Newspaper headlines: 'Brexit' warning, Rigby killer sues and GCHQ Christmas card

Thursday's front pages display a rare lack of consensus, as almost every newspaper chooses a different top story.

On the front of the Daily Telegraph, David Cameron says Europe's migrant crisis could push Britain out of the EU.

The PM says the short-term reaction will be for Britons to consider voting for a "Brexit", while in the longer term European leaders will see they must agree to his demands on EU reform.

These comments, the paper says, show Mr Cameron has "abandoned hope" of holding the referendum on Britain's EU membership next year.

The Times says he has ramped up demands for Britain to be allowed to withhold in-work benefits from EU migrants for four years after their arrival, as he seeks to cut net migration to the UK.

He will make his case today in Poland - a country which considers his proposal "discriminatory", it says.

Image copyright Reuters

The paper says Mr Cameron should argue for an "emergency brake" on EU immigration to Britain, although such a proposal would face "serious difficulties".

In a cartoon, it depicts Mr Cameron hitting an EU punch bag - which bounces back and knocks him out.

The Financial Times says Mr Cameron's negotiation over migration is "illusory", as even the best outcomes he can achieve will "do little to curb numbers".

It says the central question for the forthcoming referendum will be whether UK public "angst" over migration is strong enough to justify "surrendering the huge economic benefit" of EU membership.

'Devilishly difficult'

What do you expect from a Christmas card? Season's greetings, snowy scenes, pictures of penguins... a brainteaser from British intelligence?

The latter has been sent out by GCHQ, along with a challenge to the British people to solve it, the Telegraph reports.

It says the "devilishly difficult" Christmas card puzzle will lead to a series of increasingly complex challenges, with final answers to be submitted by the end of January.

A winner will then be chosen but - true to the covert nature of their work - the intelligence agency has not said whether there will be a prize, the Telegraph adds.

After all this talk of the puzzle, it seems only sporting to include a picture (and rules on tackling it). So here it is - Merry Christmas.

Image copyright GCHQ

'Kick in the teeth' and NHS 'crisis'

The Sun's front page says Michael Adebolajo - one of the men convicted of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013 - is suing for compensation after two of his teeth were knocked out in prison.

It says he "lost two gnashers after going berserk while five prison officers were escorting him to his cell". The size of the compensation claim is not known, but similar cases have "topped £20,000", it adds.

The thought of the extremist claiming compensation paid for by the UK public is "vomit-inducing", the paper comments.

The Daily Mirror says the NHS is "in crisis". It reports that a mental health trust has failed to investigate more than 1,000 unexpected deaths since 2011.

The paper suggests there could be many more such cases across the country.

It also says ambulance services are facing a staffing crisis because the number of workers quitting has "almost doubled".

It tells Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to "sort it out", adding: "You can't run a first-class service on third-rate wages."

Image copyright PA

Eye-catching headlines

  • Unhappiness and stress "won't shorten your life" - The Guardian reports on a study of almost a million women which found no "direct effect" of unhappiness on mortality.
  • Black manager rejected because club feared racist abuse by fans - Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was not appointed manager of Port Vale Football Club because the chairman feared he might become a target for racist abuse, the Times says.
  • Obesity due to unhealthy diet "is norm for Scotland" - A food standards watchdog says being overweight to the point of illness has become the "norm" in Scotland, the Independent reports.
  • Herd as nails - Cows swept away by a swollen river during the Cumbrian floods - including one which was carried 20 miles downstream - "miraculously survived", the Mirror reports.

Fury at Fury and Trump

Petitions demanding action against boxer Tyson Fury and US billionaire Donald Trump feature in several papers.

Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford threatened to pull out of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year competition over Fury's nomination, the Daily Mail reports.

It says pressure from the long jumper and others came after Fury likened homosexuality to paedophilia and said women belonged in the kitchen.

According to the Guardian, the BBC persuaded Rutherford to stay on the shortlist.

A petition calling on the BBC to remove Fury from the contest has received more than 125,000 signatures, the paper adds.

A gay former policeman tells the Daily Mirror Fury is "entitled to hold those opinions but if they are offensive he should keep them private".

Image copyright Reuters/AP

On its front page, the Metro says more than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for Mr Trump to be banned from Britain for saying Muslims should be denied entry to the US.

The petition will now be considered for debate in Parliament, the Daily Star reports. It says senior UK politicians united to condemn Mr Trump.

The Times quotes London Muslims who say Mr Trump is "another Hitler" after he claimed parts of the city were so radicalised that police feared for their lives.

But the Daily Express quotes police officers who believe there are "no-go areas" in Britain due to extremism.

What the commentators say

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Media captionGuardian deputy editor Paul Johnson and Benedicte Paviot, UK correspondent for France 24, join the BBC News Channel to review Thursday's papers.

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