Rotherham child abuse scandal, Kate Bush returns, Emmy frocks and Frank's farewell
Revelations about the extent of child sex abuse in Rotherham dominate Wednesday's front pages.
The Telegraph runs through the shocking findings of Prof Alexis Jay, who said more than 1,400 children as young as 11 were beaten, subjected to gang rape and trafficked between 1997 and 2013.
And the paper divides its report into sections, with titles - such as "doused with petrol", "arrested for being drunk" and "fathers arrested" - showing how the youngsters were treated by their attackers and the authorities.
"The suspicion is that council officials and police officers considered them as part of an underclass who were not so much the victims of crime as authors of their own misfortune," writes Randeep Ramesh in the Guardian.
The Times runs through its investigation which prompted the inquiry and hears from one of the teenage victims treated like a "stupid, naughty girl" by police. Now in her mid-20s, the woman tells the paper that thanks to the publication of the report: "It feels like I'm finally getting a bit of justice for what happened to me. It's really good to know that everyone will realise I wasn't making it up. It was the truth all along."
Another victim, 25, who was groomed from the age of 12, tells the Sun she has never received an apology from the authorities for their dismissal of her case. "It's very important for me to see convictions. It gives you a sense that a crime has been committed against you," she tells the paper.
Times reporter Andrew Norfolk goes through Rotherham Council's "decade-long exercise in refusing fully to acknowledge and learn from disastrous past mistakes", recalling efforts to conceal information and investigate leaks to newspapers. "More girls suffered as the council obfuscated. Future councils, tempted to chase leaks rather than act on their failings, must take heed," he adds.
Noting that no-one is expected to be sacked over the scandal, the Daily Express argues: "For failing to investigate properly such horrifying abuse they deserve to lose their jobs."
Reporter Sue Reid writes in the Daily Mail about the barriers to her inquiries: "At first, I was accused by some of making up the stories that were, in fact, told to me by parents and the abused girls themselves. I was also branded racist. The reason? I had dared to mention the uncomfortable truth about this abhorrent behaviour: most of the victims are white or of mixed race, while all too often the perpetrators come from Britain's South Asian communities."
Muhbeen Hussain, founder of Rotherham Muslim Youth Group, writes in the Daily Mirror that the Pakistani Muslim community must prevent a repeat of the situation. "The time for burying heads in the sand and hoping the problem passes by is over. We have to recognise and deal with it," he says.
Meanwhile, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown argues in the Independent that "too many Asian mothers spoil their boys, undervalue their girls, and demean their daughters-in-law", writing: "Within some British Asian circles, the West is considered degenerate and immoral. So it's OK to take their girls and ruin them further." She continues: "Yes, racists will have further ammunition after this report... I will always fight for the rights of minorities. But I will not defend the indefensible."
Singer Kate Bush's first live concert for 35 years earns five-star reviews as the audience at Hammersmith's Apollo finally found out what was in the eccentric performer's show. "The last time she was on stage a pint of lager would set you back just 24p and the average UK house was worth £20,000," recalls the Express.
Summing up how he felt before the gig, the Guardian's Alexis Petridis writes: "Tonight, almost uniquely in rock history, the audience has virtually no idea what's going to happen." As the Telegraph points out: "Anyone hoping for a greatest hits set with the likes of Wuthering Heights would have been disappointed: Bush was not going to follow any comeback tradition. With so much back catalogue unplayed, this was always going to be a snapshot."
"The excitement around Kate Bush's return was such that she could have blown on a Kazoo for two hours and the crowd would have gone wild," writes the Times's Will Hodgkinson. In the event, he says, her rendition of The Hounds of Love was so remarkable that "its animal sensuality proved too much for one man... who felt compelled to act out his own interpretive dance routine before being restrained by kind but firm security guards".
The Mail's Jan Moir writes: "There were chain saws, a drowning, a sea made up of undulating panes of blue silk, fish skeleton critters who marched about importantly, a giant helicopter that raked the audience with spotlights, confetti guns blasting into the crowd - and that was only in the first half."
"Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Unbelievable!" enthuses the Sun's Simon Cosyns over the performance. "Dressed all in black with long New Age tassels swaying from the arms of her velvet coat and barefoot, she wasn't quite the elfin princess of my Inbetweener-age crush but she looked gorgeous."
The Guardian hears comments from fans still buzzing as they made their way home, with one saying: "It was the best concert or show that I've seen and that I will ever see. She has just as good a voice as ever, maybe even deeper than before, it's very warm, velvety and expressive as always. She's so dynamic and she didn't hold back at all. I cried and everybody around me cried. It was amazing in every respect and she sang all the songs I was hoping [for]."
For the Independent's Andy Gill, the show is "quite stunning, undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving, piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage".
Or, as the Daily Star puts it: "Kate's still great."
Dressed for success?
"Sherlock ends Downton's reign as darling of the Emmys," reports the Daily Telegraph of the BBC drama's haul of seven gongs at the US's annual TV awards ceremony.
It supplanted historical drama Downton Abbey as "America's favourite British show", the paper adds.
However, its Fashion Editor Lisa Armstrong - like the majority of the British press - was most interested in the frocks on display. And she wasn't keen on much of what she saw, writing: "There was so much atrocious hair, such a suffocation of C-list soap star highlights and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-style chiffon that it was hard not to see a form of malevolent karmic destiny at work."
The Star's Nadine Linge gets her teeth into Kelly Osbourne, the bottom of whose dress she says "looks a bit like a nana's doily", Gwen Stefani, who's likened to "a baddie from Star Trek", and Lena Dunham (pictured) for her "giant-toilet-roll-holder-meets-secretary's-blouse". The Mirror's Dinah Turner is kinder, saying the choices of Halle Berry, Jessica Lange and Julia Roberts "proved that Hollywood stars only get better with age".
Several papers highlight the number of red dresses, with the Guardian suggesting the "crimson tide" could mean that "red is the new black". However, the Mail reckons that "back is the new black", a reference to the number of cutaway gowns on show.
Sports news section headlines focus on Manchester United's remarkable 4-0 Capital One Cup hammering at MK Dons. "United are Don Four," says the Daily Express, while "Shaming the shirt," is the Telegraph's verdict on United's stars who the Mail describes as "Humiliated", adding a: "PS... Even David Moyes wasn't this bad."
Inside, however, the focus is on what Mirror chief football writer Martin Lipton calls "the final act of the Golden Generation" - a reference to the international retirement of England's Frank Lampard. The paper lists the caps of Lampard and former team-mates such as David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard but Lipton writes that the sum of their talent amounted to "four quarter-final appearances" in major tournaments.
However, the Express's John Dillon agrees with his Mirror counterpart that any failure to live up to the hype can't be attributed to the former Chelsea star, saying he "deserves special recognition for the dignity and grace with which he conducted himself as an England player". The Mail's Neil Ashton describes Lampard as a "survivor who gave all to the cause".
Meanwhile, the Independent's Sam Wallace wonders: "How will [the 'golden generation'] be regarded in another 13 years' time? Will the international careers of those such as Lampard improve with time and hindsight? This summer the last eight would have been heralded as a great success."
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