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At St Anthony’s Church in Colombo on Sunday, the worshippers closed their eyes in prayer – and then, says the Times, the carnage began.
The Financial Times calls it the most lethal violence in the country since the end of its long civil war in 2009.
For the Guardian, the attacks were a shocking and heartbreaking blow to the hopes of an island still striving for a lasting peace.
In short, concludes the Daily Telegraph, an era of peace has been shattered by a new menace.
Many of the papers have the same photograph of a British woman and her two children who are feared dead after an explosion at a hotel. Anita Nicholson’s husband, Ben, is reported to have survived.
The Sun features the account of a British doctor – who was on holiday with his family at another of the hotels that were targeted. He describes how they were woken by the blast and how the subsequent scenes left his wife and children traumatised.
In the Sri Lankan press, the FT talks of extremism engulfing the country. As a result, it reports, schools will be closed on Monday and on Tuesday all police leave has been cancelled and a curfew imposed.
The Daily Mirror says sources believe the suspects were part of a radical Islamist group.
Writing in the Sri Lanka Guardian, an expert in south Asian studies suggests the attacks were the work of Muslim extremists.
Here, the Daily Mail believes they had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, with suicide bombings targeting civilians.
The Daily Telegraph expresses concern about comments by the fertility regulator, Sally Cheshire, who believes some IVF clinics are offering older women false hope.
In an interview with the paper, she says some parts of the sector are using “blatant” sales tactics to exploit a vulnerable market.
The Telegraph argues that new guidance is needed – and if that does not work, then the government will have to step in.
Reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could in future spend part of the year in Africa prompt much comment.
Writing in the Mail, Robert Hardman says the couple would be following a great family tradition. He recalls how – as Princess Elizabeth – the Queen made her first foreign visit to Africa.
The Mirror thinks that with the couple having so much potential, finding them a suitable role will not be easy.
But the Sun reports that there are concerns within the royal household about the cost of the move. It suggests the security bill would top £1m a year.
The Times highlights new research which found a simple and cunning way to encourage teenagers to give up junk food and eat healthily.
Researchers in Texas say a group of 13-years-olds were given an account of the business practices of big food companies that spend billions on advertising to persuade people to eat sugary, fatty treats.
The idea was to prey on the natural rebelliousness of teenagers – and sure enough, says the paper, over the next three months they tended to opt for healthier food.
Nine centuries of history have been lost in an “unholy inferno” at Notre Dame, according to the front page of the Daily Mail, which shows orange flames at the top of one of the building’s spires.
The flexible Brexit extension until Halloween given to the UK by EU leaders prompts a spirited response from Europe’s papers.
But it’s what the wrangling in Brussels means for EU unity ahead of European Parliament elections next month that preoccupies many in the media.
For France’s Le Monde, it’s a “Halloween Brexit… due on 31 October, the Anglo-Saxon holiday of pumpkins and witches”.
It says President Emmanuel Macron backed Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a short delay until 30 June but “was forced to compromise”. The leaders finally split the difference with a typically European compromise: “they cut the pumpkin in half“.
France’s Libération believes the extension came at the cost of breaking the united front of EU leaders.
“This increasingly incomprehensible waltz of dates shows that the UK has succeeded in exporting its byzantine internal battles to Brussels. For this summit broke to pieces the nice, united European front which held together, for better or for worse, for three years.”
Libération says the 27 EU leaders have raised the risk of “allowing the British to weigh in on the choice of the future presidents of the EU Commission, Parliament, European Council and the European Central Bank, as well as on discussions regarding the 2020 budget and financial prospects for 2021-2027”.
“Which is to say, they are giving London a capacity for nuisance which it could not have dared dream of.”
Germany’s Die Welt agrees the effect of Brexit is that “the alliance of the 27 member states is crumbling”.
