Newspaper headlines: Osborne's cuts, children's teeth, 'LSD' exhibition

George Osborne in Shanghai, China Image copyright Reuters

George Osborne's warning in a BBC interview that he may have to make deeper cuts to public spending in this year's Budget is reflected widely across Saturday's papers.

The Sun regards this as austerity making a comeback, because the chancellor has missed his borrowing targets. It quotes shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying it is "a total humiliation" for Mr Osborne.

From a purely political perspective, the chancellor risks being accused of "slashing back the state for ideological reasons", says the Independent's economics editor Ben Chu.

But the chancellor believes Britain "has to live within its means", reports the Daily Telegraph. It also cites comments by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies earlier this month that the chancellor "would either have to make large cuts or increase taxes" to achieve his aim of balancing the books by 2020.

The Guardian says the backdrop to Mr Osborne's warning is not just the shape of the global economy, but also the size of the UK's, which is 1% smaller than previously thought.

The economic news "has been running against the chancellor", says the Financial Times, with the Bank of England downgrading its inflation, growth and wage forecasts.

Mr Osborne's decision in the Auumn Statement to reduce spending cuts is questioned by the Daily Mail, as forecasters said at the time the chancellor was left with little "wriggle room in the event of a downturn".

The Times says the chancellor's comments are "preparing public opinion, as well as his government colleagues, for more pain". The paper adds that even after Mr Osborne managed to scale back cuts last year, by the end of the decade spending on public services other than health as a proportion of national income will be at its lowest level for almost 60 years.

The Mirror ties the impending additional austerity measures to a pay rise for MPs. The paper says the latest recommendation to raise MPs' pay by £962 to £74,962 means they will have received "an 11.8% pay boost in only nine months".


'Infant King'

Describing Gianni Infantino's election as president of Fifa as a "shock win", the Times says the former Uefa general-secretary has promised to repair the game's "battered reputation" following a string of corruption allegations and criminal investigations at football's world governing body

Image copyright Getty Images

But the Telegraph's chief sports writer Phil Hayward asks whether Mr Infantino will be "stooge or statesman?". Hayward appears unconvinced he is the latter, even given his "platitudinous promise to 'win back respect'", saying a lot of evidence will be needed to "stop us thinking he was simply Uefa's anti-everybody-else candidate".

The Financial Times takes an interest in Fifa's coffers, noting it is expected to report a loss for 2015, but adds Mr Infantino promised before his election to put a quarter of the organisation's revenues - $1.2bn (£865m) - into helping expand football around the world.

The Sun heralds Mr Infantino's election as a "new era for world football". It says the 45-year-old Swiss-Italian is the "accidental president", because Uefa boss Michel Platini could not stand.

The Guardian believes Mr Infantino has an "uphill task to overhaul Fifa's reputation", following a series of corruption allegations against the organisation and key personnel. It quotes Football Association (FA) director David Gill saying Mr Infantino's election was "a good day for football".

A new boss at Fifa "could spur FA to go for World Cup", suggests the Daily Mail, after the association's chairman Greg Dyke hinted at a bid to host the 2030 tournament following the election of a president "we can trust".


Eye-catching headlines

  • The pong and winding road- classic tabloid punning from the Sun, to describe the build-up of rubbish in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, after a contract to ship the city's waste to Russia collapsed. The accompanying picture shows a long, snaking pile of white sacks stacked up on a city road.
  • Crumbs of comfort after ginger nut famine - the Guardian's subs celebrate some good news, as the paper reveals the impending end of a UK-wide shortage of ginger nut biscuits. Flooding in Cumbria in December hit the McVitie's factory which makes the crunchy comestible, cutting supply. But the firm says they'll be back in shops from next month. I'll dunk one in too-milky tea to that.
  • Wallpaper of future could power homes - don't all "flock" to the DIY shop straight away, but the Telegraph says wall coverings which could absorb heat and light may be available "in the next few years". The invention is based on ultra-thin flexible solar panels, inspired by the way moths' eyes absorb light.
  • It's a ca-patch-ino! A caffeine hit without the coffee - if you like coffee but don't want the coffee breath, the Daily Mail has news for you. Inventors have come up with a wristband which gives the wearer a constant low-level of caffeine without the "unattractive side effects". I'll stick to the espresso and tactful colleagues, thanks.

