Newspaper review: Child migrants, Spalding, and Heathrow

"Fourteen child migrants arrived in the UK on Tuesday," says the front page of the Sun. "But the oldest had crow's feet and looked closer to 40."

The paper says MPs are calling for dental checks, to make sure adults aren't posing as children in order to reach Britain from Calais.

Inside, columnist Jane Moore asks: "Am I alone in having assumed that, at the very least, a couple of the child migrants would be noticeably young, vulnerable, and possibly even clutching a soft toy?"

The Daily Mail says one of the migrants "looked 38", according to a facial recognition programme.

Its reporter Sue Reid writes: "In many years of reporting on the Calais Jungle and its inhabitants, I have grown deeply sceptical.

"I'm sorry to say, many people who told me they are children, quite frankly, appear not to be so.

"Broad of shoulder, with deepening voices and a shadow on their chins, it was almost laughable for them to insist they were 12, 13 or 14."

But there's more sympathy in the Times.

"I think you have to be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt - unless there is good evidence to suggest they are a lot older," says Alp Mehmet from Migration Watch UK.


Image copyright Unknown
Image caption Katie Edwards, 13, who was murdered in Spalding in April

'Ice-cold plot'

The "Twilight Murders" is how the Daily Mirror describes the killing of a mother and her daughter in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

A 15-year-old girl was found guilty of the murders on Tuesday. A 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the start of the trial.

The Mirror says the teenage killers "left their victims in a pool of blood" before going downstairs to watch the Twilight films.

According to the front page of the Daily Star, the pair "hatched their ice-cold plot, aged 14, in McDonald's".

The Sun says the female killer "fell for the boy after he threw a chair across a classroom".

The police forced their way into the house 36 hours after the killings.

The Daily Mail reports that - when officers asked what happened - the boy replied: "Why don't you go and see."


The experts have their say

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Media captionMichael Booker from the Daily Express and Martin Bentham from the London Evening Standard discuss Wednesday's front pages on BBC News

Image copyright Empics

Brexit, cont.

Another day, another round of headlines about what Brexit may - or may not - bring.

The front page of the i says a 1% rise in inflation - revealed yesterday - has "raised painful Brexit fears".

It is, says the paper, "the first major sign that Brexit is hitting consumers' wallets".

The Guardian is also gloomy. "This increase is just the start. Living standards will slide," reads one headline.

But according to the Sun, "any snippet of economic news now induces childlike panic in some remainers".

"Yesterday inflation ticked up harmlessly to 1%, half the Bank of England target," says the paper's editorial.

"It was greeted like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."

On the opposite page, the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan argues that leaving the EU will make Britain richer.

"Since the vote, the emergency budget has been canned, British stocks have been the best performing in Europe, and unemployment has fallen to a record low," he writes.

"The future's bright. The future's global."


Image copyright Thinkstock

Terminal velocity

The Times and the Daily Telegraph both lead on Heathrow's third runway, which is still awaiting clearance for take-off.

MPs will not vote on the plans for at least a year. But, says The Times, Theresa May has "cleared the path" to expand Britain's biggest airport.

The Telegraph's editorial says Mrs May is right to allow cabinet members to oppose the third runway, even if the government endorses it.

"Yet she should not forget that her first duty as Prime Minister is to the nation," it adds.

"She has shown she is prepared to listen. Not she must show she is ready to lead."

For George Monbiot in the Guardian, "the correct question (on airports) is not where, it is whether. And the correct answer is no."

He adds: "In a world seeking to prevent climate breakdown, there is no remaining scope for extending infrastructure that depends on fossil fuels.

"Reason has taken flight...greed and desire soar towards the stratosphere, and our conscience vanishes in the clouds."

One letter writer in the Times has, perhaps, misunderstood the argument.

"I worry about the plan to expand Heathrow simply by lengthening a runway," writes Charlie Flindt from Alresford in Hampshire.

"Where will it all end? Bristol?"


Image copyright Thinkstock

The news in numbers

755: The weight, in kilograms, of seven Sale Sharks rugby players who overloaded a hotel lift in Bath. They were 120kg over the limit (The Times).

1801: The year in which a bottle of vintage cognac - which has just sold in London for £220,000 - was barrelled (Daily Mail).

15,000: The number of photos of blocked drains taken by Bryan Gibson, 67, from Cornwall. Mr Gibson - who is known as the "Drainspotter" - wants the council to take action (The Times).

230,000: The amount, in pounds, reportedly spent by X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne on flying her dogs between London and Los Angeles every year (Daily Mail).