“The diverging ‘Brexit philosophy’ in Paris and Berlin is obvious. With his hard line towards London, Macron wants to scare populists in his own country about similar anti-EU plans. Berlin, on the other hand, sees long-term damage in a lacking willingness to compromise, which could truly bring the populists onto the scene.”
In the Netherlands, Algemeen Dagblad says Europe is in a very difficult position. “Everybody agrees that a no-deal Brexit is undesirable for all parties… The EU, facing the prospect of European parliamentary elections in May, does not want to be perceived as the bad guy dropping the UK into misery.”
Other papers take a very tough tone towards Britain.
Barcelona-based La Vanguardia says: “The extension discussed through an intense debate at an informal summit in Brussels is the second one and should be final. The British decided to leave the EU by their own volition,” in a post-summit editorial headlined “Brexit and the patience of the EU“.
In Italy, there’s recognition of the EU’s tough choices. For Il Sole 24 Ore, “the 27 want to rule out a dramatic, hard Brexit, but they also want to avoid Britain’s permanence in the Union, one foot in and the other out, impacting on European affairs”.
An alternative take that cannot be allowed to slip through the net comes from Patrick Smyth in the Irish Times who warns of the very real threat of a no-eel Brexit.
He’s talking about the transhipment of live species – in this case eels from Lough Erne in Northern Ireland – to the Republic, and the broader point of importing animal-based food products into the EU.
“It is true that the fate of the eels can be said to be small beer compared with the impact on the Irish economy of a no-deal Brexit. But it is an illustration of the breadth of the potential impact.”
While the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit may have receded, he says, “we may well be back all too shortly facing up for real to a dreadful prospect in which, among other issues of greater import, the fate of eels and ham sandwiches will again be on the order of the day.”
The Herald leads with rival Labour and SNP politicians working together in a bid to clean up a “century-old toxic disaster” on the River Clyde. The paper says tens of millions of pounds are needed to decontaminate dumps of cancer-causing chemicals in and around Glasgow.
By BBC Newslight
The Daily Telegraph leads on comments by Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a schoolgirl four years ago to join the Islamic State group in Syria, that she should be allowed to return after she gave birth to a boy over the weekend. She has named him Jarah, after one of her two previous babies who died.
The retail tycoon, Sir Philip Green, remains under the spotlight, with a second day of allegations about his treatment of some senior executives.
The Sun on Sunday predicts that more claims are in the pipeline and none of them are covered by the controversial gagging orders known as non-disclosure agreements.
Sir Philip has denied doing anything that was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Women and Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt says the government will launch a consultation about the use of non-disclosure agreements so that workers cannot be intimidated into silence.
In its editorial the Telegraph welcomes her approach , saying Sir Philip’s case shows the urgent need for reform of their use.
Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday devotes a total of thirteen pages to the serialisation of a new book, which the paper believes shows Jeremy Corbyn is unfit for office .
It says author Tom Bower has spent eighteen months creating an in-depth profile of the Labour leader, including what it describes as shocking details about the anti-Semitism of his supporters and what his critics say is hisduplicity over Brexit .
The paper also publishes parts of a “sensational letter” which the Duchess of Sussex allegedly sent to her father, Thomas Markle.
In the extracts published by the paper, the duchess accuses her father of breaking her heart “into a million pieces” by speaking to the press.
According to the MoS, Mr Markle says he planned to keep the letter “totally private out of respect for her” but changed his mind after her friends allegedly gave an anonymous interview “attacking him” to a US magazine last week.
The Observer wonders, at a time of Brexit splits, claims of anti-Semitism and rows about Venezuela, whether Mr Corbyn can hold his increasingly divided party together.
It reports that – according to very senior figures – there is concern at the highest level about rising levels of discontent and talks of breakaways.
The Sunday Times feels that, try as he might, Mr Corbyn cannot escape the charge that the party has become a hotbed of anti-Semitism. It also thinks he is struggling because he cannot reconcile his own Euroscepticism with the views of Labour supporters – most of whom back a second referendum.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to surrender his driving licence after being involved in a crash last month is seen by the Telegraph as a marked change of heart , after he took delivery of a replacement Land Rover two days later.
