Newspaper headlines: Facebook 'pressure' and Putin victory

By BBC News


Vladimir Putin's election triumph in Russia is widely covered.

According to the headline in the Times, Mr Putin's landslide victory was thanks to Britain.

It says anger over the UK's response to the nerve agent attack on the former spy, Sergei Skripal, galvanised voters behind their leader.

image sourceEPA

The Washington Post takes a similar line. It quotes a former Kremlin adviser-turned critic as saying the approach adopted by Theresa May and her government was a "pre-election present" for Mr Putin.

The paper predicts that as in-fighting over Russia's domestic course continues at the top in Moscow, President Putin could look towards intensifying the conflict with the West.

The website of the Russian tabloid Komosmolskaya Pravda hails what it describes as a well-deserved victory.

It tells readers it is noteworthy that no Western media reported that the election had been rigged or falsified.

It apparently had not noticed, among others, the Financial Times, which reports on isolated episodes of violence against election monitors, as well as ballot stuffing and other violations.

Its headline reads "Sunshine, smiles and headbutts as Russia makes its choice".

But the paper quotes an elderly voter called Olga in Moscow who says: "In America they have a fool, here we have a strong president. Hurrah for Putin!"

Tech regulation

As controversy intensifies over the reported misuse of data from millions of Facebook users by the company Cambridge Analytica, the paper quotes a warning from Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Matt Hancock.

He says technology firms must accept increasing regulation and taxation by national governments "for the good of the people".

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In an editorial, the Guardian says data from Facebook users helped to subvert the openness of democracy.

It says the standards around the world by which the internet is controlled need to be open and subject to the workings of independent judiciaries.

The paper concludes that the task cannot be left to the companies themselves "whose own judgements are almost wholly opaque and arbitrary".

The Financial Times has spoken to the head of the Cambridge Analytica. Alexander Nix denies that he deliberately misled a parliamentary committee last month when he said his firm did not use Facebook data.

He told the paper that he stood by his remarks, despite a whistleblower saying over the weekend that he had evidence to the contrary.

Cannot be serious

The Daily Mail devotes the whole of its front page to what it describes as the first UK study of food contamination by airborne plastic.

The Mail says food in shops is widely tainted with potentially dangerous particles that float in the air.

According to the paper, experts have warned that ingesting the particles can damage lungs, poison kidneys and interfere with hormones.

Several papers pick up on tonight's Panorama programme about equal pay.

Under the headline "You Cannot Be Serious!", the Daily Mail reports Martina Navratilova's assertion that the BBC pays her fellow Wimbledon commentator, John McEnroe, 10 times as much as her.

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The Guardian quotes the former women's tennis champion as saying she was shocked to discover that the former men's number one was paid £150,000 for his commentary work, whereas she got £15,000.

She says the bottom line is that men's voices are valued more than women's.

A BBC spokesman said the two stars performed different roles, with McEnroe's of a different scale, scope and time commitment. Gender, according to the BBC, is not a factor.