Newspaper review: Papers angry about rail fare rises


News that regulated rail fares in England are set to rise by more than 4% on average next January is greeted with dismay in many of the papers.

The Daily Express calls it "a kick in the teeth for workers".

It is both "baffling and outrageous", the paper says, that politicians are paying lip service to the need to control the cost of living.

The Sun says "enough is enough" after 11 years of inflation-busting rises on what it calls the "gravy train".

The paper declares that, for many, train travel is a necessity not a luxury.

The Daily Telegraph argues that if fares continue to rise then passengers are entitled to expect continuing improvements, in particular less congestion and better punctuality.

The Daily Mail describes it as a "bitter blow for passenegers".

The Times says that ministers are facing a battle with Tory MPs over claims that high prices paid by commuters in the south of England effectively fund more heavily subsidised services in Wales and Scotland.

Science accident

The Guardian reports details of a long-term study into the damaging effects on the future health of babies born to obese mothers.

The study of 30,000 women who gave birth in Aberdeen between 1950 and 1976 found that the offspring of those who were overweight had a 35% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. They were also more likely to have heart problems.

The paper says the study paints an alarming picture of obesity-related disease being passed down from one generation to the next.

The Independent describes how a group of Swedish scientists found they had accidentally succeeded in creating a synthetic form of the world's most absorbent material - after inadvertently leaving their equipment running over the weekend.

A single gram of the powdered form of magnesium carbonate has a surface area of 800 sq metres thanks to countless miniscule pores, each one a million times smaller than a human hair.

Upsalite, as it is called, is likely to have multiple uses such as in air conditioning units.

The paper notes that this is not the first time that accidental discoveries have provided a eureka moment.

The first antibiotic penicillin, synthetic textile dye and the microwave oven were all stumbled upon unwittingly.

Name game

According to the Times, the royal family from the United Arab Emirates behind the big spending at Manchester City has now hit the Russian owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, where it really hurts - in the marina.

The Russian billionaire has been toppled from his three-year reign as the owner of the world's biggest yacht.

The paper says Mr Abramovich may have slipped down the pecking order but his vessel still boasts two helipads, two swimming pools, a disco and a mini-submarine.

Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that non-league Farnborough FC have a completely new set of players this season, with a team-sheet that reads Hansen, Gascoigne, Cruyff, Cafu, Maradonna, Banks, Carlos, Beckham, Beckenbauer, Messi and Lineker.

In a deal with a leading bookmaker to save the club from financial ruin all the players and staff have changed their name by deed poll.

The backroom staff are not bad either with team manager Jose Mourinho backed up by deputy coach Alex Ferguson and kitman Terry Venables.

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