Newspaper review: US-Russia chill considered


The Daily Telegraph says the chill in relations between the US and Russia has grown frostier with President Vladimir Putin's foreign minister telling White House staff to start behaving like "grown-ups".

The paper says Sergei Lavrov "chided" the US administration two days after President Barack Obama scrapped a summit with Mr Putin, when Russia granted asylum to US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden.

According to the Independent, relations between Russia and America are "frosty but not frozen" and the tensions will pass - eventually.

The paper says the Cold War "ended almost 22 years ago, and the Soviet Union lost".

Mr Putin needed to accept that, it said.

The paper says that, economically, Russia is a "mid-sized power" - no higher than eighth in the world - and that its worldwide reputation is low.

The fashionable jibe these days is to call Russia "Nigeria with snow", the paper says, a reference to "its corruption, its scant regard for the rule of law and its dependence on raw materials, above all oil and gas".

The Times says the Zimbabwean government has signed a secret deal to sell uranium to Iran - to help develop nuclear weapons - in direct contravention of international sanctions.

The paper says the move by Harare and Tehran is expected to provoke international outrage, with Washington warning of "serious ramifications" if the deal goes ahead.

The Times says the timing is particularly unfortunate as it could damage attempts to advance relations between the West and both regimes at a time when they appear to be improving.

Euro babies

The Daily Mail claims that all babies born in Britain could soon have the EU flag stamped on their birth certificate.

According to the Telegraph, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles fears regulations from Brussels mean British people will be labelled as EU citizens "from cradle to grave".

The paper says the government claims it will be powerless to prevent the forms being introduced because they are being brought in under the Lisbon Treaty.

The Telegraph also says British caravan owners face substantial bills because of EU proposals to introduce MOT-style checks on any caravan more than four years old.

The paper says the idea is to standardise caravan safety across the whole of the EU.

But Caravan Club members tell the paper the measures would do little to improve safety and would cost more than £200m to implement.

Good dinner

The life and times of John Gadd are retold in the Times.

The paper says Mr Gadd - a retired pig-rearing consultant from Dorset - will this weekend display 10 volumes of his life history at the Fontmell Magna Village Archive Society.

The paper says the 83-year-old's 21,000 pages of diaries rival the total output of Charles Dickens.

In the diaries, Mr Gadd reveals that the day John Lennon was shot in 1980, he "enjoyed a very good dinner of veal cordon bleu and got lost driving home from Luton".

Nine years later, on the day the Berlin Wall came down, Mr Gadd "went for a feed" at the King John pub so his wife did not have to cook.

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