Newspaper headlines: Syria 'new low' and cataract op 'lottery'

In the Guardian's eyes, the attack on a UN aid convoy in Syria is a "new low" in the five-year civil war.

It says the humanitarian initiative had been agreed by all parties and the convoy was clearly marked.

The paper thinks the Syrian regime is enjoying a sense of utter impunity and it was not willing to tolerate the prospect of rebel areas receiving relief, whatever promises had been made.

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Con Coughlin, writing in the Daily Telegraph, thinks the bombing shows how weak the US is.

He argues that a decade ago not even Russia would have dared to attack an aid convoy which had been dispatched under US backing, because this would have risked provoking a devastating military response from Washington.


In its lead, the Daily Mail says the government is to end a postcode lottery in England which has led to some people with cataracts waiting up to 15 months for surgery.

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The paper says Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked officials to publish draft national guidelines by April.

Under the new rules, patients will be referred for treatment as soon as their eye condition affects everyday tasks such as driving or reading.


Many of the papers report that police in riot gear had to end a mass brawl of more than 100 schoolchildren in south-east London.

Those taking part in the violence in Erith and Bexley are said to have been armed with knives, hammers and baseball bats.

One witness tells the Times that parents were giving out weapons to their children.

The paper says there has been escalating rivalry between pupils attending different schools as well as "strained racial tensions".


The Financial Times leads with the risk of Brexit to the City of London.

It says that more than 5,500 UK registered companies could lose what are called "passporting rights" which allow them to sell financial services in other EU countries.

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But, it adds, there are also similar dangers for 8,000 firms based in other European states which rely on the same rights to do business in Britain.

This, says the FT, could boost the case that the EU has as much to lose as the UK from restricting British access to the single market.


The Daily Telegraph claims that BBC journalists are paid up to 40% more than their competitors in the commercial sector.

It says a leaked report, commissioned by the BBC, shows that allowances for flexibility and anti-social working hours have pushed up salaries compared with other broadcasters and newspapers.

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But the report suggests BBC editors are paid 20% less than those who work for the corporation's rivals.

A BBC spokesman tells the Telegraph that pay restraint and headcount reductions have saved more than £150m a year.


If you want to lose weight it might not be a good idea to use a fitness tracker, according to a study covered by several of the papers.

The research found that those who exercised without the devices shed more pounds than those who did.

The authors tell the Times this might be because those with the trackers, after counting their steps, were more likely to reward themselves with treats.