Newspaper headlines: Banks' shame, Rosetta joy and Ched Evans debate
Bankers' conduct is back in the news, with regulators fining six financial institutions some £2.6bn after traders were found to have rigged foreign exchange rates.
"Why aren't crooked bankers in prison?" wonders the Daily Mail, while the Financial Times agrees that "If the authorities really want to change the culture of the trading desk, criminal sanctions must become a more vivid possibility." In this case, the FT says: "Investment banks remain immersed in a culture that subordinates everything to making money... Managers lacked the motivation to challenge what appeared to be profitable trading desks."
Independent City editor Chris Blackhurst writes: "What is especially shaming was that the manipulation occurred recently - after a series of scandals which resulted in banks paying enormous fines and employees losing their jobs."
Graham Hiscott, Daily Mirror business editor, writes that the scam was believed to have started around the time of the 2008 banking crisis. "Yet rather than being a wake-up call, traders continued to rig rates. They carried on while their bosses insisted they'd cleaned up their acts."
In the case of RBS, notes Mail City editor Alex Brummer: "We have the surreal spectre of a state-controlled bank which has cost taxpayers millions having to pay the UK government a £217m fine - which, inevitably, will make the bank weaker. In the meantime, top executives escape unpunished and keep their supercharged salaries, bonuses, allowances and pensions."
The Guardian reckons the banks' loss is Chancellor George Osborne's gain, taking his comment that the fine would be "used for the wider public good" to mean that it would be "recycled for eye-catching initiatives" in his pre-election autumn statement.
'Rock and awe'
Much excitement is generated by the touchdown of a landing craft on the comet 67P, with the Mirror declaring it a "rock star" and the Sun describing the event as "rock & awe".
Summing up the atmosphere at the European Space Agency's mission control in Germany when the Rosetta mission's Philae lander made contact, the Guardian's Ian Sample writes: "The signal broke a seven-hour wait of agonising intensity and sparked scenes of jubilation."
Telegraph science editor Sarah Knapton declares it "the moment when science fiction became science fact", before noting that initial jubilation was followed by anxiety when it emerged the craft had not anchored in place as planned. Meanwhile, the paper's editorial column notes the mission "was replete with modern touches - such as a stilted 'conversation' between Philae and its parent craft, Rosetta, on Twitter".
Saying the mission was powered by a desire to understand how life on Earth began, the Independent adds that after Wednesday afternoon's landing "Humankind is one step and 300 million miles closer to an answer."
"The expertise needed to do this is staggering," says the Daily Express. "Let's hope the mission turns out to be the success we all want." For the Sun, it is a "colossal achievement up there with the Moon landings and Mars missions". And, it points out: "Brits did it."
One of the British scientists involved is pictured in several papers, with the Times profiling Matt Taylor who, it says, "has come to embody the attitude of swagger that runs to the heart of the Rosetta mission". Pictured in a loud shirt and with an intricate Philae tattoo, Mr Taylor is described as having grown up in east London where he worked for his father's bricklaying firm. "My dad encouraged me to go to university so I didn't have to get up at five or six in the morning," he's quoted as saying.
Ed Miliband's bid to launch a "highly personal political fightback" is featured on the front page of the Guardian, which says the Labour leader will quote German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to insist he has been emboldened by recent criticism of his leadership. "What does not kill you makes you stronger," he's expected to tell an audience at London University.
As the Times points out, however, while Mr Miliband claims to have been strengthened, he currently has the worst poll rating of any political leader "at this stage in the political cycle" since records began in the 1970s.
The poll prompts the Sun to rename him "Mili No Mates" and mock up a photo of Mr Miliband as one of his predecessors, Michael Foot, who had previously held the record-low rating.
Perhaps it's this sort of headline that has prompted Mr Miliband to deliver what the Independent says will be "an attack on vested interests working against Labour in the media" during Thursday's speech. While the paper might be more sympathetic than some of its rivals, it still charts Mr Miliband's "two months of misery", from a conference speech in which he neglected to mention the economic deficit to reports in the last week of attempts to depose him.
Debate rages on about the suitability of convicted rapist Ched Evans to rejoin the ranks of professional footballers following his release from prison.
In the Independent, Sky Sports presenter and victim of childhood sexual violence Charlie Webster explains why she resigned as a patron of Sheffield United after the club said it would allow Evans to resume training with the club. "He has served his time and he should be allowed to rehabilitate," she writes. "But the first step to rehabilitation is acceptance, followed by a willingness to make informed changes. Evans has neither accepted his crime, nor shown a willingness to change."
However, the paper's Simon Kelner argues that although Evans's trial is being reviewed as he seeks to overturn his conviction, he can do little to reverse public opinion: "Evans should have acted with more contrition on his release, but can we really allow public opinion to decide whether a person gets a second chance or not?"
Allison Pearson, in the Telegraph, says she understands why Webster would adopt an uncompromising stance, given how women had to fight a male-dominated system indifferent to sexual violence: "I'm old enough to remember one trial where it was pointed out that, because the victim had on black underwear, she was clearly promiscuous and complicit in the assault."
The writer argues that Evans's crime was very different to a case involving a friend of hers who was kidnapped and threatened with death before being raped. Yet she adds: "We have now reached a point where anyone who suggests what Evans did is not as serious as what happened to my friend... is pilloried as the sworn enemy of womankind."
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