Newspaper headlines: Migrant crisis, referendum question, police cars and 'unboxing' craze

There is very much a European focus in the papers, with the refugee crisis and EU referendum dominating the front pages.

The Times says a leading German politician warned that David Cameron was jeopardising relations with Germany by ignoring Angela Merkel's calls to take in more people - and it could affect negotiations over Britain's membership of the European Union.

Home affairs spokesman Stephan Mayer tells the Times: "If the British government is continuing to hold this position that Great Britain is out of the club in this big task in sharing the burden, certainly this could do some harm to the bilateral British-German relationship, and certainly also to David Cameron's ambitions to be successful in the renegotiation."

The paper's Roger Boyes believes the EU's open borders need to be closed: "When Angela Merkel calls into question the Schengen agreement you know the political class is truly rattled."

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Image caption Migrants have become stranded in Budapest after police sealed off a railway station

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, in the Mail, takes a similar view.

"Like the euro currency, the Schengen zone has failed its first test," he says. "Both were fair-weather schemes; both are being shredded in the high winds of political crisis.

"When Schengen was incorporated into EU law in 1995, the UK and Ireland had the sense to stand aside.

"Being islands, they wanted to retain the protection of the Channel which, as Shakespeare puts it, serves us 'in the office of a wall, or as a moat defensive to a house'. That decision looks wiser by the day."

The Telegraph says Austria has threatened to torpedo Mr Cameron's EU renegotiation: "Britain's refusal to take part in a common EU asylum sharing programme is causing irritation in many European capitals, not least as Mr Cameron focuses on cutting immigration of EU citizens."

The Guardian says Europe's fragmented attempts to get to grips with its worst ever migration crisis disintegrated into a slanging match between national capitals ahead of what is shaping up to be a clash between eastern and western Europe over a common response.


'Remain or leave?'

The Financial Times focuses on the Electoral Commission's decision that the wording of the UK's ballot over membership of the EU should be changed.

The commission came to the conclusion that people were more likely to vote Yes when confronted with the question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?" So it recommended that "or leave the European Union?" be added at the end.

The FT says Eurosceptics celebrated the verdict but pro-EU campaigners "shrugged and said they would continue to call themselves the Yes campaign".

The Telegraph states that Eurosceptics will no longer be saddled with the negative sounding "No campaign".

In an editorial comment, the paper says it is vital that both sides feel the result is legitimate.

"David Cameron swiftly moved to accept the commission's advice, a decision that was both honourable and wise," it says.

"Honourable, because polling research suggests that the new question makes it marginally more likely that Britain will vote to leave the EU, while Mr Cameron will campaign to stay in.

"Wise, because it will help to allay the suspicion that the prime minister is using his position to skew the referendum."

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Image caption David Cameron: Honourable and wise according to the Telegraph

The Times calls it a surprise boost for the campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

The Guardian's Steve Richards writes that it is not just the phrasing of the question that is a mess.

"This may seem a small pebble thrown into the current wild seas of UK politics. But the pebble is part of a destabilising pattern. Nothing is certain any more. Strange, unpredictable eruptions occur," he says.

"Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party soar after losing the referendum in Scotland. Jeremy Corbyn is about to become leader of the Labour Party. UKIP won the most recent European elections in terms of votes cast.

"Indeed David Cameron's decision to hold a referendum on the EU in the first place was a symptom of political turbulence, and one that will now fuel the storms. Offering a referendum often calms a political situation; holding one triggers volcanic eruptions."

In an editorial, the Independent says the political impact of the change is more than it might first appear.

"This is because every pollster and psychologist will testify that human beings are predisposed to answer 'Yes' to questions.

"For this reason, the Electoral Commission prefers to avoid the word and, although it has not always enjoyed a good press, it has acquitted itself well here."


Emergency responses

The Telegraph tells us about the police cars with no sirens and which are not allowed to break the speed limit.

West Midlands Police's fleet of Vauxhall Corsa hatchbacks is intended for neighbourhood policing - but the local Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, says they are being used for emergency responses.

The federation's Tom Cuddeford is quoted as saying: "The Corsa is being utilised in response to emergency calls.

"We know there is a lot of unhappiness about this among our officers and are currently in negotiations with the force command team to find an appropriate way forward."

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Media captionSarah O'Connor of the Financial Times and journalist and broadcaster John Stapleton join the BBC News Channel to review Wednesday's front pages

The Times says: "Pity the bobbies of cash-strapped West Midlands Police, struggling to reach crime scenes within 15 minutes in their 1.3 litre Vauxhall Corsa patrol cars - that have no sirens."

The Mail reports: "Their Vauxhall Corsas - more familiar as a family runaround than a crime-fighting vehicle - are fitted with flashing blue lights.

"But the lack of siren on the 1.3-litre superminis means West Midlands officers driving them have to obey the normal rules of the road even in an emergency."

West Midlands Police says officers in such vehicles can attend an incident as quickly and safely as possible while complying with the Road Traffic Act.


Box craze

The Times brings us news of an unlikely internet craze which is coming "out of the box".

"If you have never watched an internet video of a faceless woman unwrapping an egg-shaped plastic toy to a guitar-music backing track, you really don't know what you are missing," it says.

"Unboxing videos, in which objects ranging from Hermes handbags to Bic biros are filmed being unwrapped and inspected, are garnering billions of online viewers around the world and making their creators rich."

The Times notes that the trend is particularly strong in Britain.

Apparently, unboxing videos uploaded on YouTube in this country have been clicked on more than one billion times in the past year.

Ian Phillips, the British curator of the ToyTrains4u channel, tells the Times that his most popular video is the unboxing of two Thomas the Tank Engine eggs.

Toy eggs, says the Times in conclusion, seem to be popular in the unboxing community and there are hundreds of YouTube channels dedicated to them.


Making people click

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Guardian: Ex-Chetham's music school teacher facing sex offence charges found dead

Mail: The Queen coaxes recluse Kate out to share her special day as she celebrates becoming nation's longest-reigning monarch

Mirror: Buying fizzy drinks linked to cardiac arrest attacks in new study