Sunday, February 14, 2010

What the Sunday papers are saying

As a major offensive gets under way in Helmand many of the papers report on the state of the battle.

The Telegraph says that the first stage of the offensive has been declared a success as thousands of US and British troops seized a string of Taliban strongholds across central Helmand.

The Sunday Times reports that a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed by an explosion yesterday at the start of the operation.

The mission it say,s

a test of President Barack Obama’s troop surge, is aimed at regaining control of towns across central Helmand.

The Sunday Express describes how more than 1,000 British soldiers strode bravely into the “heart of ­darkness”

The Independent on its front page asks the battle rages to what end?

The US aim is to allow the Afghan government to reassert its authority in Marjah and the well-irrigated opium poppy-growing agricultural land around it. Some 2,000 Afghan police and a team of government officials are waiting to enter the town and its surroundings in the wake of the US-led military assault in which the role of Afghan military forces is continually being emphasised.

20 of the top economists have written to the Sunday Times saying the government lacks a credible plan to cut Britain’s budget deficit and that action to reduce the country’s borrowing should start immediately after the election.

The paper leads with the story adding that it is an endorsement of the Conservatives’ position and an attack on Labour.

The Observer leads with the story that Gordon Brown is set to announce the end of the controversial early release scheme for prisoners before the general election in an attempt to blunt an expected Tory assault on the government's law and order policies.

Meanwhile according to the Telegraph,The Tories have accused ministers of secretly planning a 10 per cent “death tax” to help pay for long-term care for the elderly and infirm.

Both it and the Mail on Sunday lead with showbiz spending.

Dozens of Britain's highest paid celebrities and business chiefs have been caught up in an investigation into an alleged tax avoidance scheme is the lead in the Mail

Whereas the Telegraph leads with a report that the BBC has paid hundreds of its staff more than £100,000 last year despite its leaders' claims that the corporation is run efficiently.

The latest opinion poll in the Independent shows that more than half of voters have doubts about the 'slick' David Cameron.

56 per cent of people believe the Tory leader is a "slick salesman, but I worry about what he is like underneath", the ComRes survey found. Thirty-six per cent disagree with this.

Meanwhile according to the Observer,The Conservative party chairman, Eric Pickles, has revealed his frustration over Lord Ashcroft's tax status, as pressure grows on the party to come clean over the peer's finances.

The Mail on Sunday reports how a pregnant Tory candidate quit after a senior party official said the sight of a pregnant woman’s stomach ‘made him sick’, it was claimed last night.

Three cupid rats on the front of the news of the world as Veron Kaye,John Terry and Ashley Cole are in the dog house on this Valentine's day.

Meanwhile the Church of England is, according to the Telegraph, offering alternative advice on how to create the perfect romantic moment, with tips for couples aiming to keep their marriage happy as well as special guidance for those planning to pop the question.

Finally the Observer reports on a new website that has been described as "surreal", "addictive" and "frightening" is proving a sensation around the world – and attracting a reputation as a haven for no-holds-barred, explicit material.

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