Newspaper headlines: Papers react to US TV shootings

As used as the press are to reporting shooting murders from America, the reaction to the killing live on air of a local TV journalist and her cameraman is one of total shock and horror.

Thursday's papers are plastered with pictures of the victims Alison Parker and Adam Ward, many chilling and graphic as they were taken by the killer on his mobile phone and uploaded onto social media after the slaying.

The Times profiles the murderer, Vester Flanagan II, who had previously worked with his victims at the Virginian-based TV station.

The paper says Flanagan, known professionally as Bryce Williams, had worked as a reporter in Florida and his native California, as well as in Virginia, and had developed a reputation as being "difficult" and quick to take offence when none was intended.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Parker and Mr Ward were shooting an interview about the effect of tourism on a shopping mall in Moneta, Virginia, when they were murdered

It adds that when he was sacked from his job at WDBJ - the station Parker and Ward worked for - he had to be escorted from the building by police.

The Times notes that Flanagan had made multiple claims for racial discrimination against employers and claimed that he was also victimised for being a gay man.

Flanagan had claimed in a tweet he sent before the murders that Ms Parker had been racist and suggested that Mr Ward had been complicit with her.

The paper also examines the implications the high-profile case might have for gun control in America.

It says President Obama's two previous attempts to get gun control bills through the Senate have both failed and, while making the issue "central" to his second term, support for the right to bear arms still runs higher with the US public than support for curbs.

The Daily Mirror's editorial says an obsession with guns is "a tragic American sickness" and the journalists' killing shames "those who resist the demilitarisation of the US population".

The Daily Mail reports that there were 11,068 homicides with a firearm in America in 2011, out of a total of 16,238 murders.

The paper also notes that US citizens own 44% of all guns in the world.


'Two out, one in'

Not for the first time, the papers take aim at the creation of new peers.

On the day that the name of the creations are expected to be announced, the Daily Telegraph leads with a report that an "unprecedented number" of nominations for the Lords have been vetoed by a committee that examines their suitability.

The paper says it has learned that seven names had been rejected by the appointment's committee in the latest tranche of new peers.

It adds: "There are also understood to be concerns about many more on the list but they cannot be blocked from the upper chamber under the rules."

Image caption Lord Hattersley (seen here in 1990) has retired from the House of Lords and said that the institution "goes against the idea of equality"

The paper says the list of new peers is expected to contain a number of "political cronies" but that is not considered a reason for their rejection.

Only financial impropriety and concerns about direct linkage between a peerage and a political donation is considered cause, the paper adds.

It says 40 to 50 new peers are expected to be announced today, the majority of whom will be Conservatives.

The Telegraph suggests that this is an attempt by David Cameron to try to ensure legislation his government introduces is not blocked in the Lords.

The high number of enobled aides are considered to be more likely to turn up and vote than businessman peers would.

The paper's editorial quotes the words of David Cameron's father-in-law, Viscount Astor, that the 800-member Lords is "bursting at the seams and crying out for reform".

It adds: "Their lordships need to consider the criticism of their current arrangements and act to cut their numbers. While age ceilings and term limits are probably not advisable, there is provision now for peers to retire, as Lord Hattersley did this week..

"Many more should follow his example. Lord Astor's idea of two out, one in is worth pursuing."

It's a sentiment that is echoed by Tory donor Stuart Wheeler in an article in the Daily Mail.

"Elevation to the House of Lords should be a recognition of distinguished public service," he writes.

"Like other honours, it should be given only to those who have enhanced the prestige or prosperity of the nation in the fields of commerce, the arts, science, politics or sport.

"What a peerage should definitely not be is a reward for putting cash into party coffers."


'Sends a message'

Jeremy Corbyn's statement that he would "consult" on the creation of women-only railway carriages on night-time trains if he became prime minister, attracts lots of comment in today's papers.

The Guardian says Mr Corbyn's rivals for the leadership of the Labour Party are trying to "derail" the front-runner over the issue.

The paper says Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have all condemned the idea - set out in a policy document on combating harassment - as "conceding defeat on the issue".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn says he will consult with women over the segregated carriages idea

The Guardian encounters a similar lack of enthusiasm when it asks commuters at London King's Cross what they think of the plan.

They tell the paper that the plan sounds "like a backward step" and wouldn't make women safer, but might increase costs and overcrowding.

The Independent reports that the number of sex offences on Britain's railways has increased from 1,117 in 2013, to 1,399 last year.

Unlike the Guardian, the paper's vox pop does find some commuters who favour the idea.

But it quotes Laura Bates, from the campaign group the Everyday Sexism Project, as saying: "It sends the message that harassment is inevitable, perpetrators are unable to help themselves and women should simply find a way round it."

Journalist Richard Jinman writes in the paper of his "walk of shame" - accompanied by a chorus of giggles from female passengers - when he inadvertently sat in a women-only train carriage in Dubai.

The scheme operates during the evening and morning rush hour and is very popular with Dubai's womenfolk, Jinman continues.

But he adds that notices and potential fines do not deter all men from the female carriages, and one businesswoman tells him that she thinks men deliberately enter the area just to stare at women.

The Sun's Woman section editor Dulcie Pearce says the ideas of segregated carriages should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Noting that the last time British trains had segregated carriages was in 1977, Pearce says those were "very backward times" and "not ones we should return to".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Sex Pistols were in the charts the last time British trains carried segregated carriages

She calls for efforts to step up conviction rates for sexual crimes instead.

Janice Turner in the Times says that rather being a sign of women's rights, the women-only carriages in India, Russia and Pakistan "mark these countries as some of the most patriarchal and perilous for women on earth."

Turner argues that Mr Corbyn may be "courting" conservative Islamic opinion with this proposal.

She adds that opposition to it is right and it isn't a "trivial" issue.

"Women have fought for centuries to take an equal space in the public sphere.

"The idea that we should all be shuffled into a single compartment while men loll across a whole train is troubling."

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