Waterfall tragedy

The deaths of three British backpackers at a waterfall in Vietnam is reported in several of Saturday's papers.

Image copyright PA

The Daily Telegraph says the trio - Christian Sloan, 24, and two women it names as half-sisters 19-year-old Izzy Squire and 25-year-old Beth Anderson - "had reportedly booked a 'canyoning' excursion" to the falls in the country's central highlands.

Local media reports say the man who guided the trio at the falls told police they had descended down towards a stream and drowned after being caught in the rapids, according to the Guardian.

The Daily Express says rescue workers reportedly climbed down a steep slope near the waterfall to recover the bodies. All three were wearing lifejackets, the paper adds.

The Daily Mirror speaks to Alan McGlashan, whose son James was travelling with Mr Sloan, but missed the waterfall trip after becoming unwell. Mr Sloan was "a great lad" who had given up his job at Dover harbour to go backpacking, he tells the paper.

Mr McGlashan is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying the group had booked through a tour company, but he believed they had not taken a risk and gone with an unofficial firm.


What the commentators say

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMartin Lipton of the Sun, and broadcaster Louise Scodie review Saturday's papers

Nothing to smile about

There has been a steady climb in the number of children aged 10 and under needing one or more decayed teeth removed, according to reports in Saturday's papers.

The Times says more than 120,000 children have had teeth removed since 2011, with 14,000 cases involving under-fives in 2014/15.

Image copyright Thinkstock

"Rotten teeth are now the main reason for five to nine-year-olds being hospitalised", writes the Sun's health editor Nick McDermott, with around "four-in-10 not visiting the dentist each year".

Dentists say the figures are inexcusable, and the Daily Telegraph says they are critical of the government for its "failure to introduce a sugar tax". The paper quotes Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation, who says there is a "huge crisis in children's dental health in the UK, and with each passing year the situation is getting worse".

The Daily Mirror produces a table for the best and worst areas of England for child tooth extractions, with Sheffield the worst with 1,140 under-10s having had one or more teeth removed in 2014/15, while Wealden in East Sussex ties with Huntingdon and Bournemouth for the fewest cases, with seven.


Take a trip down Brompton Road

If you can remember the Sixties, then you weren't there, say people who obviously can recall the decade, otherwise why would they bother coining the phrase?

In an attempt to bring the spirit of the time to 2016, London's Victoria and Albert Museum is "to recreate the era of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll for a new generation", reports the Daily Telegraph - "LSD trips included".

Image copyright Getty Images

Or, as the Times would have it, the V&A will "launch its visitors on an LSD trip through the last century's most revolutionary and contentious years".

Museum-goers will not, of course, actually take any illicit substances, as the Independent explains, saying the show will use "3D sound installations" to give visitors "a taste of the disorienting experience enjoyed by those who attended the UFO Club on Tottenham Court Road, where Pink Floyd played to a backdrop of dazzling lights and avant-garde films".

The Independent adds that visitors will also be "blasted by music including [Jimi] Hendrix's solo Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock", while 200 albums from the late Radio 1 DJ John Peel's collection will be loaned to the museum, highlighting his role in popularising psychedelic music on his pirate radio show.

The Guardian is the only paper to cover the exhibition - to open in September - without mentioning LSD. It takes a broader view of its ambitions - to consider the effect of the 60s, good or bad, on our lives today.

It notes one exhibit will be a replica of the first computer mouse, and an accompanying film in which its inventor says: "we're calling this a mouse of the moment. I'm sure you'll come up with a much better name."


Making us click

The Guardian - George Osborne warns of further cuts as 'storm clouds' gather

The Independent - Toxic Shock Syndrome tampon warning after student is hospitalised

Daily Telegraph - If arch-Europhile Lord Owen wants out, we should stop and think

Daily Mail - Horror as overtaking car smashes into a great-grandmother's funeral cortege and kills the horse pulling her coffin

The Times - Those old school ties still matter for judges, doctors... and actors

Daily Mirror - Jennifer Garner breaks silence on Ben Affleck divorce and those nanny cheating rumours