Newspaper headlines: Fugitive held and Venezuela crisis

Jack Shepherd Image copyright PA
Image caption Jack Shepherd, pictured at an earlier court hearing in 2017

Many of the front pages carry a photograph of a bearded Jack Shepherd, the 31-year-old man convicted of killing a woman in a speedboat crash on the Thames.

"Smile, You're Nicked," is the headline in the Sun, which says Shepherd smirked as he handed himself in to the authorities in Georgia, still refusing to take the blame for Charlotte Brown's death.

"Got Him," is the headline on the front page of the Daily Mail. The paper describes Shepherd as "swaggering in cuffs" and waving to the television cameras.

The events in Venezuela make the lead for the Guardian. The paper says the swearing in of the main opposition leader as the country's interim president represents a dramatic increase in efforts to force out Nicolás Maduro.

It says thousands of supporters clogged the streets of Caracas as Juan Guaidó raised his right hand to take the oath of office.

The website of the independent Venezuelan newspaper, El Nacional, carries a picture of Mr Guaidó standing before the cheering crowds who sang the Venezuelan national anthem.

The Daily Telegraph says his move to symbolically assume the presidency is expected to make Mr Guaidó a target for the state security forces, who may attempt to arrest him for treason.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declares himself interim president

The prospect of a delayed Brexit has moved a step closer, according to the Telegraph.

The paper says Jeremy Corbyn is expected to join pro-Remain Conservative ministers and MPs and give his support to a backbench bill that would force the government to request an extension to Article 50.

The Financial Times says sterling rose on the prospect that Labour might support the move. It says Wednesday's jump of nearly 1% was the currency's biggest gain in six weeks.

'Hairshirt club'

The Telegraph says it has also learned that an alliance of nearly 20 Tory ministers, including cabinet members, has been holding secret meetings to discuss plans to stop a no-deal Brexit.

It says several are prepared to quit over the issue. According to the paper, one member jokingly referred to it as the "hairshirt club" because, unlike other groups, there is no "pizza or alcohol" at the meetings.

According to the Times, the Dutch government is in talks with more than 250 British companies to lure them to the Netherlands after Brexit.

It says Dutch officials have indicated that foreign banks that move there could avoid a cap on bonuses.

The paper claims the Netherlands is just one of several countries trying to reap a Brexit dividend by persuading UK companies to move their headquarters to the continent.

Image copyright EPA

The decision by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to rescind an invitation to President Trump to deliver his annual State of the Union speech draws much comment.

The website Politico describes it as an unprecedented move that underscores how bitter partisan tensions have paralysed Washington - and maybe the lowest point in a political crisis that grinds on with no end in sight.

In the view of the Washington Post, the sparring between Trump and Pelosi has now led to the effective cancellation of a decades-old tradition in which presidents aimed to unify the nation, even in times of divided government.

An annual show of unity, it says, has devolved into disunity.

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