Newspaper headlines: Air crash horror and 'free speech' fury

Families waiting at Cairo airport Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Families wait for news of the lost airliner

All the papers devote a great deal of space to the loss of an Egyptian airliner on its way from Paris to Cairo - but many of the details of the tragedy remain uncertain.

Every paper describes how the plane veered wildly before spiralling into the sea, how British passenger Richard Osman was delighted at becoming a father for the second time recently, and how a terrorist attack is thought to have been the most likely cause.

The Daily Mirror says experts are divided, some thinking a struggle in the cockpit could explain what happened, while others think a timed bomb like the one that caused the 1988 Lockerbie disaster was to blame.

The i says Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is holding an investigation to see if any lapses of security had taken place there.

And the Daily Mail reports that although security was already tight there, fears were raised seven months ago when some 70 employees of Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports were barred after displaying "worrying behaviour".

The Times says it is far too early to be sure what caused the crash, but warns that terrorist groups are experimenting with new ways to beat sophisticated security systems.

Meanwhile, the UK Supreme Court's ruling upholding an injunction preventing the media from reporting the name of a celebrity in stories about his private life gets quite as much coverage from all the papers - and arouses at least as much passion.

The Daily Telegraph says the celebrity's identity and behaviour are "of almost no interest to this paper". But it says "arrogant judges and cowardly politicians" must not be allowed to endanger free speech "on which all British liberties depend".

High hopes for Britain's new aircraft carriers

Image copyright PA
Image caption HMS Queen Elizabeth nearing completion at Rosyth
  • The papers hear high praise for the two giant aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy on the Firth of Forth.
  • "If someone does want to start a war I think they might think twice if they see one of these ships," Capt Simon Petitt tells the Telegraph.
  • "Queen Elizabeth to rule the waves" says the Sun's headline, referring to the first of the two vessels.
  • Their radar can track an object the size of a snooker ball 20km away, the Sun reports.
  • The 183ft-tall ships with their four-acre flight decks are "the senior service's new pride and joy", says the Daily Express.

The Supreme Court ruling has effectively created a privacy law, says the paper, and tilted the balance of the law in favour of the rich and famous.

The Mirror accuses the judges of "straying into the realm of censorship and ignoring the digital age" and labels the ruling, which came although the celebrity has been named in the media outside England and Wales, as perverse.

The Sun, which was at the centre of the legal battle that led to the ruling, says "Celebs were yesterday granted a cheaters' charter as Britain's top judges ruled they had a legal right to keep their romps secret".

It quotes one of the judges as explaining that there is no public interest in publishing stories about private sexual conduct "just because the persons involved are well-known".

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But in an editorial it says the judges' "illogical and idiotic ruling exposed them as out-of-touch old duffers".

Strong stuff. But the Daily Mail is among papers quoting a Tory MP as saying "This is an extraordinary and perverse decision by unelected and out-of-touch judges."

The Mail proclaims that the judges who backed the ruling are the "four Canutes of British justice". It calls a fifth judge who dissented "the lone voice to back your right to know".

The Guardian says that Twitter users who named the celebrities at the centre of the affair have received emails from Twitter's legal team warning them of legal complaints and asking if they will remove their tweets voluntarily.

Eye-catching headlines

The paper quotes a solicitor as saying the ruling is a victory for privacy campaigners, but will not lead to a surge in privacy injunctions.

According to the Times, the case signalled "the end of tabloid kiss-and-tell stories".

But its editorial says the ruling and the law behind it "should be troubling in a free society".

The Daily Telegraph carries a letter signed by nearly 300 actors, writers and artists warning against Britain leaving the EU.

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Media captionFormer political adviser Ayesha Hazarika, and Neil Midgley from the Daily Telegraph, join the BBC News Channel to review Friday's front pages.

Rich in puns, the letter stresses that "being part of the EU bolsters Britain's leading role on the world stage" and adds "Let's not become an outsider shouting from the wings".

But the Telegraph itself does not uncritically support the sentiments in the letter. Its news story about the letter is headed in its print edition "Enter stage left, the luvvies adding their voices to Remain campaign".

And the paper contains in the same issue an article by Rupert Christiansen entitled "Why Brexit would boost our creativity".

The Guardian gives much more prominence to the letter than its rival. It carries large pictures of some of the most famous signatories on its front page.

Inside, it reports that the vast majority of "arts leaders" it had contacted "said they were against Brexit for both practical and emotional reasons".

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Unholy alliance?

Also on the EU referendum, the Financial Times reports that Vote Leave is hoping to win the backing of British Asians by "telling them that if Britain quits the EU it will mean more immigration from elsewhere in the world".

Leaflets are being prepared in Asian languages warning that people with EU passports can "just walk in" to Britain, the paper claims, as well as warning of the "increasingly far-right tinge to politics" in some EU countries.

One such country is Austria, where Freedom Party leader Norbert Hofer has a chance of becoming president this weekend, says the Guardian. This would mean a European country will have elected a far-right head of state for the first time since 1945, the paper claims.

But the paper says Mr Hofer considers his party to be to the left of the Democrats in the US.

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