The papers: Sir Cliff inquiry developments

BBC cameraman outside Sir Cliff Richard's home Image copyright AFP

The latest developments in the police investigation into a child sexual abuse allegation against veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard - which he denies - dominate the papers.

The Times says Sir Cliff - whom it describes as one of the UK's most successful recording artists - expressed frustration that the police did not give any notice "except, it would appear, to the press", after a search of his Berkshire home.

The Daily Telegraph reports MPs said South Yorkshire Police had "questions to answer" over its decision to confirm a tip-off which the BBC had received independently about the raid.

The paper profiles the "devoted members of Team Cliff" who have "rallied round" the star. They include what the Telegraph titles the Sister, the Companion, the PR man, the Manager, and the Friends.

In an editorial, the Telegraph says that when Sir Cliff's flat was searched, many felt uncomfortable about the fact that a BBC team was already there to film it.

The Guardian says the search was "mired in controversy" because BBC journalists, "who apparently knew the raid was going to take place", were waiting for the police outside.

In a leader comment, the Guardian says the relationship between the police and the press in this case "raises, yet again, wider and troubling issues about the way that due process, and the presumption of anonymity for suspects, including celebrities, lacks the robustness that was called for by [the] Leveson [report]".

For its part, the BBC has confirmed that South Yorkshire Police was not the source of the story.

On its front page, the Daily Mirror reports that more witnesses have come forward, Sir Cliff will be quizzed by police "in days", the police admit working with the BBC, and 10,000 fans have sent messages of support.

The Daily Mail reports that Sir Cliff is preparing to fly back to Britain from his vineyard in Portugal to tell detectives there is no truth in allegations that he sexually assaulted a boy.

The Daily Express says the "multi-millionaire star" has categorically denied the allegations and vowed to clear his name.

The Sun says the tennis fan is set to miss his "annual jaunt" to the US Open in August "while he is under investigation by child abuse cops". The paper says Sir Cliff is likely to be barred from entering the US when he is questioned in the coming days.

Iraq hopes

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The Iraq crisis still has plenty of coverage, with the Times reporting on its front page that the US is ready to launch air strikes near Baghdad to defend the Iraqi leadership.

In a leading article, the Times says Haider al-Abadi faces an almost impossible task as Iraq's new prime minister - but his appointment is a reason for hope rather than despair.

"Enough Iraqis still dream of peace, unity and prosperity for Mr Abadi to have at least a fighting chance of bringing them together in pursuit of these goals," it says. "But he will need luck, statesmanship and unstinting Western support to pull it off."

Columnist Matthew Parris warns against those who "piggyback the argument for war on to the case for rescue".

"The Kurdish region does not yet face an existential crisis," he says, "Nothing decisive is about to happen. There is time to think."

Former ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia Sir Andrew Green writes in the Daily Telegraph that the situation in the Middle East is now more chaotic and dangerous than it has been for half a century.

"The fundamental reason for our failure is that democracy, as we understand it, simply doesn't work in countries where family, tribe, sect and personal friendships trump the apparatus of the state," he says.

Analysis in the Guardian suggests the prime minister will have to end "the sectarian polarisation that scars the country" to defeat Islamic State militants.

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent says Mr Abadi enjoys wide-ranging, if unlikely, support at home and abroad - but no magic wand to bring together communities whose differences may be irreconcilable.

The Financial Times echoes the theme of "strange bedfellows", saying that Kurdish PKK militants who are often condemned as terrorists are co-operating with Peshmerga fighters supported by the West in the struggle to stave off a jihadist offensive as their interests converge with those of the US.

Name game

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The latest official data on the most popular boys' and girls' names for new-borns draws much interest and comment.

The Times says parents are reclaiming the names that once belonged to their grandparents, such as Elsie, Ivy and Albert.

For the Daily Telegraph, the battle royal of baby names stepped up a gear when the arrival of Prince George helped to push his uncle Harry down the national popularity list.

"By George, look who's got a popular name," is the headline in the Daily Mail - "now Prince George is setting trends in the name game".

The Daily Express comments: "Prince George is surely one of the world's most influential toddlers. Not only do his toys and clothes sell out in no time but now his name has risen to become the 10th most popular in the country for baby boys.

"Choosing your child's name is a huge decision for any new parent. Choosing a name fit for a king must take some of the stress out of it."

"Royal trendsetter Prince George has taken his moniker into the top 10 as star-struck parents name their baby boys in honour of the toddler," says the Daily Mirror.

The Guardian notes that the names Khaleesi, Arya and Sansa appear, testament to the wild popularity of the TV show Game of Thrones. The Sun reports that 11 boys were called Theon last year while there were six Tyrions.

Kicking off

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The start of the new Premier League football season grabs attention on the news pages as well as in the sport supplements.

The Daily Mirror comments: "After England's dismal World Cup showing, football fans will be praying their club sides can restore their faith in the beautiful game as the Premier League season gets under way. Let's hope that new-season optimism stretches beyond 90 minutes this afternoon."

The Guardian takes a look at the BBC's long-running football highlights show Match of the Day.

"The most recognisable theme music on television will have a special resonance on Saturday night as BBC One's Match of the Day returns for a new season and celebrates its 50th anniversary," it says.

"They thought it would soon be all over... but Match of the Day has outlasted early critics," says the Sun. The paper picks out 50 facts about the programme to mark the anniversary.

For example, just 22,000 people watched the the first show broadcast on BBC Two on 22 August 1963 and Football League clubs earned an average of £136 each from TV rights in the 1960s, peanuts compared with the amounts today.

Meanwhile, the Times reports that the Premier League has urged fans not to share unlicensed video clips on social networking sites as its battle against copyright infringement moves to a new front. The Guardian says the Premier League will clamp down on the unofficial videos when the season starts.

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