Paper review: Bomb packages and knife crime ‘crisis’

Image caption The Metro is one of several papers to lead on the discovery of three packages containing explosives at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station. The paper says one briefly caught light when opened and officers have warned the public to be on alert in case more have been posted elsewhere.
Image caption Irish police are helping with the investigation as the packages appear to have been sent from Dublin, the i reports. The paper says a counter-terror inquiry has been launched, with officers confirming that the three incidents were linked.
Image caption The Telegraph also focuses on the Irish link, pointing out that all three packages had Irish postmarks. Security sources have told the paper that, while it is too early to speculate who was behind the parcels, dissident republican terrorism is one line of inquiry.
Image caption The Mirror says the incidents have sparked fears of “a fresh Republican terror campaign” on Britain. The devices were found in Jiffy Bags with Irish “love” stamps, the paper reports.
Image caption After a weekend when two 17-year-olds were stabbed to death, the Times reports that pupils are being taught how to deliver first aid to knife-crime victims. The programme is being delivered in schools in areas where knife crime is common, the paper says.
Image caption Meanwhile, the Sun reports that the defence secretary is ready to send in the army to help tackle what it describes as “the knife crime crisis”. It comes as a man was arrested over the murder of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney, who was stabbed to death in a park in east London on Friday.
Image caption The Daily Mail also focuses on violent crime for its front page. Its lead story reports that an 18-year-old caught with cocaine and a knife has avoided jail and instead been given a suspended sentence. The case will fuel concerns about “soft justice” for knife offenders, the paper says. Boris Johnson has also written in the paper calling for more stop and search following the death of Jodie Chesner.
Image caption The Express carries a warning that criminal gangs are “flooding” the UK with “dangerous rogue medicines”. Unlicensed pills which are being sold over the internet include painkillers, tranquilisers and slimming aids and experts say they are putting lives at risk, the paper reports.
Image caption The Guardian’s front page covers a report warning that the Home Office is making life-changing decisions based on incorrect data and remains complacent, despite the Windrush scandal. The report by the public accounts committee says there were failures to monitor the impact of policies on vulnerable people.
Image caption A top civil servant has warned that Northern Ireland faces “grave” consequences from a no-deal Brexit, including a jump in unemployment, food shortages and a risk of social unrest, the Financial Times reports. The warning from David Sterling, head of the Northern Ireland civil service, came in a letter to the region’s political parties, which has been seen by the paper.
Image caption The Daily Star leads on what it describes as a “snub” for TV duo Ant and Dec at the Royal Television Society annual awards night. The paper says it is the first time since 2010 that the pair have not been nominated for the awards.

The Daily Telegraph suggests that the home secretary and the prime minister are at loggerheads about knife crime.

It reports that they had a “testy exchange” on Tuesday – when Sajid Javid asked Theresa May for emergency funding to deal with the problem.

The paper has an article written by Mr Javid, in which he says he’s doing everything in his power to ensure that the “strongest possible response” is in place.

This includes bolstering police powers and increasing funding for forces.

Image caption Yousef Makki and Jodie Chesney, both 17, were killed in separate knife attacks two days apart

The Times has a letter from the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Blair. He argues that the government could learn from the way in which Tony Blair responded to the surge in street crime in 2002 when he was prime minister.

The letter states that Mr Blair immediately acknowledged the scale of the crisis – and “personally chaired a series of meetings by Cobra, the cross-departmental crisis committee”.

Macron letter

Under the headline “merci, Macron”, the Sun’s leader thanks the French president for writing to people across Europe, proposing a series of reforms to protect the EU.

The Sun describes the letter as “magnificently self-important”.

It suggests that by saying Brussels should have more control, Mr Macron has inadvertently boosted the Brexit cause.

“A few leavers might have been wobbling – no longer,” it concludes.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Emmanuel Macron has published an open letter to Europe in newspapers across the continent

Writing on the Huffpost UK website, Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick says that even though he voted remain in the Brexit referendum in 2016, he is now inclined to back Theresa May’s deal in the Commons.

He urges his colleagues on the Labour benches to do the same.

Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse, in London, says Mrs May’s reassurances on the issue of workers’ rights, and her promise of extra funding for towns that are struggling economically, have helped to make up his mind.

Cashless society

The Daily Mail is worried that Britain’s entire cash-handling system is “on the verge of collapse”.

It has details of a report commissioned by the cash machine network Link, which warns that the infrastructure for handling money is becoming too expensive to run.

The UK, it suggests, is at risk of “sleepwalking” into a cashless society within 15 years.

The paper believes that will be a “daunting spectre” for many people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

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The Financial Times says that plans by the Scottish National Party to continue using the pound in the event of independence from the rest of the UK are proving controversial.

Some in the party believe the move would be necessary until a new currency could be established.

But George Kerevan, an economist and former SNP MP, tells the paper there is “a lot of suspicion” about the idea.

Two-inch handbag

Finally, The Guardian reports that the fashion world has been left “in a spin” by an item that was paraded on the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week.

The Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito handbag is only two inches long – which has prompted many to wonder what could be carried inside it.

The more surreal suggestions include a spare acrylic nail or a lock of Jude Law’s hair.

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