The front pages reviewed at midnight: Thursday 2 December 2010

Exclusive: Cold snap cripples newspapers. Newspapers around the land are suffering the cold with editors across Fleet Street hit by the flu. In a desperate attempt to file before their deadlines all the papers have let the work experience boy run tonight’s paper. This, and only this, can explain tonight’s woeful headlines.

The Guardian – “Inside Putin’s ‘Mafia state'” Some stories will never die. Wikileaks again leads the Guardian, with the paper claiming that the leaked documents show that Russia is a “corrupt, autocratic cleptocracy centred on the leadership of Vladimir Putin.”Anyone who knows anything about Russia could have told you something like that. But there are a couple of gems in there including the fact that Russian spies uses senior mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations such as arms trafficking.

 The Telegraph – “Why did we slide into chaos?” It’s a great headline, and a fantastic picture of a town covered in snow. The story, however, is a slippery customer (not sure that even makes sense). Basically the government is to discuss why the planning for potential snowfall was not better but the answer is pretty much revealed in paragraph four when it admits “the early snowfall caught me unawares.” 

The Times – “The £3bn cliffhanger” Anybody remember the last time the Times led with a sport story? I certainly can’t. But tonight they lead with the results of England’s won cup hosting bid, which will be announced on Thursday afternoon. It is basically a rewritten press release. At the start of paragraph two it even uses that most cliché of football clichés: “The hopes of a nation hang in the balance…” The only piece of information I didn’t already know was that England is now the favourite to win the bid.

 

The Independent – “Wikileaks chief: Where is he?”. How to make something out of nothing. The Indy asks a question that turns out to have the dullest of answers. It  says that “despite accusations that Julian Assange has gone on the run” the Metropolitan Police know where he is already and are keeping tabs on him.

The FT – “UK banks tapped Fed credit” An interesting story about banking, surprisingly for the FT… Foreign banks were among the biggest users of the US Federal Reserve’s emergency credit programmes during the financial crisis. This is a story that will be huge in America but won’t really go anywhere in the UK.

If you only read one: Guardian

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