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Newspaper headlines: Liam Neeson and Greg Clark Nissan letter on front pages

Newspaper headlines: Liam Neeson and Greg Clark Nissan letter on front pages

Image caption The emergence of a letter from 2016 in which Business Secretary Greg Clark told former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn that the carmaker would not be “adversely affected” by the UK’s departure from the EU creates front-page headlines. The Financial Times suggests the assurance puts pressure on PM Theresa May to avoid a “no-deal”

Financial Times front page, 5/2/19

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The emergence of a letter from 2016 in which Business Secretary Greg Clark told former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn that the carmaker would not be “adversely affected” by the UK’s departure from the EU creates front-page headlines. The Financial Times suggests the assurance puts pressure on PM Theresa May to avoid a “no-deal” Brexit.

Daily Telegraph front page, 5/2/19

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As the Daily Telegraph sees it, Mr Clark is now “under fire” after the letter made public an £80m “sweetener” offered by the minister to Nissan in return for building two new models at its Sunderland plant.

Guardian front page, 5/2/19

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Downing Street had previously said “there was no special deal for Nissan”, the Guardian says. However, the promises “turned out to be worthless,” it adds, since the manufacturer has “abandoned its future investment plan, partly because of uncertainty over Brexit”. On Sunday, Nissan said it would make the new X-Trail in Japan, instead of Sunderland.

The i front page, 5/2/19

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There is better Brexit-related news for the government on the front page of the i. The paper says German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held out an “olive branch” to the UK by suggesting a deal that’s acceptable to British MPs can be clinched if the UK and EU are “creative” and show “goodwill”.

Times front page, 5/2/19

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The Times reports that the EU’s top official offered Britain a legal guarantee that it would not be “trapped” by the Irish backstop – the fallback position to avoid customs infrastructure on the Irish border in the event no future UK-EU trade deal comes into force. However, it says Brexiteer MPs “immediately rebuffed” the suggestion.

Daily Star front page, 5/2/19

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One man who features on most front pages is the actor Liam Neeson, who gave an interview in which he described wanting to kill a black person in revenge for the rape of a friend by a black man. The Daily Star leads on the comments, describing this “week-long revenge mission” as a “Hollywood sensation”.

Daily Mirror front page, 5/2/19

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The Daily Mirror reports that 600 people a day are quitting work to care for ailing relatives. It blames the trend on “cruel social care cuts”. One in seven Britons is now an unpaid carer, according to research quoted by the paper.

Daily Mail front page, 5/2/19

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Social media firms are the focus of the Daily Mail’s front page. The paper says the internet giants will be forced by law to sign a code of conduct protecting young and vulnerable users, in the wake of a “spate” of suicides. “At last…” declares its headline.

Daily Express front page, 5/2/19

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Meanwhile, some 15 million households face higher energy bills, with regulator Ofgem expected to approve one of the biggest price rises in a decade, according to the Daily Express. The decision has led to “fury” from charities, the paper adds.

Metro front page, 5/2/19

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And the Metro leads on suggestions from MPs that the treatment of a friend of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in a Saudi jail amounts to torture. Loujain al-Hathloul has been “electrocuted and whipped in a basement” since her arrest in May for campaigning for women’s rights, the paper says.

Fallout from Nissan’s decision to go back on its pledge to build the new X-Trail model in Sunderland makes the front pages for a third day.

And it’s Business Secretary Greg Clark in the spotlight this time, following the emergence of a letter he wrote to the carmaker’s former boss in 2016, promising its operations would not be “adversely affected” by Brexit.

The Guardian’s financial editor Nils Pratley describes the letter, which also mentioned millions of pounds in state aid being made available to the firm on condition it produced two models in Sunderland, as “embarrassing”.

Not only was the minister “making promises he couldn’t underwrite”, he says, but “Nissan is free to reapply for the cash and can be confident of getting a thumbs-up. The government will not want to risk damage to supply chains around Sunderland”.

The episode has, according to the Daily Telegraph, left Mr Clark “fighting to save his reputation”.

Neeson controversy

Another man facing criticism is actor Liam Neeson, who is pictured on several front pages.

The Hollywood star told the Independent online newspaper he once went out on the streets with a cosh, hoping to be confronted by a black man so he could beat them to death in “revenge” for the rape of a loved one.

He said he now felt ashamed of his actions. But the Sun says there’s been a “furious reaction” to his comments, with some people calling for a boycott of his latest film.

Neeson has been criticised for reinforcing the idea the idea that people of colour are “collectively responsible for the misdeeds of one”, reports the Daily Mirror.

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Social welfare

“At last, a law to protect children online” is the Daily Mail’s front-page headline, as it reports social media firms are to be forced to protect young and vulnerable users.

It says the “crackdown” is to be announced by Digital Minister Margot James, who will say voluntary codes have failed.

The Guardian highlights a YouGov survey for the Prince’s Trust, which suggests the number of young people who say they don’t believe life is worth living has doubled to 18% in the last decade. “Overwhelming pressure” from social media is one of the factors, the paper says.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has told the Daily Telegraph that children as young as five need to be “equipped” to fend off potential paedophiles online.

Mr Hinds says compulsory “relationship lessons”, to be introduced next year, will help pupils handle the risks from the internet.

Brain power

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AFP

Several newspapers report the conclusions of scientists from Washington that women’s brains perform as though they are younger than men’s.

The researchers measured the brain activity of more than 200 people aged between 20 and 82, and how they responded to sugar. They claim that the metabolic “brain age” of the women was on average three years younger than that of men of the same age.

The Mail says the study “may help to explain why women tend to stay mentally sharp longer”.

Women hold a “trump card”, the Times suggests, adding that the “relative sprightliness” of the female mind is detectable at all ages. This could explain why men tend to experience greater cognitive decline in their later years, the paper says.

However, the Times points out, men have bigger brains.

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