IS raid plan and Alice suspect found dead - front pages

The murder of British aid convoy volunteer Alan Henning by Islamic State militants prompts reflection in a number of papers.

The Observer says the release of a video showing his beheading "unleashed a torrent of condemnation" from within the UK's Muslim community. Following vigils and high-profile appeals by Islamic leaders, many people had been hoping he might be freed on the eve of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, the papers says.

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Image caption Floral tributes have been left outside Alan Henning's home in Salford

Writing in the Observer, Sara Khan, the co-director of counter-extremism organisation Inspire, wonders whether Mr Henning's death "could lead to a watershed moment". She suggests it could be the "single horrendous act to open the eyes of some radicalised people in our country", who may have been considering joining IS.

In its leader column, the Sunday Times wonders: "Can any good come out of such an appalling act?" If, as the prime minister says, "it adds to our resolve to degrade and defeat" IS, "the killers will have failed".

The Independent on Sunday says the media "must not play into IS's hands". Images from the video featuring Mr Henning do not appear in the paper and its front page simply features written text on a black background, its headline proclaiming: "On Friday a decent, caring human being was murdered in cold blood... Here is the news, not the propaganda".

"It is hard to formulate a response, especially when the diplomatic and military options are so complex and morally compromised," says the paper's leader. "But one thing that we can do is to refuse to play IS's propaganda game."


'Daring mission'

With the UK now involved in international military efforts to target the militants, there are no shortage of suggestions on the best way forward.

In the Sunday Telegraph, two retired British generals - Lord Dannatt and Jonathan Shaw - and ex-Defence Secretary Liam Fox back calls for sanctions against Gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where wealthy individuals have been accused of channelling cash to groups including IS.

Mr Fox also says gaining the support of Sunni tribes in Iraq who may have helped fund IS as part of their battle against the Assad regime in Syria "may hold the key" to its defeat.

Elsewhere, the Sunday Times reports that David Cameron summoned the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to Chequers and told them he wanted targets provided for a special forces raid on Mr Henning's kidnappers so they can kill or capture the suspected British militant dubbed Jihadi John, who features in the IS videos.

However, according to former SAS sergeant turned best-selling author Andy McNab in the Sun on Sunday "military bosses would not risk a daring mission to capture the Jihadi John if they could precision bomb him instead".


A word on the menu

Could there be a connection between the length of a restaurant menu and prices? The Sunday Times highlights a study by a US linguistics professor who analysed the link between the wordiness of a menu and cost.

The use of long words to describe a dish is a clear sign of a high price, concludes Stanford University Professor Dan Jurafsky's research into 6,500 menus. He calculates for every extra letter in the description of a dish diners can expect to find an extra 11p has been be added to their bill.


'Because of me'

As the final conference season before the general election rumbles on, it is no surprise to see future policy ideas aired and a sharpening of party lines.

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With the Liberal Democrats in Glasgow, leader Nick Clegg portrays his party as being the first to back tax cuts for "working people".

In the Sunday People, he describes last week's Tory pledge to raise the income tax-free threshold to £12,500 as an "astonishing change of tack from a party which opposed it at the last election and has privately resisted it at every budget since". Mr Clegg says he would also press for cuts in National Insurance contributions should the Lib Dems be part of another coalition after the next general election.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Vince Cable uses an interview in the Observer to suggest the Tories are planning punitive and unnecessary cuts to the incomes of the working poor that go "far beyond" what is needed to cut the deficit.

"There's absolutely no way that making deep cuts in provision for the working poor is acceptable and that we can possibly go along with it," he says.

And ahead of his conference address, the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander tells the Sun on Sunday he has done just as much as Chancellor George Osborne to boost growth, jobs and cut the deficit.

"Britain's better off because of me..." reads the paper's headline.

But according to a YouGov poll in the Sunday Times, the Conservatives have moved ahead following their conference. The poll puts the Tories on 36%, two points in front of Labour, with UKIP on 13% and the Lib Dems on 7%.

Two Labour supporters suggest a way forward in the paper. Lord Noon, one of the party's biggest donors, describes leader Ed Miliband's plans for a mansion tax as a "hopeless and desperate idea" and says Labour "really need to buck up". Lord Levy also attacks the mansion tax and calls on Labour to do more to win over business leaders.

Meanwhile, in the Sunday Mirror former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott suggests Labour's approach "is far too timid" and the party needs to go "all out for the win".

"After the 2010 ­election, Labour allowed the Tories to start the false premise that we wrecked the economy and spent too much," he writes.


'Extraordinary manhunt'

The announcement by police searching for Arnis Zalkalns, the labourer suspected of killing teenager Alice Gross, that a body found in Boston Manor Park in west London is likely to be his, appears on almost every front page.

The Sunday Mirror is among the papers to note that the body was "badly decomposed", sparking speculation it had been there for some time.

Alice vanished 28 August - her body was found on Tuesday in the River Brent and most of the papers suggest that Mr Zalkalns has taken his own life about a mile away.

Image copyright PA

The Mirror describes the arrival of police at the park as an amateur rugby match was taking place close by and walkers were still making their way up part of the canal path which had not been sealed off.

The Mail on Sunday and Sun on Sunday both say the area was searched previously while the Sunday Telegraph carries comments from residents of the area who believe Mr Zalkalns may have been living at a makeshift campsite in the park.

"If the body is that of Zalkans, it will bring to an end an extraordinary manhunt that saw police heavily criticised for failing to act more quickly when Alice first went missing," adds the Sunday Telegraph.


'Widespread behaviour'

Two stories in the headlines during the week are followed up in the Sunday Express and Sunday Mirror.

According to the Sunday Express, medical graduates will be forced to work for the NHS or repay the cost of their training to boost the number of GPs.

Health experts say the prime minister's pledge to make surgeries open every day will be impossible to realise without thousands of new doctors, reports the paper.

"With tens of thousands [of GPs] of on the brink of retirement and 5,000 a year considering leaving the UK, Westminster is considering radical plans to boost family doctor numbers," it explains.

The Sunday Mirror says more payday loan customers could have their debts and late fees wiped out following the decision by Wonga to write off £220m in borrowing after conceding ­it had failed to make proper credit checks.

Debt charities, consumer groups and MPs tell the paper other companies could be forced to take similar action.

Labour MP Stella Creasy, the party's consumer affairs spokesman, tells the paper: "I would be gobsmacked if the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] were not looking at other payday lenders because this kind of behaviour is widespread across the industry."


Life of Eric

An unseen collection of photographs and memorabilia of Monty Python star Eric Idle is going under the hammer.

The items were found in a box at the Warwickshire home of Idle's mother Norah, reports the Sunday Express.

After her death in 1996, Idle arranged for the house to be sold and the contents to be put up for auction. The buyer of the box found 150 unpublished family photographs and other items including school reports, the young Idle's stamp collection, and postcards from the Pythons' worldwide tours. Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester expects the haul to fetch about £7,000.


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