Newspaper headlines: 'Massacre' at Berlin Christmas market

Most of Tuesday's papers lead on what the Daily Express calls the "slaughter at the Christmas market" in Berlin.

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The Daily Mirrror has an image of the front of the lorry, captioned the "killer truck", its windscreen smashed. Just when you thought an awful year couldn't get any worse, a lorry ploughs into a Christmas market, it says.

The i pictures the left side of the lorry; a knocked-down Christmas tree lies in the road.

The Guardian quotes one eyewitness as saying, "This was not an accident."

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says the Daily Telegraph, will be fearing the political fallout. If it turns out that an asylum seeker was behind the wheel of the lorry, someone who swept into Europe along the unpoliced Western Balkan route, then the decline in her popularity could accelerate.

The Daily Mail says the carnage had terrifying echoes of the attack in Nice in July.

The Times, however, compares it with a foiled al-Qaeda plot 16 years ago, when militants planned to detonate a truck bomb at a Christmas market by Strasbourg cathedral. The paper says the Polish delivery company that owned the lorry lost contact with the driver during the afternoon, leading to speculation of a hijacking.


'Suited killer'

The Sun's front page carries a striking image of the murder of Russia's ambassador to Turkey at an art gallery in Ankara.

The suited "killer cop" - as the paper puts it - is seen holding a gun in his right hand pointing down, while raising his left arm aloft; at his feet, the ambassador lies flat on his back.

"Slain," is the one-word headline.

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The Guardian says the killing may well bring Turkey and Russia closer. Presidents Erdogan and Putin are likely to find common ground in their desire to blame third parties for the death, it says.

But the Times such says claims will not cover over the cracks in their relationship. They are battling for power in the region and back opposing sides in the great clash between Sunni and Shia, it says.


The former Conservative leader William Hague writes in the Daily Telegraph that walkouts by postal and rail workers, especially at this time of year, are spiteful and wounding.

Ministers should prepare legislation to restrict strikes in essential services and should not be put off from doing so by a fear of upsetting those who are "just about managing", he says.

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The Financial Times, however, reports that the prime minister is put off by exactly that. Theresa May has strained to court working class voters, so a frontal assault on trade union rights would run counter to her wider political strategy, it says.

The Guardian says a sense of perspective is needed; this is not the start of a wild-eyed workers' insurgency.


The Daily Mail keeps up its campaign against what it describes as the splashing out of huge sums of overseas aid money on dubious projects.

It reports that Britain is still handing tens of millions of pounds to China, despite a promise to stop sending cash and it believes that the previously plain-speaking International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, has "been taken captive by the System".

Three other papers - the Sun, the Times and the Daily Telegraph - use leading articles to argue that the government should scrap its legally binding commitment to spend 0.7% of gross domestic product on aid.


Several papers have obituaries of Rabbi Lionel Blue, who died on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph says his three-minute mini-sermons on BBC Radio 4's Today programme turned him into a cherished institution.

Everything about his contribution was unusual, it says; his voice lacked the sepulchral gravity of the man of God, and was high-pitched and chirpy.

The Times remembers that his top tip for seeking God was time: Give as much time to God as you would need for learning the guitar.


Not just one Christmas

The Daily Mirror reports that cash-strapped local councils have "blown" thousands of pounds hiring "z-list" celebrities to switch on Christmas lights.

The paper says it has quizzed more than 400 councils, finding out for instance that Belfast spent £6,000 booking the 1970s favourites The Clangers, while Carlisle spent £8,500 on a former X Factor winner.

A historian, says the Daily Telegraph, has uncovered evidence that there were scores of truces in the Great War, not just the one in Christmas 1914 when football matches were played in no man's land.

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It says Thomas Weber, a professor of history at the University of Aberdeen, has studied the correspondence of soldiers and found a surprising number of references to ceasefires, which were covered up by wartime censors and commanding officers.

The Times, which also has the story, says that a private serving on the Somme in 1916 wrote home to say that in the days before Christmas that year, German soldiers had come to the British side and exchanged cigarettes.

Finally, almost all the papers publish a screenshot of the US TV programme, Nightly News. Behind the newsreader there's a photo of a man blowing his nose. It is former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

The Daily Mail says NBC used the picture of the MP as a stock image to illustrate a report on flu. "Nobody in the US 'nose' Ed," says the Sun.