The Mail on Sunday reports that he could still face criminal charges after police handed over a file about the crash to the Crown Prosecution Service.
But the Sunday Times believes the Duke’s announcement means he is likely to escape being charged and prosecuted for careless driving .
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells the Sun on Sunday that he is setting up a team of NHS senior doctors and nurses to work with social media companies to oversee the removal of images of self-harm to make their sites a safe place for children.
The Sunday Times highlights concerns that the failure to enforce adult age limits on dating apps is placing a generation of children at riskof grooming and sexual exploitation.
There is much speculation about the Brexit negotiations. The Sun on Sunday reports thatTheresa May has set her sights on clinching an agreement just 72 hours before Britain is due to leave , raising the prospect of MPs having to vote for a final deal or crashing out.
The Sunday Times suggests Labour is seeking to seize control of the talks by forcing Mrs May to put her deal to a second decisive vote before the end of the month.
In an interview with the paper , Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer says Labour will try to stop a no-deal Brexit with an amendment that will compel her to hold another meaningful vote before 26 February.
The Mail on Sunday claims six cabinet ministers have met to try to find “common ground” between warring cabinet groups – with more talks planned for Monday.
The Observer says Theresa May is facing cross-party calls to sack the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling after the collapse of the contract to a ferry company that had no ships.
It reports that senior Tories have accused her of turning a blind eye to Mr Grayling’s decision to award a deal to Seaborne Freight, despite widespread derision. The governmen scrapped the contract on Saturday.
For the Sunday Mirror, Mr Grayling’s “legacy of failure is unprecedented in modern politics” and he should resign.
In the United States, there are many reviews of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech, confirming that she has entered the contest for the Democratic nomination in next year’s presidential election.
The New York Times thinks she is seeking to establish herself as a champion of liberal policy, while the Boston Globe believes she’s attempting to present a unifying and inclusive message, with a focus on inequality .
The Washington Post says she is positioning herself as the leader of a renewed crusadeagainst what she calls the “corrupt” influence of large companies and powerful politicians.
Finally, the Sunday Times highlights new research which suggests that men’s ears really do grow with age . Scientists have even calculated the mathematical formula describing the process.
It seems women’s ears grow less noticeably – except for those who wear heavy earrings.
The Daily Mail leads with news of a “crackdown” on cold callers. The paper says dozens of firms who moved to Scotland to escape tough regulations will now be subject to the same strict rules as the rest of the UK.
Brexit: MPs discuss backstop ‘alternatives’
If not the backstop, then what? Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is beginning three days of discussions with MPs and government officials, after the Commons voted last week to find another way of avoiding a hard Irish border after the UK leaves the EU.
The backstop is described as an “insurance policy” – designed to avoid a hard border “under all circumstances”. And it’s proved the single biggest sticking point in getting MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit agreement with the EU.
According to Downing Street, Mr Barclay’s Alternative Arrangements Working Group, including Conservative Leave and former Remain MPs, meets amid “significant support” for the so-called “Malthouse Compromise”. This includes extending the transition period for a year until the end of 2021 and protecting EU citizens’ rights, instead of using the backstop.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid says “existing technology” can be used to ensure there’s no hard Irish border, but Irish PM Leo Varadkar says it’s “very frustrating” that the UK government is referring to this idea. BBC Reality Check looks at what might happen.
Matters are undoubtedly complex, so here’s our simple guide to Brexit.
