Newspaper headlines: 'Army lags behind Russia' and steroid alert

By BBC News

Image source, MOD / Crown Copyright
Image caption,
General Sir Nick Carter

The Daily Telegraph and the Times both lead on the warning by British army chief Gen Sir Nick Carter, that Britain is struggling to keep up with Russian military advances.

The Times thinks his officially-sanctioned intervention appears designed to raise public awareness of the scale and urgency of the challenge. Britain, concludes the paper, cannot be defended on the cheap.

For the Telegraph, Sir Nick's estimation of Britain's capabilities is shocking. It believes Britain is clearly more underpowered than it has been for many years.

The Mail acknowledges that money is tight - but argues that the state's first duty is to protect its people. If the money cannot be found, it argues, it should be taken from the "absurdly bloated foreign aid budget".

The prospect of Angela Merkel forming a new coalition government in Germany is the main story in the Financial Times.

The paper reports that the decision by the SPD to enter formal coalition talks with Mrs Merkel's conservatives will prompt relief among European leaders such as President Macron, who it says, needs a sympathetic government in Berlin to push ahead with a sweeping overhaul of the EU.

In Germany, Der Spiegel says the SPD leadership avoided embarrassment by securing a small majority in favour of holding talks.

The Times features new research which suggests trust in social media has fallen to a record low amid fears about fake news.

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer found that fewer than a quarter of people in the UK trust the tech and publishing giants.

The Guardian highlights a thirteen point increase in support for the traditional media to the highest level since 2012. Ed Williams, from Edelman UK, tells the paper that the public want social media companies to take action on issues related to online protection.

The Guardian also reports that public health experts and doctors have found that up to one million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

Research suggests appearance rather than sporting performance is the reason for the majority of people using them.

According to the paper, users range from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to older men hoping to hang on to their youthful looks.

Image source, Getty Images

The Daily Express features a woman from Rotherham who owns what's thought to be one of Britain's oldest working gas cookers.

Val Marks refuses to upgrade the new world appliance because it's the last surviving memento of her mother, who bought it for £38 in 1959.

Mrs Marks, 76, says the cooker is still going strong and hopes its outlives her. If it does, she wants to donate it to a local museum.