quotes an Inmarsat representative saying that technology used routinely to track ships is available to airlines for 60p an hour.

Other papers, such as the Metro, focus on the heartache of passengers' relatives, who learned via text message that their loved ones were being treated by officials as dead. "Given the momentous and distressing nature of such news it was disgraceful that it was imparted to some families in a text message," says the Mirror.

The Daily Star runs through the ill-fated airliner's "diary of devastation", while the Guardian spells out what happens next, listing the number of aircraft and vessels involved in the search.

The Independent's travel correspondent Simon Calder says the search for clues is "all the more critical" because the plane's disappearance is far beyond anything the aviation community has previously experienced, adding: "The mystery of MH370 is becoming to the early 21st Century what the JFK assassination was to the 20th."

Facing 'revolt'?

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Opinion polls showing Labour's lead over the Conservatives shrinking to just 1% prompt headlines suggesting party leader Ed Miliband is facing "revolt" (Daily Mail), "rebellion" (Daily Telegraph), a "split" (the Times) and an "Ed-ache" (the Sun).

The Times says the "safety-first" approach of election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander is being challenged by Jon Cruddas, who's leading a policy review and has the backing of several left-leaning think tanks.

The Financial Times sets out the party's "blurred vision", saying it faces challenges ahead in policy areas such as welfare, health, the economy and pensions.

But in its editorial column, the Times says "Mr Miliband's political troubles do not derive from the fact that he has been vague. They derive from the fact he has been clear", and suggests that some policies are simply "a long way from desirable".

For Dan Hodges, in the Daily Telegraph, the "unpalatable truth" is that "Ed Miliband isn't working" when it comes to winning over the public. The cartoonists take inspiration from the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape, with Adams in the Telegraph picturing Mr Miliband digging himself further in to the "opposition camp" and the Independent's Dave Brown picturing the Labour leader tunnelling around in circles.

However, there is support from the Guardian's Polly Toynbee who sees an "unprecedented display of unity" in calling for Mr Miliband to "follow his own radical instincts".

Steve Richards, in the Independent, agrees that think tanks calling for bold policies and the Labour leader are "in agreement". He says the party's front bench have avoided falling into "fatal traps" by failing to oppose Chancellor George Osborne's benefits cap and pensions proposals.

United front?

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While the Times leads on the West "uniting" to eject Russia from the G8 "club" of leading economies over its annexation of Crimea, the tabloids are eyeing President Vladimir Putin's plans for further expansion.

The Daily Star finds a "Lads' Army" of 12-year-olds trained to handle Kalashnikov assault rifles in military sports clubs and quotes a military analyst saying there's an 80% chance of Moscow going to war with Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Sun also takes inspiration from the BBC comedy Dad's Army, comparing the Russian president with Adolf Hitler under a headline: "Who do you think you are kidding Mr Putin?" It likens his "sabre-rattling rhetoric", persecution of gay people and expanding military - as well as his expansionism - to that of the Nazi leader.

Roland Oliphant, in the Telegraph, sends a dispatch from Chongar where on Monday the first of many convoys of Ukrainian service personnel left their military base in Russian control and headed "home".

As Western leaders meet in the Netherlands, Justin Webb writes in the Times of the need for American President Barack Obama to "cajole, corral, love bomb, bully, butter up and dress down" EU leaders to achieve a united front to present against Russia. The paper's cartoonist Peter Brookes illustrates the feeling that the West has been too weak to stand up to Russia by showing a bare-chested and muscular Mr Putin in front of a wall of hunting trophies, including the heads of a tiger, moose, bear and of world leaders including Mr Obama and Mr Cameron.

Steve Bell, in the Guardian, has Western leaders making puny threats, such as "you shall not go to the G8 in Sochi", "I might stop using your gas", and "you're never going to be allowed to join Nato".

"Sanctions must bite hard," says the Sun, arguing: "A crippled Russian economy is our best hope of putting a stop to [Mr Putin's behaviour]." The Financial Times says there is already some fallout from the situation in Crimea, with Moscow expecting some $70bn (£42.5bn) of foreign investment to have flowed out of the country by the end of March.

'Little girl lost'

There's outrage in the Star at the results of an experiment to find out whether Britain is a nation of Good Samaritans. It reports that two little girls sent out to look scared and lost in a shopping arcade near London's Victoria Station were ignored by more than 600 adults. The paper says it's a "truly shocking reflection of society".

For Bel Mooney, in the Daily Mail, it was a "bleak vision of our age of loneliness, when the pace of life has become so fast it leaves compassion and humanity far behind". However, she argues that many of those who passed by might simply not have seen the children, either because they were talking, lost in music or "eyes fixed on the hypnotic screen" of a mobile phone.

Philip Johnston, in the Telegraph, argues that the experiment - conducted for Channel 5 documentary Little Girl Lost - took place where people were "most likely to ignore the plight of a lost child", given the number of foreign tourists and travellers rushing to catch buses or trains.

But he adds that in Britain: "We suppress our most basic instincts to help a lost little girl and walk on by in case someone thinks we are a potential assailant. Shocking, indeed."

The Times quotes an NSPCC spokesman acknowledging this, saying that adults must "shake off this attitude that they will be seen as a suspicious character" if they tried to help a child in need.

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