DNA cancer hopes, Gaza 'at breaking point', German tourists and Miranda Kerr

A £300m project to map people's genetic codes causes some excitement in the press.

The Daily Express says it offers hope for a cancer "cure", explaining that researchers will explore the genomes of 75,000 cancer patients and their relatives to "hunt for miniscule changes in genetic codes that can trigger illness and work out why some people are more prone to the diseases". It's hoped the project will help develop treatments that can be tailored to individual needs, and the paper's editorial celebrates the prospect of Britain becoming the "world leader" in the field.

Chemotherapy will be "history within a generation", suggests the Daily Telegraph's headline. The paper quotes scientists who envisage a time when "invasive drugs and their devastating side-effects will have been replaced by sophisticated medicines that can fix individually faulty genes".

The Independent uses a Q&A to explain how the government-led project will work, saying that children with rare genetic diseases will be invited to take part, along with their families. The paper's editorial describes it as a "thrilling advance in gene science" but sounds a note of caution over patients' details being stored on computers.

While it accepts the NHS's commercial partners must have access to non-identifiable data, it adds: "Those with an awareness of the history of NHS computing should realise the difficulty of delivering on promises of patient confidentiality."


Gaza conundrums

Image copyright various

Later editions record the agreement of a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, although - as the Guardian's front page notes - not before the number of Palestinians killed topped 1,400.

The paper reports that leaders from both sides will travel to Cairo for "serious" talks aimed at bringing an end to the three-week Israeli offensive. The reprieve could not have come soon enough for one United Nations official, quoted in the Metro, who broke down in tears as he told TV interviewers the situation had "reached breaking point".

The Independent also hears from some of those trying to save lives amid the bombardment in Gaza, with one emergency worker explaining that he has been rushing to the scenes of shelling without telling his wife and children where he is going. The paper says it's "a practice used by many in the emergency services to spare [the families] further worry".

"Perhaps [the Israeli military] think all ambulances are carrying the resistance [fighters], maybe that's why they shoot at us routinely; deny us entry to pick up the wounded," complains another.

The Telegraph pictures mourners at the funeral of an Israeli soldier, one of 56 military victims of the conflict, killed by a Hamas booby trap. Gregg Carlstrom writes in the Times that 95% of Jewish Israelis think military action is justified and that just 4% believe excessive force has been used, although he says the public is shielded from the graphic images seen by TV viewers abroad. He quotes one man pointing out: "The mood is sad, we're all sad. But [Hamas] is trying to use... tunnels to kill us."

During the ceasefire, Israel will still be allowed to carry out operations to destroy the tunnels - from Gaza into southern Israel - it says are used by Hamas to carry out attacks in its territory, the Times points out. However, its cartoonist Peter Brookes interprets Israel's "moral high ground" as a soldier standing atop a huge pile of civilian bodies, while a Hamas terrorist looks up from a small mound of Israeli military casualties.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror points out the apparent contradiction in the US confirming it had sold grenades and mortars to Israel, only to then condemn the attacks on Gaza. The paper accuses Washington of "pouring petrol on a fire that the world needs to damp down".

Telegraph cartoonist Adams captures this sentiment by picturing US President Barack Obama penning a letter to Israeli PM Netanyahu reading "Dear Benjamin, Stop Bombing Gaza..." before posting it off in a parcel full of missiles. His Independent counterpart, Dave Brown, sees Mr Netanyahu using a shell-shaped sledgehammer to crack a nut.


Many a true word?

Image copyright The Sun/Steve Bright

A cartoon by German paper Bild, depicting British tourists as rowdy boozers, hit headlines in the UK this week. And the Sun has delivered an illustrated riposte. "We are reminding our EU pals they are not short of a few stereotypes themselves," it says.

Drawn by Steve Bright, the cartoon features a couple goose-stepping to the pool, with the husband carrying bratwurst and sauerkraut - along with a bundle of towels for reserving sunloungers. "Boring Mrs German has her diary and books for the beach and prefers her own supplies of coffee and bread," the paper adds.

Jan Moir writes in the Mail that Germany "fired the first salvo in the annual Brit-Kraut seaside offensive," by describing us as "stupid, overweight, lecherous, drunk, ugly, flesh-spilling vulgarians". But she adds: "The terrible truth is, they are right."

As if to illustrate the point, the Daily Star reports that "there's no taming Magaluf sex Brits", above a photograph of some holidaymakers in various states of undress. A police crackdown on lewd behaviour seems to have failed, it says, citing footage exposing the "mamading" trend in which clubbers are "urged to perform sex acts in exchange for booze".

In spite of all that, the Times reports that a survey of Europeans aged 16 to 24 has concluded that "English people make the best travel companions", largely because their language comes in handy while on tour.

And the Telegraph's Judith Woods, writing from a Sicilian sunlounger nabbed before "the pre-dawn Teutonic towel invasion", argues that we shouldn't be "beastly to the Germans" because stereotypes aren't really intended as insults. "We may not like or agree with all their stereotypes about us, but the same applies vice versa. Cliches by their definition contain a grain of truth - and a grain of truth is the grit in the oyster that results in a pearl of wisdom."


'Worth fighting over?'

Image copyright Getty Images

"The face that launched a thousand spats," is how the Daily Telegraph describes the visage of Miranda Kerr, as Hannah Betts wonders what it is about the model that inspired a "brawl" - captured on video - between her ex, actor Orlando Bloom, and pop star Justin Bieber.

"This is not the only skirmish Kerr appears to have inspired. The model was the occasion of a savage street brawl three months ago between billionaire businessman James (son of Kerry) Packer and television executive David Gyngell, his former best man," she writes.

"Worth fighting over?" asks the Sun, adding: "You'd better Belieb it." In the Mail, Jan Moir dismisses the Bloom-Bieber incident as little more than handbags-at-dawn. "As great fights go, this one got up and went. It was like watching an Andrex puppy trying to knock the skin off a rice pudding."

The Daily Mirror catches up with a model who gives a more compelling account, saying: "Orlando got up, hurdled the sofa and punched Bieber." For the i's Jessica Barrett, reports of the incident "keep getting worse (better)" as she notes the presence of a "celebrity audience" including Lindsay Lohan, P Diddy and Paris Hilton.

And the Daily Star is fully supportive of the English actor, noting that America "saluted Orlando Bloom" by starting a petition to ask the White House to declare a national holiday in honour of his "knuckle sandwich".

"Violence isn't to be encouraged but it's fair to say Bieber had it coming," says its editorial, listing as reasons the Canadian's regular arrests in the US, late arrival at UK concerts and face "you'd love to hit".


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