Newspaper headlines: Obama 'criticises' PM, archbishop on migrants and ring of steel at Crufts

Apparent criticism by US President Barack Obama of the prime minister's handling of the 2011 Libya crisis comes under the spotlight.

In an interview with the Atlantic magazine, Mr Obama said action by UK and France had allowed Libya to become a "mess" following the toppling of Colonel Gaddafi. And he suggested David Cameron had become "distracted by a range of other things" after the intervention.

The Daily Mail describes the comments as an "extraordinary attack", while the Times says it "amounted a highly unusual criticism of a serving prime minister".

According to the Independent, the comments will be a severe embarrassment to Mr Cameron, "who has often been forced to defend British involvement in Libya on the grounds that Western intervention helped to avert a bloodbath".

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The Independent says they will also place strain on the transatlantic alliance as coalition forces target positions held by the so-called Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

President Obama's "outburst", reckons the Sun, was a "dramatic breach of diplomatic etiquette".

The Daily Telegraph notes President Obama has been widely criticised in the US for his decision to "lead from behind" in Libya. The article, it says, appears just months before he visits Britain on a farewell tour.

The papers quote Mr Cameron's spokeswoman as saying challenges remain in Libya and the government had continued to put support for the country on the international agenda. The US has since said it "deeply" valued the UK's contributions on national security and foreign policy objectives .


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Change of heart?

The prime minister's future plans are also subject to speculation after Mr Cameron told the BBC he will seek re-election as the Conservative MP for Witney at the 2020 general election.

According to the Daily Express, the pronouncement "hinted at a change of heart" over his vow to stand to down as prime minister this Parliament.

And the Guardian says if Mr Cameron wins the EU referendum, he is likely to face pressure from allies to carry on and fight the 2020 election as party leader.

The Daily Mail views the possibility of Mr Cameron staying on as leader as "inconceivable". But it says he would have much to contribute from the back benches.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror splashes on news a children's centre in Berkshire, where the prime minister's mother works as a volunteer, is being closed by the local Conservative council because of government funding cuts.


'Shift in tone'

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's interview with Parliament's House magazine is covered widely - with his observations on migration into the UK attracting the most attention.

The archbishop's view that it was "absolutely outrageous" to dismiss people who raised such concerns as racist sees the Daily Mail proclaim he has "experienced a dramatic conversion to common sense".

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Referring to "liberal views" expressed in the past, a leading article in the Daily Express says Mr Welby deserves to be applauded for now acknowledging that people are worried about their culture, public services and job prospects.

The Sun sees the interview as "astonishing", suggesting it amounted to a "marked shift in tone".

The archbishop's call for the UK to take in more refugees and comment there was not "one correct Christian view" on how Britons should vote in the EU referendum vote is also referenced.

But the Financial Times argues his call for Leave campaigners to set out "what Britain would look like having left" the EU saw him become the latest establishment figure to become "embroiled in the debate" over the referendum.


'Price confusion'

A key measure of the Competition and Markets Authority's proposals to help low-income households with their energy bills prompts several papers to worry about a deluge of unsolicited sales pitches and junk mail.

The watchdog's plans to force companies to open up their databases to rival suppliers has "good intentions" and will be strictly controlled, says the Independent. But the paper quotes consumer champions, who are worried households could be bombarded with rival offers that leave them "even more confused".

According to the Daily Telegraph, up to 16 million households could be affected.

In the Sun's opinion, the best solution to drive down the cost of bills would have been for the CMA to force every energy firm to offer their cheapest deal to all customers.


Burying claims

A pledge by the shadow chancellor that Labour would borrow billions of pounds to fund public investment projects, while exerting an "iron discipline" over day-to-day spending, is seen by the Guardian as an attempt to win back the party's reputation for economic competence.

The Daily Mirror says John McDonnell is trying to bury Tory claims that Labour wants to return to high borrowing and unlimited spending.

He will, says the Independent, admit in a speech later Labour lost the public's economic trust during the 2008 financial crisis. The paper's economics editor Ben Chu suggests Labour plans to carve out capital spending from current spending in a five-year target for budget surplus will be welcomed by virtually all independent experts.


What the commentators say...

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Media captionBarrister and broadcaster Sophia Cannon, and Joe Watts, political correspondent at the London Evening Standard, join the BBC News Channel to review Friday's front pages, join the BBC News Channel to review Friday's front pages

Crufts security

Photographs of some of the thousands of dogs appearing at Crufts featured on the front pages, as the show gets under way in Birmingham.

The Daily Mirror focuses on the "ring of steel" at the NEC Arena after last year was rocked by claims of poisoning and sabotage.

Although tests found a dog ate poisoned meat before the event, organisers have increased security, says the Daily Telegraph. They have granted each competitor a free pass to bring an extra person along to guard their dog.

Image copyright PA

The Times says six canines at the 125th staging of the show have become global celebrities through their own social media accounts, and will appear on a new stand.

They include Winny, a Pembroke Welsh corgi, and dachshund's Bruno and Noodle, whose profiles are said to have boosted their breed's popularity in the UK.

"Instagram dogs are new stars of Crufts," says the Times headline.


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