Newspaper headlines: Honours, or rewards for cronies, papers ask

The papers pore over the recipients of New Year honours.

The Mirror says Ken Dodd - awarded a knighthood at the age of 89 - is living proof that good things do happen late in life.

But some of the papers are unhappy about several of the names on the list.

The Daily Mail complains that Mark Lowcock - the civil servant in charge of what it calls the bloated foreign aid budget - is to be rewarded with a knighthood. "Arise Sir Foreign Aid" is the paper's headline.

The i says opposition MPs have accused Theresa May of abusing the system to reward Tory donors and former colleagues at the Home Office.

The Times highlights a CBE for its cartoonist, Peter Brookes, but the newspaper also reports disappointment is emerging among some Olympians after it appeared that individual athletes have been more generously rewarded than team players.

The Telegraph says others who have been honoured include senior staff at HM Revenue and Customs, which has "driven taxpayers to distraction" with its poor service.

Trump tweets Putin support

The Times says tradition reaching back to the Cold War dictates that a mass expulsion of diplomats by one country is met by matching retaliatory measures by the other. But in this game of chess, the Telegraph says, President Putin did nothing.

The Financial Times says that instead of retaliating against Washington's biggest expulsion of his diplomats for more than a decade, the Russian president suggested he was no longer taking Barack Obama's administration seriously - and was instead focusing on building ties with President-elect Trump.

But the Guardian thinks Mr Trump now faces a dilemma because if he decides to end the sanctions, it would put him at odds with his own party. If he leaves them in place, he would find himself at odds with Mr Putin.

The Telegraph leads with a warning from the head of the NHS in England that "selfish" partygoers who get "blotto" are putting intolerable strain on the service.

The paper quotes Simon Stevens as saying the system is being treated as the "national hangover service", and that services already under pressure are being compromised by those determined to enjoy themselves to excess.

Meanwhile, The Times has carried out research that it says shows Britain is facing a crisis in recruiting head teachers, with thousands leaving the profession or retiring early because of high pressure and insufficient pay. It found that one in 10 schools is losing its head teacher each year.

According to the paper, rural councils said heads were tempted elsewhere by bigger salaries and urban authorities said candidates were shunning schools because of the high cost of living.

The year in review

Many papers also look back to the events of 2016.

For The Times, it was the year of revolution: the political elite was roundly humiliated, people voted for radical change and surprised everyone, including themselves, by getting it.

The Sun says some still believe that Brexit was the worst event of 2016, but that they couldn't be more wrong.

It suggests a New Year might be an ideal moment for these people to finally accept the political landscape has shifted and that Britain can be first to capitalise on its positives.

The Guardian describes 2016 as the year most would like to forget - but it says there were silver linings, such as Sri Lanka becoming the latest country to be declared free of malaria.

Make-your-own multiplex

Finally, a film buff inspired by the glory days of cinema has fulfilled a life-long ambition by opening one in his back garden.

Anderson Jones, from Stoke-on-Trent, built the 34-seat cinema from scratch - complete with a projection room, toilets and foyer with concessions stand.

According to the Daily Express, everything from the seats to the ticket machines and exit sign has been reclaimed from the old ABC cinemas.

Mr Jones's wife, Jayne, tells the Mirror she's going to be in charge of the sweet counter and handing out the ice creams at the interval.