Climate change and statin scrutiny, UK's north-south divide and Prince Harry's pub

Conflicting fates of scientific papers create headlines in Friday's papers, with the Times reporting claims of a "cover-up" of a study casting doubt on the rate of climate change.

The paper quotes one of the authors saying that his work was rejected by top journals after a peer reviewer dismissed it as "harmful" because it could be used by climate change sceptics to support their case. "Some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of climate activist," the shunned academic complains.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express describes an "embarrassing climbdown" by two researchers who now accept they overstated of the dangers of taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins. They have withdrawn statements suggesting that one-fifth of users would experience harmful side effects from the drugs, such as liver disease and kidney problems.

The Daily Mail describes doctors as "at war" over the claims it says were "exaggerated" by up to 20 times. The paper quotes one professor saying the authors "misrepresented the evidence repeatedly" and calling for the British Medical Journal to retract the articles. The Daily Mirror says "scare studies" about the drugs put millions at risk, although it reminds readers: "All drugs have side effects, so the the important thing to consider is if the benefits outweigh the risk."

Victoria Lambert, in the Daily Telegraph, writes that statins "cause a unique emotional reaction". She says: "From the moment statins landed on our GPs' prescribing pads, promising to lower mortality and morbidity rates in coronary heart disease, many of us have treated them with suspicion - much to the despair of those in the science community."

However, she also hears from cardiologists who dispute the benefits of the drugs, taken by seven million Britons who are at risk of heart disease, with one suggesting that: "For the vast majority of people, taking a statin will have zero impact on their life expectancy."

Telegraph cartoonist Matt has his own take on their dangers. He pictures a couple in A&E, the husband with his head stuck in a dustbin and the wife telling a nurse: "He was trying to get his statins out."

Dividing lines

"Great Splitain," is how the Sun describes the north-south divide it sees in an Office for National Statistics report on wealth, noting that people in the south-east are twice as rich as those in north-east England.

And the paper's editorial column complains: "Shockingly, most of the £3.9bn the government has pumped into the regions is still help up by banks, councils and quangos. It's time the government put this money to work. And brought on a boom outside London and the Home Counties."

For the Guardian the divide is between the country's rich and poor. "Britain's richest 1% have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together," it says, quoting equality campaigners branding the situation "grotesque".

The paper breaks down the statistics into graphical format, noting that 7% of households own a personalised registration plate and 11% have collectables or valuable, such as antiques, artwork or stamps, while 24% of households had no private pension wealth.

The Financial Times reads the data differently, saying the amount of wealth owned by the richest tenth of households has "barely changed" compared to the years before the recession, standing at 44%.

The paper says it casts doubt on popular theories about the world becoming more unequal.

The Daily Mail's focus is on millionaires. It reports that one British household in 10 is worth more than £1m but points out this is mostly on paper, given it's "largely due to the extraordinary boom in the value of property, particularly in the south".

It means the UK's total number of millionaires has risen 50% in four years, says the Daily Telegraph, which points out that one person in five who studies at university "goes on to amass a seven-figure fortune", compared to just 3% who don't have a degree.

Turkey pays respects

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Photographs of grief-stricken mourners at the funeral ceremony of some of at least 282 miners killed in an explosion in Turkey appear in many newspapers.

"Throughout the morning and well into the afternoon, the roll call of the dead echo from the municipal loudspeakers: name after name recited in a harsh metallic voice," is how Constanze Letsch, in the Guardian, describes the atmosphere in the town of Soba.

In the Independent, Isabel Hunter describes how the body of Ugar Colak, 26, was carried "feet first through the crowd of families and friends... covered by a blanket, with just his muddied boots in view" to lie in the 10th grave "in the long line of heaps covered in rocks and flowers".

The Telegraph's Robert Tait writes of the "massive earth moving machines... parked incongruously in the normally sedate setting of the municipal cemetery" which had to be brought in to prepare the ground because the task was "simply too daunting" for Soma's 50 full-time gravediggers.

"In the fist of one victim was clenched a scrap of paper with a farewell note that read: 'My son, may God be with you'," reports the Times, which hears from a distraught fellow mine employee who says: "I can't count how many of my friends were in there."

Other papers focus on the protests against perceived government failures to uphold safety standards, notably the photographs of an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "putting the boot into peace" by kicking a protester, as the Daily Express puts it.

The Independent's Patrick Cockburn writes that the tragedy has dealt "another blow to Erdogan's authoritarian rule".

Go-go gadgets

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A "technology Goliath" is how the Daily Mail describes the firm that would result from a proposed merger of Carphone Warehouse and Dixons: "A new retail giant that promises to fix everything from a broken mobile phone to a leaking dishwasher."

The Daily Mirror examines the prospect of 1,700 new jobs being created under the £3.7bn deal, although it points out that new in-store jobs would be "no relief to back-office workers who face the axe", which are said to number 800. Business editor Graham Hiscott describes the "heart of the deal" as: "Flogging new technology to confused shoppers. We're about to see growth in gadgets controlled over the web."

Investors are unsure about the potential for a store marketing heating, lighting and security systems that are operational from smartphones, says the Daily Telegraph, which reports that £400m was wiped from the combined value of the two firms. However, the paper's business comment column suggests the merger "could create a one-stop shop winner".

Meanwhile, the Times looks ahead to one product that could in stores of the future: "The sat-nav that doesn't need a sat." Defence scientists are working on a "quantum compass" that is immune to signal blackspot and 1,000 times more accurate than current systems, it says. However, it adds that drivers will have to get behind nuclear submarines in the queue for the new technology.

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