Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday papers

The ramifications of the release of the Lockerbie bomber as the Observer reports that

Gordon Brown faced fresh questions tonight after it emerged that he discussed with Colonel Gaddafi detailed conditions for the Lockerbie bomber's return nearly six weeks ago, while senior Labour figures warned of an economic backlash from angry Americans "costing our country dear".

The Telegraph meanwhile reports that Lord Mandelson faced fresh questions over his links to Libya last night following the decision to free the Lockerbie bomber.

The Business Secretary denied that the Government had done a deal to free Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 terrorist atrocity that claimed 270 lives. However, his claims were contradicted by Saif Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader, in a conversation with Megrahi as the pair flew home from Glasgow.

The Times report on a secret docier which reveals that

soldiers’ lives are being put at risk by “endemic” failures at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).The secret dossier blames “political fudge” and Whitehall incompetence for the plight of soldiers in Afghanistan who are provided with inadequate frontline kit.

The Mail asks whether Labour cares at all after Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth, was publicly condemned by a friend whose son died in a bomb blast.

Peter Fullarton, who lost his son James in a bomb attack in Helmand last Sunday, said Mr Ainsworth failed to send his family a note of condolence - even though he had known the Minister for 20 years and his son used to serve Mr Ainsworth drinks at their local working men's club.

The Independent leads with the story that

Secret plans to reintroduce hunting foxes, stags and other animals have been drawn up with the backing of senior Conservatives. Details of the controversial scheme emerged this weekend, including the creation of a Hunt Regulatory Authority (HRA) to police the behaviour of hunts.

The Times reports that Oxford academics have admitted they routinely “discount” the grades of privately educated applicants in an attempt to increase the numbers of places they award pupils from state schools.

The university staff told researchers that when assessing the GCSE grades of applicants, they assume those who are privately educated should score A*s and so mark them down if they score “only” an A.

According to the Observer figures released by the Lib Dems say that

Almost £600m has been spent to check the backgrounds of people who work with children, it emerged last night, triggering claims the vetting system is in danger of spiralling "out of control".

Pinochet's lost millions is the headline in the Independent which says

a report by the Chilean police task force charged with investigating money-laundering has claimed that British authorities and the financial sector were complicit in hiding his massive ill-gotten fortune.

The final insult says the Express

Northern Rock workers, including disgraced former chief executive Adam Applegarth, could be in line for handouts under controversial plans to underwrite the generous final-salary pensions of thousands of failed bankers.

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