Newspaper review: US delay on Syria strike analysed


A Guardian correspondent in the Syrian city of Aleppo says the American decision to put off military intervention has been greeted with a mixture of weary despair and anger by rebels there.

"We should have known better than to believe the Americans," is how it is summed up in the headline.

"Battered by bombs, Scud missiles and the tank shells that thump randomly into buildings most days," he writes, "Aleppo's stone heart has steadily crumbled."

According to the Sun, French president Francoise Hollande has had a dig at David Cameron for losing the Commons vote on military action, accusing him of "making a schoolboy error".

He says Mr Cameron overestimated his strength and has been weakened by the result - a result which, he says, is not good for Britain.

Poppy plan

There is considerable follow-up to the row between UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik and the government over what ministers call the "spare room subsidy" and critics call the "bedroom tax".

The Daily Mail says Tories are "furious" over Ms Rolnik's criticisms, and want UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to apologise for allowing someone they regard as a "loopy Brazilian leftie" to attack the government's welfare changes.

However, according to the Daily Mirror, the hysterical over-reaction shows how much the government has been stung by the criticism.

Instead of moaning to the UN about Ms Rolnik, it says, Tory chairman Grant Shapps should be apologising to the nation.

The Daily Telegraph says a Royal British Legion project to mark the centenary of World War I, which was turned down for lottery funding, has been saved thanks to the intervention of DIY retailer B&Q.

The plan is to plant millions of poppies. The paper contrasts the rejection with other grants awarded, which it feels are less deserving, and has a profile of Dame Jenny Abramsky, the former BBC executive who chairs the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Growth sector

According to the Guardian, a record number of people are working in estate agents - and the sector was the fastest growing segment of the national workforce in the three months ending in June.

The paper says the data, from the Office for National Statistics, adds to fears that the country is heading for a housing price bubble.

"Britain has becomes a nation of estate agents" says a headline in the Times.

At the same time, the Daily Mirror says the figures show that the number of people employed by the state fell by what it calls "a hefty 34,000". Some 21,000 of those, it says, worked in the NHS.

Running habits

Do not waste money on expensive trainers for your children, says the Times. An expert has claimed that cheap, old-fashioned plimsolls are just as good.

Mick Wilkinson, from Northumbria University, says pricey trainers with cushioned soles could even teach children bad running habits.

"The human form is structured to be able to cope with the forces of running," he says.

For some reason the story is illustrated with a picture of Julia Plecher, from Germany, who has just made it into the Guinness Book of Records for running the world's fastest 100 metres in high heels, covering the distance in 14.531 seconds.

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