Newspaper review: Fresh Snowden revelations


After days of dominating the news, the Syrian crisis has dropped from the front pages.

Among a mixed bag of stories, the Guardian carries further revelations from American fugitive Edward Snowden.

It says leaked documents from American and UK security agencies supplied by the ex-contractor show that US and British intelligence have successfully cracked much of the encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their online transactions and emails.

According to the Times, Prime Minister David Cameron has made restricting European migrants' access to social security a key demand in his negotiations with the EU before a referendum on Britain's membership.

"His unlikely ally in this may be [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel," says the paper in an editorial.

The Daily Mail, which has long campaigned on the issue of greater transparency in family courts, leads with a call by one of Britain's most senior judges for the proceedings to be more open to public view.

'Blackboard militants'

The Independent says Labour's manifesto for the 2015 general election will pledge to "take the big money out of politics".

Ed Miliband is considering introducing legislation - without the agreement of the other parties - which would limit individual donations to £5,000 and hand the parties more taxpayers' money instead, the paper reports.

The strike announcement by the teaching unions has raised the ire of the Telegraph and Express, both of which criticise the move.

They are "blackboard militants", says the Telegraph.

The Telegraph has stern words too for the Crown Prosecution Service over its decision not to prosecute two doctors who are alleged to have offered gender-specific abortions, as it would "not be in the public interest".

"It is hard not to conclude," the paper says, "that there is a reluctance to confront either the abuse of the abortion laws or the ethnic dimension to gender-specific terminations."

Back over at the Guardian, it is claimed ministers have been forced into a U-turn over new anti-lobbying laws.

Lib Dem sources have reportedly said the government will back down over elements of the Lobbying Bill.

Over on the front page of the Financial Times, the paper reports that investors are so confident at the direction of the economy they now expect the first rise in interest rates to come almost two years earlier than forecast.

Germ trawl

A number of papers carry the story of a railway worker apparently suspended after saving the life of a pensioner in a wheelchair who fell on to the tracks minutes before a train was due.

The Daily Mail reports a fellow worker saying Alan Chittock saved the lady's life, but was suspended because staff are not supposed to go on the track.

The Sun decsribes the rail company's decision as "plain loco", while the Daily Mirror argues the UK "would be a better country if more people were as heroic as Alan Chittock".

Another tale reaching lots of the papers is the shock results of tests carried out by microbiologists who went looking for germs around the home.

All have a similar, but slightly varied, take. The Daily Express says there are "more germs on an average family sofa than a loo seat".

The headline in the Daily Mirror: "Games controllers five times ditier than your loo seat".

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