Newspaper review: Focus on massacre gunman's mother


Many papers focus on one of the central figures from the US school massacre - the mother of the gunman.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Nancy Lanza was a "prepper" - a gun-proud survivalist who was preparing for social and economic collapse by hoarding supplies and training with weapons.

The paper notes that she had spoken of having trouble reaching her son.

The Daily Mail says her paranoia may have played a major part in her son's catastrophic mental breakdown.

It was she who taught him and his older brother to shoot.

The Times says she often took them to shooting ranges to practise - and notes there are 30 in the area.

The Sun writes of Nancy Lanza arming herself with a collection of weapons after a bitter divorce which left her frightened for her safety - and how the break-up left Adam badly scarred.

The Daily Mirror says she had turned their home into a fortress.

Policy moves

Attention is also turning to what the political response might be.

The Financial Times believes that if what it calls the "unimaginably distressing classroom slaughter" does not jolt Washington to act, nothing will.

The Times writes of the dangers of making policy in the emotional heat of a terrible moment.

Yet it believes it's time to act - and it detects a feeling that change is desirable and possible.

The Independent agrees that with passions running high and a strong impetus from the president, some reform of US firearm laws might be possible.

Coalition schism

The Daily Telegraph reports on another policy schism opening up at the top of the coalition.

It says Nick Clegg is to "pile pressure" on David Cameron to abandon his promise to protect universal benefits for the over-65s.

The paper says the deputy prime minister believes wealthy pensioners don't need state help.

In the Guardian a former advisor to Mr Clegg says the Lib Dem leader is to adopt a high-risk strategy of highlighting differences between the coalition partners to try to win back supporters.

But Richard Reeves says failure could see the coalition collapse.

The Financial Times reports that Mr Clegg is set to claim credit for the coalition's welfare reforms.

The Daily Express leads with the claim that millions of people could see their pensions slashed by 20% because of changes in the way payouts are calculated.

It says new rules on how pensions are linked to inflation risk ruining retirement plans because incomes will be devalued.

Culture worries

A group of actors, writers and musicians has written to the Guardian to express alarm at what it sees as Newcastle City Council's short-sighted attack on the city's cultural life.

The group, including Bryan Ferry, Mark Knopfler, Pat Barker and Kevin Whatley, says proposals to cut completely the culture budget risks throwing away a shared cultural heritage.

The Independent leads with the assertion that the peer-to-peer lending boom could challenge the country's major banks.

The claim is made by the Bank of England's director of finance, Andrew Haldane.

The Daily Mail leads with an apparent setback in its campaign to restrict children's access to online pornography.

It says campaigners believe ministers are putting the profits of internet giants before child safety by vetoing an automatic block on porn sites.

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