The front pages reviewed at midnight: Monday 13 December 2010

A very strong set of Monday front pages here, with the Telegraph and the Mail getting the undoubted splash story of the night, the Guardian having some interesting Wikileaks stuff and the Indy doing what it does best and going left field. Impressive Fleet Street…

The Independent – “$25bn of American aid and still Afghans are dying of starvation” Normally in the Independent anything to do with the Middle East or Afghanistan would be covered be the wonderful Robert Fisk but it is nice to see Patrick Cockburn getting a turn. In an attempt to influence, in however minuscule a way, President Obama’s address about the future of Afghanistan Cockburn has done a series of interviews with key figures in Afghan society about the endemic corruption and starvation that plagues the country. Only three paragraphs on the front page but he is a good writer and I am sure this will be well researched. Exactly the kind of stuff the Indy should be doing.

The Daily Mail – “Suicide bomber lived in Britain” The Mail and the Telegraph have the scoop of the night – the revelation that the alleged suicide bomber in Stockholm lived and became radicalised in the UK. The problem for both papers is that they have very little actual information beyond the fact that Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly lived in the UK, and that only really fills out about two paragraphs. The Telegraph (See below) does a better job of fleshing it out while the Mail resorts to telling us that Luton is the “long known as a hotbed for terrorism” and saying, but not substantiating, that Al-Abdaly’s wife has “fundamentalist views.” Weaker reporting than the Telegraph. Jan Moir’s column looks fun though – “Great fun, yes. But how depressing the X Factor final was so sleazy”, along with the accompanying picture of Christina Aguilera looking sleazy…

The Telegraph – “Sweden bomber was living in the UK” Unlike the Mail, the Telegraph have actually sent a reporter out of the office to speak to Al-Abdaly’s neighbours. Through this they have some interesting information – that his wife ran a home beauty company, that he had recently put up an internet advert for a second wife and that he had been living in the home until only two weeks ago. These little details flesh the story out better and give a better understanding of what has actually happened.

The Guardian – “MI5 offered to give up Ulster murder files” Wikileaks rumbles on for the Guardian, and today’s lead is an obscure but interesting one revolving around a murder that happened over 20 years ago. The Northern Irish civil rights lawyer Pat Finucan was shot in 1989 by Loyalist paramilitaries and the cables reveal that the MI5 offered to hand over files on the case to the Americans. The paper leads with the angle that it should force an independent inquiry but I think the more interesting thing is the fact that MI5 was prepared to give up sensitive files to the US in the first place.


One response to “The front pages reviewed at midnight: Monday 13 December 2010

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