Newspaper headlines: Dubai inferno, 2016 celebrations and 'silence of the Lords'

"Towering inferno" is a popular choice with headlines writers, as several of Friday's papers carry front-page pictures of a burning skyscraper in Dubai.

British tourists were among hundreds who "miraculously escaped" when the Address Downtown hotel and residential block caught fire, the Telegraph reports.

Officials said no one was killed in the blaze in the 63-storey building, which started just hours before the city's New Year's Eve fireworks display, the paper adds.

A witness who was in the hotel tells the Daily Mirror the heat was "intense" and people crushed each other as they tried to get down the stairs.

The Times says 16 people were reported hurt, but the fireworks display went ahead at midnight as planned.

Image copyright AP

New Year's Eve celebrations from around the world feature in several papers, and the i says 2016 was welcomed with "a mixture of celebration, trepidation and determination to carry on in the face of terrorist threats".

Millions of people attended celebrations in Australia, "seemingly reassured" by announcements that thousands of extra police had been drafted in, the paper adds.

The Sun says 2016 "swept in with a real bang", referring to spectacular firework shows around the world.

But the night was also "New Fear's Eve", as armed police formed a "ring of steel" around European capitals amid fears of a terrorist attack, it says.

Police with assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols mingled with crowds in London as part of an "unprecedented" security operation, the Express says.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A huge firework display was held in Sydney harbour in Australia

Danczuk texts

"Sling your Danczuk" is the headline for the Sun, as it says Labour MP Simon Danczuk is facing calls to resign over "sex texts" he sent to a 17-year-old girl.

Mr Danczuk admitted he was an "old fool" but has refused to quit, the paper says.

In an editorial, it says Mr Danczuk is a good campaigning MP, but sending "sordid" texts to a 17-year-old is "inexcusable".

Writing in the Independent, Nigel Morris says Mr Danczuk's achievements in campaigning on child abuse, mental health and business rates have been overshadowed by the scandal.


Eye-catching headlines

  • Cyber PAs will run our lives within next decade - By 2025 electronic personal assistants will be able to "communicate with us as if they were humans" and anticipate our daily priorities, the Times says.
  • 'Dope is kosher' - A US company is to start selling what is believed to be the first medical cannabis certified as conforming to Jewish dietary requirements, the i reports.
  • In tents stupidity - A "dopey" camper was saved by coastguards after pitching a tent on the edge of an 850ft cliff, the Sun says.
  • £46m lotto jackpot shambles - National Lottery players are twice as likely to be killed by lightning as they are to win the jackpot this year, the Express says, as it reports criticism of changes to the game.

'Silence of the Lords'

Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been paid to peers who did not speak once in the House of Lords chamber in 2015, the Independent reports.

It says 117 peers made no contribution to debates during the year, with some claiming an average of £4,000 a month in allowances.

The peers may have taken part in committees or other work, but the "low level of their involvement in debates will add to calls for a radical overhaul of the upper chamber", the paper says.

"How can they claim £300 a day but fail to contribute to our democratic process?" it asks.

Image copyright PA

New year's resolutions

The papers are bursting with tips on how we should live in 2016.

The Daily Mail leads with advice which may be welcomed by anyone waking up with a sore head this New Year's Day. It says Britons will be advised to "slash their drinking" and have at least two alcohol-free days per week.

The advice, from the Chief Medical Officer, is also expected to reduce the recommended daily alcohol limit for men to three units - equivalent to one-and-a-half pints of beer - the paper adds.

The Guardian also offers health advice, saying people's new year's resolutions about weight loss should focus on "healthy lifestyle, not a diet".

Diets are hard to maintain and the only "appropriate weight loss strategy" is long-term lifestyle change, an expert tells the paper.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Britain is set for the biggest shake-up of alcohol guidelines for 30 years, the Mail says

But if all this sounds dull and difficult, there is good news in the Telegraph.

Lists of resolutions which ban treats like chocolate and coffee should be ripped up, Harry Wallop writes.

He quotes an author who opposes health "zealotry" and says people should relax and try to avoid "excess".

So, he says, ditch the green tea and kale in favour of coffee and wine (in moderation of course).

The Mirror looks ahead to the "best bits" of the coming year. Its list includes Euro 2016 football, a new Mercedes with an automatic lane-changing system, the film Batman v Spiderman and a book from Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain.

Somewhere in all that, hopefully, is a recipe for a happy new year.


Making people click

Telegraph: New Year's Eve 2015 celebrations around the world - Singapore celebrates start of 2016

Mirror: New Year's Eve 2015 live: Fireworks and pictures from around the world as we welcome in 2016

Independent: Erectile dysfunction "linked to risk of early death"

Times: Our honours are entirely without merit