09/05/2014 The Papers


No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.

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And Lewis Hamilton leads the way in practice and head of the Spanish


Grand Prix. That is in 15 minutes, after the papers.


Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be


bringing us tomorrow. With me are the Economist's Jeremy Cliffe, and


novelist and journalist Dreda Say Mitchell.


Many of the papers are covering the first day of the Rolf Harris sex


abuse trial. The Mail here is focusing on a letter the prosecution


claim he wrote to the father of one of his alleged victims. The Mirror


also leads with Rolf Harris and this letter that the jury heard in court.


More on Rolf Harris in the Telegraph, and their front page also


features the British servicemen sent home from Afghanistan after photos


appeared of them posing next to the body of a dead insurgent. The


Independent leads with a special report from Mariupol in Ukraine,


where there's been violent clashes between government forces and


pro`Russian separatists. Russia are celebrating Victory Day,


the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II in red Square. That is in the


Financial Times. The FT also features the situation in Ukraine


and a story about the hotel at the Shard in London. The Guardian


headline suggests that NHS hospitals need thousands of extra nurses. And


Take That's Gary Barlow is on the front page of the Times, which says


that he and his fellow band members Howard Donald and Mark Allen are


facing a ?20 million bill for tax avoidance. `` Mark Owen. And the


Express has the story that the Queen has been told to take it easy.


Prince Charles stood in for her at the last minute during an official


ceremony. Let's unpick some of those stories. We start with the Daily


Mirror. Like many of the papers, the Rolf Harris trial is featuring


prominently. They have this headline, forgive me, I sicken


myself. This was to do with the letter the court heard about? Yes,


it was an allegation by the prosecution that said Mr Harris said


a letter to the father of one of the people he allegedly abused. It goes


to show how dramatic and how much media interest there is in this


trial. This is just the first day, and it is splashed across the front


pages. Rather lurid stuff. Dreda, this is making the front pages of


many papers. And particularly this letter the Star wrote, saying he


loathed himself for what he had done. But he was making the point


that although there was a relationship with one of these


alleged victims, he is saying it was when she was not underage.


Absolutely, and that is something to remember about this case. I feel


quite uneasy talking about it, because we have already had an


incident this year with somebody in the spotlight. It was proved that


the allegations against them were not true, so we need to be clear


that there is a court case still going on and we have to see what


happens. And we will leave it there for that very reason. Let's go


inside the Daily Mail. They pick up on this story we have in talking


about a lot today, the suggestion from Amnesty International that


Nigeria had an inkling of what was going to happen to these 300


schoolgirls who have so dreadfully been taken. That is at the bottom of


the page. Tell us more about that? I find this a horrific and upsetting


story which becomes worse every day. This is the fourth week, and now it


has been alleged by Amnesty International that the Nigerian


government were warned for hours before this incident, and nothing


appears to have happened. They categorically showed the clip where


the president said that is not true. But I think there are so many


undercurrent here. One of the big things for me is the sense that


Nigeria feels like two very different countries. There is the


north and north`east, and then there is the South, predominantly


Christian, with traditional African religions. It feels like there is


not cooperation. And it also feels like some Nigerians may say that


because this happened to girls in the north, did the government in


Abuja care about them? You mentioned Amnesty International. One of the


interesting parts of the story is the extent to which that charity has


driven this story up the agenda. This is about girls and women being


treated as the spoils of war, which has happened for decades, but I


can't think of any similar story that has got the prominence that


this has stopped so it is testimony to them that they are putting


pressure on the Nigerian government. It is interesting that it has only


happened because of an international outcry. This happened quite a while


ago and if there was not an international outcry, when you think


about other countries where you have had war is going on, there has been


so much to show that women are used as weapons in war, and we can't have


that happening in Nigeria. The international community has clearly


been horrified. The US and Britain are offering help. We understand


there may be use of American drones to track down these hiding places. I


suppose the international community has to tread a cautious line here,


because they don't want to get embroiled in Nigerian internal


politics. Absolutely. The US and Britain have said there was no


question of military intervention in this. As you say, the tensions


between north and south Nigeria are so volatile that getting dragged


into the situation would be a terrible mistake. There is so much


pressure because of media campaign that it is a difficult tightrope


that the governments of the West have to walk. Also, the no doubt ``


Nigerian security forces have been accused of human rights violations


as well. So if international intelligence specialists come in,


they have to be very careful. It is a very complex issue. But the focus


has to be on finding those girls. Let's look at one of the other


stories in the Daily Mail on page four, the suggestion that the


government's Help To Buy scheme for first`time buyers, to give them a


foot on the ladder, has somehow gone a bit awry. Yes, this is George


Osborne's scheme to help those struggling to get on the housing


ladder. The government effectively subsidises their mortgage. At the


important criteria are that those who take on the scheme have to have


at least 5% of the value of the house to put down as a deposit to


show that they are safe to lend to. The problem that has emerged is that


a lot of people on this scheme have not put down 5% of the mortgage


value because of some technical reason to do with the computer


system, inevitably. We know government computer systems rarely


go to plan. The result is that there seem to be lots of people who have


taken on this scheme who may not be safe gets. This smacks to me of the


sub`prime mortgage crisis in 2007. There is the suggestion that people


will be overstretching themselves and left without a security blanket.