Emiliano Sala plane wreckage found
Accident investigators will later inspect the wreckage of the plane
carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala. The Piper Malibu N264DB, lost on 21 January, was found off Guernsey on Sunday. The 28-year-old Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, were the only people on board. “I cannot believe it,” Mr Sala’s father told Argentinian broadcaster Cronica TV. “This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”
Hermes to offer pay benefits to couriers
Parcel delivery firm Hermes has agreed to offer couriers paid holiday and guaranteed wage rates under what it calls a “self-employed plus” status. It has reached a deal with the GMB union, allowing workers to opt in to receive up to 28 days’ paid leave and choose pay rates of “at least” £8.50 an hour. In return, Hermes couriers will have to follow routes set out by the firm, to ensure they are working efficiently.
Written by Emmanuel justice, BBC Stories
As she sat in the dock, waiting for the judge to send her to prison, Lilly Lewis found to her surprise that she couldn’t stop laughing. She didn’t understand why. It wasn’t nerves, exactly, and there wasn’t anything remotely funny about her situation. Lilly’s lawyer had warned she was looking at an eight-year sentence.
But somehow the entire court case had seemed unreal to her, like a huge, elaborate joke.
The Guardian reports that a life-extending drug for patients with cystic fibrosis has been priced by manufacturers at more than £100,000 per patient per year. The i speaks to campaigners who say this means some children are being denied the treatment. Meanwhile, the Times leads on Nissan’s decision not to build one of its new cars at its Sunderland plant, saying ministers could withdraw a £60m support package for the Japanese car manufacturer. And the Daily Telegraph quotes Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss saying that women should be less “squeamish” about making money.
The papers look ahead to the votes in the Commons, on a series of amendments to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
The Sun’s front page headline is: “Don’t let Labour kill Brexit”.
There is no story – just an editorial which urges MPs to reject the amendment put forward by the Labour MP Yvette Cooper. It would delay the UK’s departure if no plan was agreed by the end of February.
The Sun believes the measure could be a “mortal blow” for Brexit. Ms Cooper has insisted the amendment seeks only to postpone leaving, but the paper fears that any delay could become permanent.
The Daily Mail is highly critical of a different faction , the European Research Group of Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs.
The paper is horrified by the ERG’s warning that it will defy the Tory whip, and not support the amendment which seeks changes on the Irish border issue.
The Mail sees that proposal as “eminently sensible”, because it could pave the way for a Brexit deal. And it describes those Brexiteers who fail to accept that as “reckless zealots”.
There is a section in the Times that seeks to weigh up how significant a day this is in the Brexit process. By the end of the voting, it says, “we will certainly have a better idea of what MPs don’t agree on – and perhaps a better idea of what they do agree on”.
The Financial Times says European leaders are “bracing themselves” for a request from Mrs May to extend the 29 March Brexit deadline.
It believes that the “precise response is far from certain”.
The EU, explains the paper, would have to decide how long such an extension lasted – and what conditions would be imposed on the UK.
The lead in the Daily Telegraph follows up the announcement that Sir Philip Green has ended his legal claim against the paper, which reported allegations of sexual and racial harassment against him.
The businessman has always denied wrongdoing – and has warned that any former employee who breaks an agreement not to discuss allegations against him could face legal action.
The Telegraph says there are calls for Sir Philip to remove that threat.
The Times says household staff spend several hours per week deleting what are described as “vicious comments”.
It reveals that the palace has appealed to Instagram to help deal with the problem.
The paper’s leader column argues that technology companies need to be more aggressive in closing the accounts of abusive people.
It is shocked by new research from the media regulator, Ofcom, that shows many children spend on average around three hours a day online.
Particularly disturbing, says the paper, is a tendency among youngsters to watch people online pursuing hobbies and interacting with friends, instead of doing those things themselves.
The paper’s cartoonist, Pugh, depicts a father who has disguised a window frame as a tablet computer, with his son who is looking through it.
The caption is: “I’ve tricked him into thinking the garden’s a YouTube video”.
It has been set up in Wiltshire after a company was granted permission to cultivate the plants for medicinal purposes.
The paper says the location of the seven-and-a-half acre greenhouse is not being disclosed, because of security concerns.
American scientists have created super-thin, flexible materials that can generate power from the electro-magnetic waves in the air.
