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The papers: Syria attack focus for front pages

April 8, 2018
Times front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Syria leads many papers – with pictures of injured children being treated on the front pages. The Times focuses on Donald Trump’s warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran of a “big price to pay”.
Daily Express front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Daily Express carries the headline “Sick” – a reference to Donald Trump’s description of the attack in a tweet. It also highlights the accounts of “desperate” paramedics who treated people in the town of Douma.
Metro front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The US presidents’s comments also are the focus for Metro, which notes he threatened retribution as footage from the scene emerged. Medical sources say dozens of people were killed but both Syria and Russia deny a chemical attack took place.
Daily Telegraph front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Daily Telegraph focuses on Donald Trump’s warning to Russia’s President Putin over its support for Syrian President Assad. It was his harshest criticism of the Russian leader since taking office, says the paper.
Daily Mirror front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Daily Mirror reports that while Donald Trump criticised Moscow, officials in Russia say President Putin would probably retaliate if the US acted against it.
Financial Times front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Financial Times notes the US criticism comes as relations between Washington and Moscow are fraught following its imposition of sanctions against prominent Russians. The FT also finds room to carry a photograph of the musical Hamilton, following its Olivier Awards success.
Sun front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Sun highlights Boris Johnson’s “fury” over the Syria attack. Its lead story says singer Olly Murs has hit back at people who mocked him for tweeting about the panic inside a London department store during a terror attack scare.
Daily Mail front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Daily Mail says ministers are being urged to rethink funding cuts said to be crippling the Open University. Tory peer Lord Willetts, the former universities minister, is among those to suggest some level of public funding should return for mature students, it reports.
Guardian front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Guardian reports leaked Home Office documents cast doubts on claims by the home secretary that cuts to police were not to blame for rising violence. It says research suggests cuts “may have encouraged” violent offenders and be a contributory factor in the upsurge.
i front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The i leads on Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s crackdown on youth crime. Ministers are to unveil a new strategy to tackle serious violence, including new laws on weapons.
Daily Star front page - 09/04/18
Image caption The Daily Star leads on Peter Kay’s appearance during a charity screening in Blackpool – the first time the comedian has been on stage since cancelling all future work projects for family reasons.

Donald Trump’s condemnation of Syria and its allies over the suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma is featured on a number of front pages.

The Daily Telegraph says the remarks contained “his harshest criticism of the Russian leader since taking office” – and broke a reluctance to criticise Vladimir Putin directly.

Image copyrightReuters

The Times leader column insists Russia “cannot be allowed to block investigations into yet another breach of the chemical weapons convention” as “Syria’s shame is Moscow’s too”.

The Daily Express agrees, accusing the Kremlin of propping up the Syrian regime “with terrible wickedness”.

For the Daily Telegraph, Russia is following its usual template. “It first says there has been no attack, then rejects any involvement if there has been, and finally blames the rebels for killing their own people”.

Other papers cast their net wider than Moscow.

According to the Sun, “the West is not innocent” as a combination of “ignorance, cowardice and political calculation” meant everyone “turned a blinding eye” to the unfolding horror in Syria.

The Guardian criticises the repeated flip-flopping of US policy on Syria, arguing it has gone from “indecisive” under Barack Obama to “downright chaotic” under Donald Trump.

For the Mirror, “dropping more bombs is not the answer”. Painstaking diplomacy, it says, “is more likely to produce a negotiated settlement”.

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The Guardian’s lead is on leaked Home Office documents which suggest police cuts “likely contributed” to a rise in violent crime.

It says the leaks “place a question mark” over the claim by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, that police cuts were not to blame and argues the row over funding “threatens to overshadow” the government’s new strategy to tackle the increase.

Image copyrightPA

The former Conservative police minister Mike Penning has told the Daily Express police officers to be need to be more confident in using targeted stop-and-search powers.

‘Spend wisely’

The Daily Mirror uses its leader column to criticise what it describes as the Conservatives’ “dismal” record on law and order.

They can pretend the increase in fatal stabbings and fall in police numbers are not connected, it says, “but members of the public at the sharp end of crime will beg to differ”.

The Sun accepts the police might have a case for more cash but argues “they need to spend their existing funds more wisely first”. Its editorial calls on the home secretary to “demand top cops get their priorities straight”.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail says senior Conservatives have called on the government to rethink “crippling” funding cuts to the Open University, after the number of students enrolling on its courses fell by more than a quarter in five years.

The Mail’s leader column hails the Open University as a “powerful engine of social mobility” and argues the current review of higher education funding “must make it a special case”.

Change in culture

The Times claims the NHS is spending £40m a year on a “useless” injection for back pain, “despite doctors being told to stop using it”.

Image copyrightGetty Images

According to the paper’s leader column, “there has to be a change in culture”, after the use of such injections increased over the past five years.

It urges doctors to make a determined effort to save money that could instead be used for long-term prevention, advice and psychological therapies.

Photographs of Maureen Lipman appear in several papers, after she took part in a demonstration against Jeremy Corbyn, organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The Daily Mail reports the actress said she identified with a placard at the rally that read “Corbyn made me a Tory” while the Times says she described the Labour leader as “pretty malign”.

Kay delights fans

A study which says the size of living rooms in new homes in Britain has fallen by a third since the 1970s is featured by the Guardian.

The Guardian thinks the figures will add to the dismay over “rabbit hutch Britain” but says developers argue that micro-homes “offer a solution to the urban housing crisis”.

Finally, the first public appearance by Peter Kay since he cancelled a tour for family reasons has excited a number of papers.

Image copyright@NeilHailwood

According to the Daily Telegraph, the comedian looked “tanned and trim” at a charity screening of his Car Share show on Saturday night.

The Daily Express says the stand-up was “full of energy” as he “bounded on stage” in Blackpool.