Newspaper headlines: NHS boost and diamond raid 'plotted in pub'

In the week of the chancellor's Autumn Statement, Monday brought details of spending on defence and security, while Tuesday sees the focus shift to how much money will be given to the NHS in the coming years.

Alongside a somewhat unsettling (and mocked up) photograph of George Osborne wielding a syringe, the Sun says his cash injection - get it? - for the NHS is designed "to stop it collapsing". It comes after the head of NHS England warned that hospitals and GP surgeries "are close to financial meltdown".

The Daily Mail says "many hospitals fear a winter crisis much worse than last year", with staff shortages part of the problem, along with a lack of care home beds for the elderly after treatment.

Oliver Wright, political editor of the Independent, says the extra cash might be welcome, but there are concerns that other parts of the NHS "such as nurse training, hospital inspections and some aspects of public health could face cuts. It is also possible the social care budget may get squeezed again."

He adds: "Experts say that unless investment is put into social care and public health, any additional funding in hospitals would be eaten up by extra demand."

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A day on from the publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the papers continue to analyse what it means for Britain's future.

"The defence review had a whiff of panic about it after cuts imposed by the Conservatives left Britain with its smallest army since the Victorian era," writes the Daily Mirror.

The Sun agrees with its red top rival that the coalition government "cut forces to the bone and left us vulnerable". It "applauds" David Cameron for changing tack, but warns: "Never again must any government be complacent over its first duty, our security."

The Sun also returns to its poll from Monday, which claimed one in five British Muslims had some sympathy for those who left the UK to join so-called Islamic State. As the Independent reports, "the newspaper's interpretation of the poll data was called into question by numerous critics" and "provoked a furious response" from the Muslim Council of Britain.

The Sun hits back at those critics in its leader column, branding it "depressing" that some would rather "rubbish" its poll "than deal with what it uncovered".

For its part, the Daily Express certainly believes that more must be done to tackle home-grown threats to the UK. Political commentator Ross Clark writes that the government "should be making clear that any Briton who willingly travels to IS-controlled territory will not be readmitted to Britain".

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Sketchwriters and columnists make hay with the action in the Commons on Monday as the SDSR was formally announced.

Patrick Kidd, in the Times, wasn't impressed with Jeremy Corbyn's performance, accusing the Labour leader of "spreading aural anaesthesia all around" as he responded to David Cameron.

Michael Deacon, in the Daily Telegraph, says Tory MPs are doing something "even more disrespectful" to Mr Corbyn than barracking him - "They're ignoring him." He continues: "Politically, an insult can be a kind of compliment; it suggests the target is, if not exactly a threat, then at least an opponent whom you think worth keeping an eye on."

"Defence isn't Jeremy Corbyn's strongest specialist subject," agrees John Crace, in the Guardian. "He has too many principles, doesn't believe in war, can't think of any conflict that has made things better and can't help sounding as if he believes that all situations can be resolved with one-to-one counselling and a soothing night-time beverage."

The Independent's leader column concludes that while "Mr Cameron could not resist taunting Mr Corbyn in the Commons yesterday...," on an issue as important as Britain's defences, the Tories should "certainly avoid any appearance" of looking "for party political advantage".

On a lighter note, the papers have some fun looking though the freshly revealed Christmas television schedules - and perhaps reveal something of their own agendas and readers' preferences in what they choose to highlight.

The Daily Telegraph sums up the BBC's offering as "focusing on period drama and nostalgia, suggesting the BBC is thinking very much of Christmas past". The paper is also excited about the latest instalment of Sherlock.

The Daily Star mentions the BBC's plans for a "Christmas 'Victorian soap opera'", but is far more excited about Mrs Brown's Boys. pointing out that the comedy "beat everything on the box" last year and is again a "must-see".

Finally, the Daily Mail hones in on Aidan Turner, the star of BBC hit show Poldark, who'll be back on our screens in an Agatha Christie adaptation. He "set pulses racing" as Ross Poldark "in particular with a scene where he scythes a field while topless", the paper says breathlessly, and it appears somewhat disappointed that he's "put his shirt on" for his latest project.

Eye-catching headlines


Finally, the £160bn takeover by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer of Dublin-based firm Allergan has papers and columnists exercised.

Pfizer will be able to significantly cut its tax bill if the deal goes through, but this has prompted attacks from US politicians including presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama and Mrs Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders also dislike these "tax inversions", meaning the deal "is being attempted in a difficult climate," writes the Financial Times.

Nils Pratley, in the Guardian, senses trouble ahead. "While Pfizer might be able to rush this deal to completion before US legislators can react," he writes, "it is surely nonsense to think US politicians will then shrug their shoulders and carry on as if nothing has happened."

Julia Bradshaw, in the Daily Telegraph, agrees there will be "regulatory hurdles", but she believes the deal is likely to go ahead. She notes that Allergan "is a US company in all but name" so the merger "won't attract political outcry from Irish statesmen".


What the commentators say

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Media captionWriter Natalie Haynes and the Independent's political correspondent James Cusick review the papers for the BBC News Channel.

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