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Saturday, Apr 01, 2023

Newspaper headlines: 'China security risk' and 'Couzens police failings'

Newspaper headlines: 'China security risk' and 'Couzens police failings'

Tuesday's papers focus on apparent spy balloons in the US, as well as the cost of living crisis.

A week after earthquakes devastated parts of Turkey and Syria, the Daily Telegraph leads with a rare uplifting image from the disaster, showing a man in Hatay, southern Turkey, celebrating after his mother was rescued having spent 177 hours trapped under rubble. The paper's lead story focuses on what it says is the use of "Chinese-made drones" by British police forces raising security concerns, while another story says a new Brexit deal is expected to be announced in the next few weeks after the UK "watered down" resistance to European judges ruling on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The lead image of the Guardian is also from the earthquake, but from Syria, alongside an article that says the quakes have compounded the crises facing Syria, which was already undergoing a 12-year civil war. The paper also focuses on the news that police missed opportunities to identify Wayne Couzens - a former Met police officer who killed Sarah Everard in 2021 - as a potential sex offender and danger to women before he kidnapped and killed Ms Everard.

Amid reports that the US is scrutinising its airspace more closely following the incursion of a suspected spy balloon from China earlier this month, the Daily Mail quotes Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as saying the country's armed forces are ready to "shoot down Chinese spy balloons". The paper also says the prime minister is under growing pressure from within his party to "take a harder line on China".

The front page of the Times also includes a story about fighter jets being ready to shoot down "Chinese spy balloons", although the paper's main story says water companies have "privately lobbied to weaken" the government's plans to reduce sewage spills from storm overflows. The companies reportedly said the plan risked adding hundreds of pounds to household bills. The paper's front page also includes an image of the Queen Consort , who had to cancel engagements this week after testing positive for Covid.

The Daily Star's take on developments in the US - where authorities have shot down three unidentified objects in recent days - is that "we can't rule out aliens". It includes an image of perhaps the world's best-known extra-terrestrial, ET, apparently reaching out to his family, and says the UK government is keeping quiet on the "invasion".

Domestic politics dominate the front page of the Daily Express, which says that millions of people are facing the "biggest council tax rises ever" in a further blow to those already hit by higher bills. The paper says that three out of four councils will put up the annual levy by the maximum amount of 5% in April.

The Sun also focuses its attention on the cost-of-living crisis, running what it says is an exclusive, saying that, as people in the UK struggle with rising prices, an energy firm has flown "100 reps to a paradise island" on an all-expenses paid trip.

The UK's defence spending is the main story on the front page of The I, which says Conservatives are pushing Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to increase the country's defence budget amid growing concerns in the US about "unidentified objects" from China. The paper also claims Russian President Vladimir Putin will feel "emboldened" if the UK doesn't boost its defence spending.

The Metro leads on tributes paid to 16-year-old Brianna Ghey, who was stabbed to death in a park in Cheshire on Saturday. The paper quotes family members describing her as "strong, fearless and one of a kind" and saying she was a "larger-than-life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her".

Kenneth Noye - who stabbed Stephen Cameron to death in an attack on an M25 interchange in 1996 - leads the front page of the Daily Mirror. Claiming an exclusive, the paper says that Noye, who was released from prison in 2019, has said he is not a threat to Cameron's partner Danielle Cable, who went into witness protection after Noye was convicted.

The Financial Times leads with an image from protests in Israel, where people have demonstrated against efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to curb the powers of the country's judiciary. It also leads with a story saying that Amazon is planning to "go big" on the country's struggling grocery stores business.


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