Newspaper headlines: Johnson 'divides' Tories and Ant's year off

Rowan Atkinson
Image caption Rowan Atkinson: Letter to The Times

Boris Johnson's comments about Muslim face veils have sparked a flurry of letters to the editors.

Under the headline "You're backing Boris", the Daily Mail devotes a page and a half to messages supporting the former foreign secretary.

And comedian Rowan Atkinson - best known for Blackadder and Mr Bean - has written to the Times to defend Mr Johnson's right to poke fun at religion. He says he thought comparing the veil to a letterbox was funny.

But the director general of the Islamic Foundation, Farooq Murad, uses a letter, also to the Times, to express concern about claims women wearing the full body covering, the burka, are oppressed.

He says this assertion is lacking in evidence, misogynistic and Islamaphobic prejudice.

A correspondent with the i newspaper argues that while they are a believer in free speech, Mr Johnson displayed discourtesy, disrespect and downright rudeness - for which he should be ashamed.

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'At the top'

A decision by TV presenter Ant McPartlin to take a year off, makes the front page of several papers.

The Daily Express says he has the full support of his onscreen partner Declan Donnelly - who now faces presenting their popular show I'm a Celebrity on his own.

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The Sun reports that the star, who has been in rehab for alcohol addiction, has vowed to fans that he will be back.

The Daily Mirror says Ant's place at the top of the ITV pantheon is secure no matter what.

Trade wars

The Guardian says a leaked document seen for the first time gives more details of a Russian offer of a gold deal made to Arron Banks - the main donor behind the Brexit campaign group, Leave.EU.

The paper says a presentation, obtained by an investigative unit funded by an exiled critic of Vladimir Putin, shows how Mr Banks was offered the chance of making potentially huge profits from a scheme to streamline Russia's gold industry.

Mr Banks has consistently denied receiving money from Russia and he tells the Guardian there was no Russian gold deal. He adds that a cabal of anti-Brexit journalists is engaged in a smear campaign against him.

The Economist concludes that the weak Chinese stockmarket is giving the US the edge, at least in confidence, in the trade war between the two countries.

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A comment piece in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, says that Beijing should cut its losses and give President Trump a win to get out of its predicament.

It says China's strategy of a tit-for-tat retaliation over tariffs has clearly failed.

In contrast in mainland China, the pro-government Global Times calls America "emotional" and "cranky" and says Beijing must continue the trade fight until Washington realizes it has done wrong.

Non-descript bump

Miller Moss, in the northern fells of the Lake District, is also known as Little Lingy Hill, according to the Times, which reports that it is not so little any more.

The hill has been reclassified as a mountain - taking the total in England and Wales to 446.

The change is thanks to John Barnard and Graham Jackson, two former colleagues and keen mountaineers, who spent eight hours remeasuring the hill with modern equipment.

Mr Jackson tells the Daily Telegraph there was a degree of elation after their success but, having said that, he added, "it is a bit of a non-descript bump".