The front pages reviewed at midnight: Thursday 9 December 2010

It is not often I say this. All tonight’s papers have interesting, well-researched, innovative lead stories. Read them all…

 Wow. I feel confused.

The Telegraph – “Childless couples win right to pay surrogate mothers” This is a very interesting legal case study which has been slightly sensationalised to sell papers. What has actually happened is that a British couple have been allowed to keep a child despite paying the surrogate mother more than “reasonable expenses,” something prohibited under UK law. We then get the obvious “rent a womb” condemnation quotes, but the story itself is good and actually requires a journalist to have gone to court, something that depressingly we see less and less of these days.

The Guardian – “Cables reveal Shell’s grip on Nigerian state” Good to see the paper using the Wikileak cables in a more intelligent manner than last week, with night by night themes. Tonight’s is sub-Saharan Africa, and the paper focuses on the oil giant Shell’s potentially malign influence on Nigeria. According to the cables the company’s top executive in Nigeria bragged to US ambassadors that the company had favourable ministers in almost every department. For a domestic market, however, I can’t help feel that the upcoming tuition fees vote is more crucial than an oil company in the Nigerian Delta.

The Daily Mail – “Wikileaks: Now its cyber war” The paper leads with cyber attacks on Mastercard in revenge for cutting off payments to Wikileaks allegedly done by the hackers group “Anonymous.” Mastercard’s services were disrupted for around six hours and affected hundreds of thousands of shoppers worldwide. My favourite part of this article is learning a new word (it may be the first time for some of you as well). “Hacktivists” – i.e. hackers and activists merged together. I may disagree with the Mail on policy sometimes but their sub editors are amazing.

The Times – “Baby test breakthrough” This story is interesting if you are interested in science, less so if you are interested in having children. Scientists have developed a blood test for pregnant women that could detect genetic disorders in unborn children as early as 8 weeks. Unfortunately it currently costs £125,000, so any wannabe mums might want to wait a few years for the price to come down.

If you only read one: The Telegraph’s story is fascinating.

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