Newspaper headlines: Tearful Obama, Labour reshuffle, EU vote freedom and schoolboy's 1,000-run record

A tearful US President Barack Obama is pictured on several front pages after he outlined new executive actions to tighten background checks on the sale of firearms.

Mr Obama, says the Daily Telegraph, "used the twilight of his time in office to make a last ditch effort to crack down on America's rampant gun culture".

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Speaking at the White House, the president was surrounded by the families of shooting victims, reports the Times. His calls "triggered a firestorm from the gun lobby and drew stark battle lines" for this year's presidential race, it says.

The Guardian says Mr Obama's much-anticipated speech focused more on what he believed still needed to be done and "left much of the political heavy lifting to his successor".

In a leading article, the Independent says Mr Obama's best chances of securing a "strong legacy" on the issue of gun control lie in reforms at a state level where a "serious opposition" to firearms is now emerging.


'Fragile unity'

The announcement on the shadow cabinet reshuffle came too late for the first editions of the papers - although the two days it took for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to reach his decision, and the sacking of Michael Dugher as culture spokesman earlier on Monday, attracts much attention.

The Financial Times says Mr Corbyn struggled to rebuild the shadow cabinet in his own image, while the Daily Mail describes the events as a "farce".

Image copyright PA/Getty Images
Image caption Emily Thornberry, Hilary Benn and Michael Dugher

Meanwhile, the Independent highlights the statements of support for Mr Dugher from shadow cabinet members as evidence of "Labour's fragile unity".

In a leading article, the Daily Mirror says Mr Corbyn was right to seek "greater coherence", but it would have been better to build consensus by persuasion.

There is more up to date coverage in the online editions of the papers, where they take stock of the reshuffle which saw shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn keep his post, and Emily Thornberry take up the defence brief from Maria Eagle, who moves to culture.

The changes, says the Guardian, were designed to create a more unified shadow cabinet.

The Times, however, says moderates have described the reshuffle as "vindictive and stupid".


Eye-catching headlines


Tactics questioned

The Sun and the Daily Mirror lead with the discovery of three bodies in the garden of the south-east London home of missing former EastEnders actress Sian Blake.

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Police have launched a murder inquiry and say they are seeking to trace Ms Blake's partner who, according to the Sun, is now in Ghana.

Ms Blake, 43, and her young two sons were last seen on 13 December and the Mirror says the Metropolitan Police could be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over its handling of the inquiry.

According to the Daily Mail, the case has already been referred to Scotland Yard's directorate of professional standards, which will investigate why it took more than two weeks to issue a missing persons appeal.


'PM confronted'

David Cameron's announcement that ministers will be allowed to campaign for either side in the EU referendum once a deal is reached on the UK's future relationship with the bloc is described by the Daily Mail as a "victory for democracy".

The Mail says the decision opens the way for a "full and honest debate" and it hopes a "figurehead" will emerge to lend focus and weight to the "woefully fractured" out campaign.

The Daily Express is of the opinion that the move leaves Britain "one step closer to the exit".

According to the Times, Mr Cameron was forced to announce the move early after being confronted by senior ministers concerned he may have reneged on a private commitment they would be given free rein on the issue.

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The Daily Telegraph says the announcement was "as sensible as it was inevitable... Mr Cameron is reflecting the momentous nature of the event... It is only right that everyone should speak freely".

No-one wants to see politicians forced to argue a case they do not believe in, says the Guardian. But David Cameron's decision is another regrettable act of weak leadership on a vital interest.

The prime minister has demonstrated "good party management, but bad statesmanship", says the Independent.

Allowing ministers a free vote may have been the only way to tackle the divergent opinions on Europe in the Conservatives, says the Financial Times. "It makes it all the more important Mr Cameron now takes a central role in the campaign, spearheading the case for the UK to remain."


'Seriously good innings'

It is not often a school cricket match in India makes newspaper headlines. But the achievements of a teenager who scored more than 1,000 runs in a single innings to set a new world record could remain unsurpassed for years.

Image copyright AP

Pranav Dhanawade, 15, playing for KC Ghandi School in Mumbai broke the previous record of 628 set by Arthur Collins at Clifton College in Bristol in 1899, finishing on 1,009 not out.

The Times says he wrote himself into legend. The Guardian reports the rickshaw driver's son, who hopes one day to play for India, "had a seriously good innings".

"As a feat of endurance and sporting ability, this also may be unmatched for a century or more," says the Daily Telegraph. "But spare a thought for the poor bowlers... and for the umpires and scorers."


What the commentators say...

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Media captionBeth Rigby, media editor of the Times, and John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, join the BBC News Channel to review Wednesday's front pages

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