MPs' Iraq vote, Ryder Cup wags, iPhone woes and Victoria Beckham at the UN

With several front pages looking ahead to the Commons vote on air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, much attention focuses on the British forces likely to be involved.

A Financial Times graphic displays the firepower already at the disposal of the British military in the region - including six Tornado strike/reconnaissance jets and special forces - as well as those that could be deployed there, such as Typhoon fighter jets and Reaper drones.

Image caption John Nichol was paraded on Iraqi TV after being shot down in 1991

According to Times defence editor Deborah Haynes, any RAF strikes will be coordinated from a bunker at a Qatar airbase "fringed with palm trees". She adds: "The RAF outpost at al-Udeid will take instructions from Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), a sprawling military base north of London."

However, it seems it's not just conventional weapons the US and its allies are using against IS. The Daily Telegraph says Washington has stepped up its "social media war" against militants, "with online messages warning potential jihadists that they face death if they travel to Syria to take up arms".

A State Department Twitter account has picked up on news that the United Arab Emirates has sent a female fighter pilot into battle, "taunting the jihadists that death at her hands means they will forfeit the 72 virgins in paradise promised to those who die fighting for Islam", the broadsheet adds. Alongside the headline "you've just been bombed by a woman" - taken from a social media post - the Daily Mail has a post-mission picture of Maj Mariam al-Mansouri.

John Nichol, a former RAF pilot who spent seven weeks in captivity after being shot down during the 1991 Gulf War, recalls the period in the Mail. "The brutality of those weeks of capture was terrible - beatings, mock executions, cigarettes stubbed out on our skin, and of course, being humiliatingly paraded on TV," he writes. "But this time it is even more chilling - for the brutal, public murder of [IS] hostages by beheading is well understood by all involved."


For war?

Image copyright Reuters

The Sun publishes the results of a YouGov poll that suggests 57% of Britons are behind air strikes in Iraq, with 51% backing military action against IS targets in Syria. "A total of 43% now even want to either send ground troops back to Iraq or keep open the option. Only 32% say No," it adds.

Not everyone is so keen, though. Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian that the latest war "will recruit new volunteers for terror" and argues that Britain should leave the region's own powers to assert order. On the same page, former Middle East Minister Peter Hain says going to war in Iraq "on a lie" in 2003 has left him "deeply allergic" to anything similar in the region but insists military force is needed.

Telegraph cartoonist Adams reckons one man will be pleased at the prospect of war. Using a reference to the Queen's supposed reaction to the Scottish referendum result, he imagines Tony Blair "purring" at the prospect of British military action.

However, the Independent's Patrick Cockburn wonders if the UK has any coherent exit strategy. "Going by David Cameron's speech to the UN General Assembly, the government has no more idea of what it is getting into in this war than Tony Blair did in 2003," he writes.


Match play

Golf writers are salivating over a Ryder Cup "battle of the giants" (Daily Express) between Europe's Rory McIlroy and US star Phil Mickelson, particularly in light of pre-match banter - or a "Ror of words", as the Mirror puts it - setting up what the Mail describes as a "grudge match".

But the news sections are more interested in what the Express calls a "battle of the birdies", referring to an opening ceremony appearance by the players' wives and girlfriends. And the Sun reckons Europe "has scored an early hole in one... thanks to the glamorous Wags". Team USA looked "below par in beige cardigans", while their rivals' "military-style tailoring could have marched straight off the Burberry catwalk", it says.

The Mirror declares this style battle the "glamour tie" of the competition, adding: "It's fair to say both sets of women looked the tees knees in their respective outfits."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption "I bet the husbands of the Solheim Cup teams don't have this much fun"

However, the Guardian notes the players weren't missing out in the style stakes at the "major production" ceremony at Gleneagles that featured "Scotland's Commonwealth Games medallists, bagpipes, singer Amy MacDonald and the country's First Minister Alex Salmond". The golfers each "lined up on stage in specially tailored tartan suits", it says.

Meanwhile, the Metro suggests Nigel Farage "comes out swinging... for Europe", quoting him saying: "I love Europe." However, the picture of the UKIP leader - with a set of clubs and wearing a pair of pink trousers and stripy golf shirt - gives away the fact he's talking sport. And the paper reveals it's a Ryder Cup publicity stunt for a bookmaker.