What struck me about this story is that there seems to be a difference


between people in the south and people in the north and Scotland.


Apparently, this scheme is working well in the north and Scotland.


There is a differential between the prices of Robert E. If you are young


person living in London, 10% is a lot of money. In this article, they


quoted 10% of 200,000. I spoke to a young couple this week and they said


they are desperate to do this scheme. They cannot afford ?20,000,


so it is fine to have a Help To Buy scheme. However, there should have


been differential is built into it. It is a tale of two countries. The


extent to which the London property market has exploded in the last year


seems to have no bearing on what is happening elsewhere in the country.


A lot of people in the north and Northern Ireland are in negative


equity, which in London seems impossible. So maybe a more


differentiated scheme would have been helped for. And also, what


about help to rent? That is why so many people have been pushed to buy,


because rents are so high, or even higher than mortgages. Something


needs to be done about the rental market. And in this country, we are


wedded to the idea of buying. But with property prices, you can see


why people might think it would be a good investment if they could only


get on the ladder. Let's move further afield now. The Independent


has a picture of a police station burning in Aria pour in Ukraine. We


have been hearing about those clashes between government forces


and pro`Russian insurgents. They have the stark headline there. The


suggestion is that civil war looms. The Independent and 50 are going


with the metaphor of clouds and storms. They have a very ominous


picture on the front, with a burning building and dark clouds billowing


above and wind in the trees. It sums up the situation very well. The FT


used the phrase of a cloud above Russia as well. Beyond this, what


strikes me is the shift we have seen since a few weeks ago, when you saw


those idealistic scenes of young people in Kiev, protesting for


liberalism and wanting to join the European Union. Now the region seems


to be descending into civil war. There is now a slanging match


between the Russians on the one side, who are making lots of


provocative and symbolic gestures, with Putin in the Crimea at the


moment. Then you have the government in Kiev, using the opportunity of


that commemoration to launch attacks on Russian militants in eastern


Ukraine. It is becoming an extremely dark and and threatening story. The


suggestion that the approach of the Ukrainian government has become more


strident and they are upping their game which is exacerbating the


situation. Absolutely but the government would say that they were


taking back ` I think it was a police headquarters and I think


pro`Russian, you can use all types of words, militants, freedom


fighters, it depends what side you are on. But you talked about this


picture and the one in the FT, there is one missing and it is the one


with Putin in Crimea, that kind of collects it all. It seems such a


shame that on a day that's meant to be about commemorating victory, that


you have what I consider to be quite a provocative move by the Russian


president. He should have just let it lie. This country is descending


and before we know it, it is going to be descending into civil war.


Let's bring in that picture you mentioned on the FT ` cloud over


Russian celebrations, that analogy and metaphor continuing and this


really the proud Russian force there is march through Moscow. We see how,


perhaps, President Putin has used that, as some people would say, has


hijacked those celebrations to make an altogether more modern point. The


symbolling seems to be intent on both sides. You have the Ukrainian


government using the commemoration as the Independent put it, to crow


about the deaths in eastern Ukraine, the Russian activists that have been


killed and apparent lit commemoration in Moscow, which


happens every year was unusually bombastic. It lasted 15 minutes more


than usual. Everyone ratcheting things um.


We must push on to the i. A very unnerving story. Britain's Camp


Bastion shame and these photographs, supposedly of British servicemen


posing with a dead Taliban fighter. Pictures from 2002 which have come


to light online. I think it was 2012, at Camp Bastion which was the


biggest British base in Afghanistan. . First of all, there is an


investigation, so we need to be clear ` are these true pictures? But


if they are, this is horrifying. I think what horrified me when I read


this story was, there was a line in it that says ` concerns that the


photograph pro provoke the Taliban for more propaganda and get more


people on its side. Actually when I look at this, I don't think at that


` I just think, somebody is dead in this photograph and somebody has


their thumb up, really. So forget about the recruitment and prop began


darks somebody has died here and I think there `` prop began darks I


think there should be a sense of someone has died and having


reverence for that. I know the MoD says it has zero tolerance for that.


When I read that article, it was all about whether it was going to make


more Afghanis join the Taliban. It is certainly a grotesque image. We


will talk more about that. Sorry to bring things to an end. We will be


back in an hour's time, plenty more to talk about, and see what is


making the headlines tomorrow. Stay with us, at 11.00pm we'll get an up


date on the situation in eastern Ukraine. Coming up next, time for


Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm


Katherine Downes. Peter Moores is back at the helm and England are


back to winning ways. They beat Scotland in a rather rainy One Day


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