Newspaper headlines: Migrant boat capsize, England population predictions and WW2 submarine discovery

Photographs showing the capsizing of a boat carrying more than 550 migrants in the southern Mediterranean appear on Thursday's front pages.

The Guardian says the series of dramatic images were taken by the Italian navy as it carried out a rescue described as miraculous by migration experts.

The accident was caused by people rushing to one side of the trawler as the navy approached. Five people died and several more are said to be missing but it appears most were picked up safely.

The Sun leads with the story, saying the incident was part of the "tragic toll of the migrant crisis".


In the words of the Daily Telegraph, the "pictures show how migrants, desperate to reach smaller boats dispatched to assist them, overturn their own vessel, leading to disaster".

The photos show the panic and fear as the boat capsized, says the Daily Mail. It notes the numbers arriving in Greece have fallen dramatically following a refugee deal with Turkey, but more than 6,000 people have attempted the crossing to Italy since Monday, "plunging Europe into a renewed migrant crisis".

Eye-catching headlines

Image copyright Disney/PA
  • We're 90 ma'am! Pooh sees Queen in birthday story - The monarch meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a new e-book adventure, released as a free download to celebrate two big anniversaries: Daily Express
  • Ticket train clippers are facing the end of the line - Concerns about repetitive strain injury could lead to a 150-year-old tradition being phased out across the UK: Daily Telegraph
  • Babs the movie - Dame Barbara Windsor's life story is being turned into a film for the BBC: Daily Mirror
  • Drug-crazed sheep trashed our village - Flock said to be terrorising residents in south Wales after munching on the fly-tipped remains of a marijuana factory near Rhydypandy: Sun
  • Flush your way to power profits, urges Ofwat - Water regulator is trying to persuade companies of the potential million-pound benefits of turning sewage into electricity: Financial Times

'No sense sale'

As a government consultation on privatising the Land Registry closes, there are calls for a re-think.

According to the Times, every investment firm considering a bid to run the property ownership database for England and Wales has business links to offshore tax havens or secretive jurisdictions.

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While the use of such vehicles is legal, the paper says the news raises questions about the prime minister's commitment at a recent anti-corruption summit to greater openness about foreign ownership in the British property market.

In a leading article, the Times says selling the Land Registry "makes neither commercial nor political sense. It is self financing and a net contributor to the economy".

In the view of the Guardian, "your personal housing data will be sold off to the highest bidder - which may be a foreign government or a global tech giant - and a 150-year-old institution employing around 4,000 civil servants will face a very insecure future.

"This government has neither the mandate nor the moral right to sell something that we all own in common."

Population predictions

Official projections suggesting the population of England is set to rise by 4.1m to more than 58m by 2024 is the lead story for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

About half the rise is said to be down to immigration and the Mail says the "stark projections" from the Office for National Statistics prompted the Leave camp in the EU referendum to claim an Out vote would help the UK regain control of its borders.

But it also quotes a spokesman for Britain Stronger in Europe as saying people's "reasonable concerns about immigration are not going to be solved by crashing our economy, as experts agree would happen if we left".

The figures, says the Telegraph, come ahead of the latest immigration tally, which is also likely to be seized on by Brexit campaigners.

The Guardian's story on the projections makes no direct reference to the referendum. Instead it links them to a series of stories about the housing crisis, and focuses on the indication that growth in London's East End will bring the population in the capital to nearly 10m in eight years, as towns in the north-east and north-west of England see falls.

What the commentators say...

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Media captionMerryn Somerset-Webb, editor in chief of MoneyWeek, and the political editor of the Daily Record, Torcuil Crichton, join the BBC News Channel to review Thursday's front pages

Referendum round-up

  • Cameron is really fan of Brexit, says close friend - David Cameron would be campaigning to leave the EU if he did not see the referendum from the perspective of being prime minister, his former adviser tells the Times. Downing Street has not responded to the claims made by Steve Hilton, who is backing Leave, but highlighted the "countless times" Mr Cameron had made the case for staying in the EU
  • Now Remain plays religion card - In campaigners are trying to get religious leaders to sign a public letter warning of the dangers of Brexit, says the Daily Mail. The letter reportedly refers to faith being about "building bridges, not isolation", but a Vote Leave spokesman tells the Mail it is "further evidence of a campaign willing to play fast and loose with the facts".

'Salvaging's Holy Grail'

It is a discovery that will help to lay decades of speculation to rest, says the i.

Seventy-three years after mysteriously vanishing in the Mediterranean during World War Two, T-class submarine HMS P311 has reportedly been located.

A scuba diver is said to have found the submarine 90 metres below the surface, not far from the Sardinian coast and in doing so, adds the i, "unearthed the Holy Grail in his salvaging community".

Image copyright AP

HMS P311, which went missing in January 1943 along with 71 crew members, is thought to have been hit by an Italian mine, reports the Sun.

"Goodness. That is quite a surprise," the 82-year-old daughter of the submarine's commander Richard Cayley tells the paper. "I just hope they leave her where she is. It's a war grave and should be respected as such."

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