Newspaper headlines: Calais 'Jungle' clashes, Oscars frock ratings and Amazon's Morrisons tie-up
Photographs on many front pages look like they could have been taken in a warzone.
But the images - accompanied by headlines such as "Jungle warfare" - are from France, where the Sun says riot police "fought running battles" with migrants in the Calais camp known as the Jungle. The Daily Star's picture spread combines the scenes in Calais with those at the Greek-Macedonian border, where hundreds of people fleeing Syria and Iraq used a battering ram to break through a wire fence. The paper's headline reads: "Ain't no stopping us now!"
The Times quotes French charity workers and officials blaming anarchists for stoking the Calais violence by lying to migrants that they would be deported if they agreed to leave the city. "They are only interested in their political agenda of confrontation with the state," one reportedly said. Another is quoted saying most of those responsible for the violence had been British activists.
However, the Independent's Oscar Quine speaks to volunteers caught up when police fired tear gas, who say the approach was too heavy-handed. "They said they wouldn't be forceful but I saw 10 policemen carry out one refugee from his shelter," one is quoted as saying. "The prefecture [officials] then set about them [the shelters] with sledge hammers."
Either way, the Daily Express says the destruction of the camp can't come soon enough. "The Jungle has been allowed to fester for far too long. Far from being a campsite it now resembles a small town complete with shops, a mosque and even its own nightclub. All along lawlessness has been rife with migrants exploiting the lack of effective policing to hide from immigration officials and plan ways to sneak across the Channel."
- "Rude awakening for comic in his pants" - the New Day on how Geordie comedian Chris Ramsay was handcuffed in his hotel room before police realised they had the wrong man
- "The Spanish aren't bowled over by their (British) national team" - funding to Spain's international bowls team was cut because all its players were UK expats, according to the Times
- "Hell's hornets" - the Daily Star's latest scary wildlife story involves "lethal" Asian hornets - "almost three inches long" - on the verge of arriving in Britain having killed six people in France
- "Romeo & Juliet Bravo" - the Sun's take on claims that a policewoman had sex with a former officer on the balcony of a Manchester bar as colleague watched
'A new low'
Going to print many hours after the gongs have been handed out at the Academy Awards, the papers turn their attention to the night's real winners: those in the best - or more often, worst - frocks. The knives are out among the fashion writers. Harriet Walker complains in the Times: "Taffeta, fishtails, pastels! At best it was as if a load of vintage bridesmaids dresses had been taken out of storage for us to have a laugh at."
In the assessment of the Telegraph's Kate Finnigan, the ceremony tends to be a "staid display" because stars are on "best behaviour sartorially" so as not to jeopardise any future roles or advertising contracts. "Consequently, actresses often end up looking like they're wearing the outfit their grandfather would have picked out for them." Still, she was impressed by the lapis lazuli (that's a bright blue, if you were wondering) of Best Actress Brie Larson's Gucci dress. She also thought Alicia Vikander's lemon puffball looked pretty.
The Guardian's Jess Cartner-Morley disagrees, however, writing: "This is the biggest night of your year, Vikander, and you wear lemon yellow and your hair in a half-bun? What are you, eight?" For Cartner-Morley it was just one example of the "unadulterated sugar" that dominated proceedings. The best look of the night for her? Not a dress at all: "Kate Winslet in her glasses on the podium."
Poor Vikander gets a panning from the Daily Mirror's Amber Graafland too. She says the Best Supporting Actress "looks like a Disney princess", while the strapless gown worn by Winslet - the writer argues - was "certainly slick - but sadly more like an oil slick". Project Runway star Heidi Klum gets the writer's only 1/5 mark, however, for her "billowing chiffon lavender" gown with "one big sleeve".
Other papers focus less on the dress and more on the neckline, with the Daily Star declaring: "The Oscars sank to a new low... as an army of female movie stars dared to bare more than ever." The Sun even has a Most Revealing Neckline index which ranges from Larson (4/10), through Margot Robbie (7/10) to Charlize Theron (10/10) who apparently "went all out for Hollywood glamour and nailed it".
However, the star of the show, so far as the Independent's Grace Dent is concerned, was British costume designer Jenny Beavan. A fortnight after host Stephen Fry joked she looked like a "bag lady" as she collected a Bafta, she received scant applause as she picked up her Oscar for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road wearing flat shoes and a Marks & Spencer jacket.
"It proved how stiff the boundaries of acceptability are if you're a woman, aged 67, who refuses to wear a £9,000 spaghetti-strap gown," writes Dent. "Every woman on the planet who has attended an awards ceremony trussed up like a carnival queen and stood in bare, blistered feet in the freezing cold, waiting for a taxi and holding her shoes, applauded Bevan's practicality."
If all that has left you inspired to take to a red carpet - or even just put on a posh frock in the privacy of your home - the Daily Mail offers you help to pull off the look. It digs out images featuring five poses adopted by stars at the Oscars in a bid to stand out. These include the "teapot", the "over-the-shoulder smoulder" and the "sexy swoosh".
What the commentators say
Pizza and Xbox?
As the Financial Times notes on its front page, online retailer Amazon has struck a deal with supermarket chain Morrisons to sell hundreds of groceries online.
"Fancy a pizza, some ice cream, a new Xbox and a few games tonight?" asks the Independent's Simon Neville. "No problem: order it on Amazon by 5pm and it will be with you by 7pm. And if you don't want to cook your pizza, Amazon is looking into offering takeaway services. Just think about that: 20 years ago, you would have to head off to the supermarket, wait in the snaking lines to be told your item isn't available, then head to Argos, hope what you want is in stock (and hope you are not getting ripped off with the same products cheaper elsewhere) and wait for an elf to fish it out for you.
"Get home, call up Domino's, hope the guy taking your order can hear over the noise of beeping pizza ovens, make sure you've remembered to get cash to pay the delivery driver and hope he doesn't judge you for attempting to eat a large meat feast all by yourself."
The Guardian's Nils Pratley writes that while Morrisons' shares were boosted by the news, the rest of the supermarket sector is wondering whether Amazon is "finally getting serious" about groceries. "The addition of 'hundreds' - but not thousands - of Morrisons lines is an upgrade but not a game-changer," he reckons. "Amazon is still behaving like a souped-up convenience store, but the full time offer is surely coming."
The Times says the immediate effect will be that consumers get a new way to have cheap food delivered but questions whether this will be a good thing in the long term. "In conquering the book business, [Amazon boss Jeff] Bezos told his negotiators to pursue small publishers as a cheetah would 'a sickly gazelle'," it recalls. "One of his former lieutenants has since described the result as a race to the bottom. Such a race is not what Britain's food sector needs. Pricing aimed at beating back rivals is not just bad for competition and ultimately consumers, but illegal."
However, Christopher Williams, in the Telegraph, reminds readers that the impact might be minimal. "The [relative] failure of [Amazon's] smartphones and the voucher website Living Social show that the company makes some big bets that do not pay off. It's hard to tell how Amazon Fresh, its US groceries business, has fared, but the roll-out has been slow."
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