The paper says it raises the possibility that you could soon be plugging your phone into the tablecloth.
Theresa May’s warning about another Brexit referendum features on a number of front pages, including the Daily Express , which has the headline: “Don’t Dare Steal Our Brexit.”
It says the prime minister will try to reassure “furious” MPs that she won’t sanction a second referendum, “after senior Tories accused her allies of plotting to betray voters”.
The Metro suggests there is a “battle in the Number 10 bunker” over another vote, following claims that Mrs May’s advisers have held talks about the prospect “behind her back”.
According to the paper, her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, and her de facto deputy, David Lidington, “both yesterday denied they were seeking a second public vote – but did not deny that discussions had taken place”.
The Times says Mrs May’s cabinet allies have publicly urged her to put Brexit in the hands of Parliament and allow MPs a series of votes on options to break the deadlock.
That demand appears to be backed by the i,which has the headline: “At last, a plan to end the UK’s Brexit impasse.”
The Financial Times says that while some senior cabinet ministers believe a second referendum may be the only way to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal, “they also all want other options to be tested first”.
According to the Daily Telegraph , Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has denied reports he told cabinet ministers Mrs May must be “removed” from office after Brexit, so others can take over and renegotiate her deal.
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told the Telegraph that a second vote would provoke “instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal”.
Writing in the paper , he says it is “sickening to discover” that senior figures in government are actively canvassing the idea – and he warns that ministers would be “out of their minds” to sanction another ballot.
The public, he says, would be “utterly infuriated” by being asked to vote again, simply because they had failed to give the right answer last time.
Several papers use their leader columns to support Mrs May’s position.
The Daily Mail claims a second vote would be “utter folly”, while the Sun insists the prime minister is “absolutely right” to slap-down what it calls “the arch-Remainers”.
For the Times , Mrs May must seize the initiative, if she is to avoid another calamitous week.
It argues a second referendum is “the least bad option”, but says that if Mrs May will not take that step, “she should allow MPs to vote on her deal as soon as possible, before Parliament breaks for Christmas”.
Only then, it says, “can the process of finding a way to break the deadlock begin”. letter – calling on the BBC to make global warming its top editorial priority – is published inthe Guardian .
It’s been written by the campaign group, Extinction Rebellion, which was responsible for organising civil disobedience protests, which blocked several bridges in London last month.
The activists say they want to meet BBC director general Tony Hall to discuss how the corporation can report “the full truth”.
They say the BBC should adopt a climate emergency strategic plan with the same urgency as was placed on informing the public about World War Two.
The health service wants to double the number of volunteers it uses over the next three years, according to the front page of the Mail .
It reports that the ambition is set out in NHS England’s Long Term Plan – due to be published in the new year – and would bring the total number of volunteer carers to more than 150,000.
The Mail says the document highlights how volunteering can benefit both patients and the volunteers themselves, as older people stay physically active and connected to their communities, while younger people develop skills and experience for work and education.
A number of papers predict a bright future for Stacey Dooley, after the documentary maker won the final of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday.
“At a time when young female faces from working class backgrounds are at a premium in television,” says the Guardian , “the broadcasting world is at the feet of a woman who was originally plucked from her job at Luton airport’s duty-free makeup section”.
The Telegraph is less generous, and suggests that votes for the journalist’s dancing partner, Kevin Clifton, may have swung the result in her favour.
As the only British professional dancer in the final, it says, “quiet patriotism could also have been a factor in this Brexit era”.
Dire warnings about travel problems over the holiday period are featured by a number of papers.
According to the Sun , Britain faces “Christmas chaos – with 229 miles of roadworks and 330 railway projects blighting journeys home”.
Experts have told the Daily Mirror that 20 million leisure journeys will be made in the run-up to Christmas, with Thursday expected to see the biggest increase in cars on the road.
The Times says the RAC has warned drivers on the busiest motorways to expect delays of up to three hours.