The front pages reviewed at midnight: Wednesday 8 December 2010

A varied bunch tonight, with much more diversity than I expected. Gold star goes to the Times, while the dunce cap goes to the Guardian for having the most interesting story of the night and only putting it in the sidebar.

The Times – “China uses muscle to reinforce Nobel ban” 18 countries have now decided to boycott the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize to Chinese political dissident Liu Xiaobo. This is an incredibly interesting case of global politics, with Pakistan and Serbia among the countries to sign up. The boycott of Pakistan, in particular, is worrying for the Americans as they seek to combat Al Qaeda in the country. If China are to be seen as a valid alternative source of power then the US may find it harder to achieve their goals.

The Telegraph – “Fury over bid to cut pensions payments by 25 percent” Like last night the paper has been briefed on an upcoming policy release, this time about plans to override private pensions contracts. This is a story that has been rumbling along since the election, with the government deciding to allow companies to peg their mortgage payments to the lower consumer price index (CPI), instead of the retail price index (RPI). This would significantly undercut people’s pensions.

The Guardian – “Wikileaks vows cable releases will continue after Assange denied bail.” Strange that the Guardian haven’t led with the much more interesting scoop they have inside the paper – the accusations that the man convicted for the Lockerbie bombing (and watch my words carefully there) was released after pressure from the Libyan government. Instead they lead with a general piece about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The Mail – “Travesty of our stagnating schools.” Even when looked at rationally the latest OECD figures into Britain’s education are worrying. The country has slipped from 8th to 25th in Maths, 7th to 35th in reading and 4th to 16th in science. These are worrying trends, and the Mail has a field day with them, calling them a “damning indictment” of the Labour government. One caveat of hope is that the number of countries involved in the former survey was 11 fewer, but the trend is still negative.

The Independent – “Assange could face espionage trial in the US” The paper leads with the accusations that Wikileaks editor Julian Assange could be forced to go to America to face trial, rather than to Sweden, the country he is currently awaiting extradition to. The story is mostly speculation, as there is little concrete evidence to suggest this will happen. In paragraph three it resorts to the desperate line “Right-wing US politicians are pressing for his prosecution and even execution. Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, said he should be pursued with the same vigour as al-Qaida and Taliban leaders”

If you only read one: The Guardian


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