The Telegraph's editorial agrees it's "one area in which we know we are stronger in Europe than out", adding: "If the contest produces anything like the spine-tingling drama seen in 2012 - when the Europeans snatched an unlikely victory from seemingly certain defeat - then we are all in for a treat. And that includes Nigel Farage."


Apple crumble?

The Independent focuses on cyber-security and concerns about a "computer bug", known as Shellshock, which was found in a piece of software used by Apple Mac's operating system and which threatens to allow hackers to take control of hundreds of millions of devices around the world.

Image copyright Reuters

However, it's Apple's share price that makes the Telegraph's front page. The paper says more than $20bn (£12.3bn) was wiped off the company's value after it was forced to withdraw its latest operating system update, hours after its release, because customers who downloaded it to their new iPhones were unable to make calls.

At the same time, the Metro says the tech giant was the butt of social media jokes as people reacted to complaints that iPhone 6 owners were pulling the devices from their pockets to find they had bent. Images, including a Dali "melting clocks"-style phone bending over the edge of a table, were posted using #bendgate, it says.

Cartoonist Pugh, in the Daily Mail, imagines a mugger telling a man he'd robbed: "Hang on, it's an iPhone 6! You can have that back."

In light of the difficulties, the Financial Times's Tim Bradshaw tries out the device to see if the "phablet... an unwieldy name for an unwieldy device" justifies the hype. He wonders: "Will my thumb reach across the screen? Can I use it with one hand without dropping it? Are cargo pants back in fashion yet? Some commentators are already calling on designers to lengthen trouser pockets - as though tailoring has somehow failed us by lagging behind Apple's furious pace of innovation." However, he declares it the best-designed device of its kind.

The Sun describes the software problems as "the latest iGroan" but consumer editor Daniel Jones says it's unlikely to stop the firm having the number one phone: "They've sold 15 million already, and only a handful have bent. The software issue is more serious, but easily fixed."


Talking shop

Image copyright AP

After all the hype surrounding designer Victoria Beckham's first London store, she didn't turn up for the opening.

Instead, as the Sun reports, she was giving a "Posh address" at the United Nations in New York, where she'd been appointed a goodwill ambassador for the organisation's campaign to tackle Aids.

Paul Harris writes in the Mail that she joins Angeline Jolie, Emma Watson and Leonardo DiCaprio in using her star status to draw attention to UN good works. "In a sober suit, and with barely a hint of her trademark pout, the 40-year-old said she was 'humbled and honoured' to represent the UN in its Aids campaign, adding: 'For some reason people will listen to me'."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Too dear? Becks, cap in hand

Her journey to the UN, the writer says, was inspired "by a trip to South Africa, where she met children stricken by Aids and spoke to afflicted mothers".

"What on earth is she doing there?" was the reaction summed up by the Telegraph's Luke Leitch, a deputy fashion editor reporting about events at the United Nations.

"Beckham... wore her hair pulled back to exude seriousness. To this she added a serious topcoat - very dashingly - then accessorised both of them with a serious face," he says. "This alignment of the fatuous and the deserving might seem awkward. But I bet you hadn't spared a thought about the transmission of HIV to babies in Africa until you read this article about Posh Spice."

Perhaps inspired by the Ryder Cup, Mrs Beckham sent her well-dressed and photogenic other half to London in her stead. Or, as the Mail puts it: "Becks minds the shop."

However, the Mirror says the Mayfair store is for "Posh customers only", given the cheapest item on sale is a £160 keyring. Its fashion director Amber Graafland can't resist trying on a £2,250 black and white tunic dress and picks out a £1,195 embellished satin mini dress she'd definitely have bought if she "had a wealthy footballer for a husband".

Remembering the "Posh but (whisper it) pointless" Spice Girl, the Express declares: "How times have changed." Its editorial says: "In the past two days Victoria has not only opened a shop in one of the most exclusive areas of the country but has been addressing the UN on the plight of poorer women around the world. We take our hat off to her - a woman of many parts."


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