Newspaper headlines: Poisoned Yulia speaks for the first time
Conservative MPs received some bad news yesterday. According to James Forsyth in the Spectator, they were told to abandon any plans for a holiday in June because the EU withdrawal bill was returning to the Commons, and everyone had to be there to ensure that changes made in the Lords were reversed. But if puffs of white smoke have been appearing from senior Conservative officials, their meaning has been read differently in different papers.
The Times thinks Theresa May will ask the EU for a second transition period to start in 2021 and run to the end of 2023. The aim, it says, would be to avoid the introduction of a hard border with the Irish Republic.
But turn to the Daily Express and readers will find David Davis, in a sunny mood, saying he's increasingly confident that a good Brexit deal can soon be reached. The Sun, however, is gloomy. It is very cross indeed at suggestions that Britain might hand the EU £39bn without getting a free-trade deal in exchange. "Does the government have a death wish?" it asks, describing that prospect as "Brexit suicide".
The Daily Mirror is equally unimpressed by the costs of leaving. It says most want Mrs May to deliver Brexit -- "but not at any price." For its part, the Daily Mail claims to have uncovered a "plot" by a pro-Remain group, backed by the billionaire investor George Soros, to stop Britain leaving at all.
On the front page of the i and most of the others, there are pictures of Yulia Skripal talking about surviving the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. "From Russia with luck," is the headline in the Sun.
The Mirror believes it has solved a crime committed more than fifty years ago, the theft of the World Cup trophy when on display in central London. The paper says the culprit was an armed robber called Sidney Cugullere, who was known as "Mr Crafty" by his friends in gangland. They tell the Mirror that he did it on the spur of the moment, wearing a brown coat of the kind then sported by removal men. He allegedly unscrewed the handles of the cabinet, popped the trophy in his bag and walked out. A huge police manhunt ensued - to no avail - but a man walking his dog in a street in south London came upon the cup a week later.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the actress Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Demelza in Poldark, has become the latest star to ask for equal pay. The Sun calls it another example of "wage fury." The Mail says Ms Tomlinson believes it's not acceptable that her co-star, Aidan Turner, should be earning a bigger salary as the show returns for a fourth series.
After all these years, as a letter to the Times makes clear, it still hasn't been established to the satisfaction of all exactly what Jeeves did for Wooster. The chairwoman of the PG Wodehouse society writes to say Jeeves wasn't a butler, and he wasn't a valet. The best description, she says, is the author's own, "a gentleman's personal gentleman".