The papers: Ebola 'alert' and election campaigns

Heathrow arrivals

Ebola is the main story for most of the papers - in the light of the death of a British man in Macedonia and the heightening of checks on people arriving in the UK - and there is a mixed reaction to the government's response.

The Daily Mail's headline calls it a "screening shambles over Ebola".

The paper says ministers were accused of a "chaotic response", and claims that critics of the screening policy accused the government of sending out mixed messages. It describes it as a day of escalating panic over the virus.

In the opinion of the Daily Express, the implementing of screening measures to help keep Ebola out of Britain "is the right measure to take".

"Previous outbreaks have all been prevented from progressing far beyond their place of origin because it was much easier to isolate those areas," it explains.

"However, the huge expansion in global air travel and the fact that Ebola has made its way into cities significantly increases the threat of this particular outbreak in comparison to previous ones."

"At last," exclaims a relieved Daily Mirror, "Brit airports to screen for Ebola". The paper says that "dithering ministers" were "forced into a U-turn" after insisting checks were not needed.

The Sun says there was "chaos" in Whitehall merely over whether airport arrivals should be screened.

But it continues: "We welcome the screening of visitors from west Africa. It's far from foolproof - for starters, it's only at two airports. But if it isolates one infected person it's worth doing."

Meanwhile, Daily Star cartoonist Scott has two UK border guards with butterfly nets and fly swatters, with one saying to the other: "Are you sure the government's thought this through?"


Hostile environment

The Guardian says travellers arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick from west Africa are to be screened for symptoms of Ebola "after a day of confusion over the government's response to the virus".

It continues: "The apparent U-turn comes before a war game-style test of Britain's ability to cope with an outbreak being planned by the Department of Health this weekend."

In a leader comment, the Guardian warns against panic and over-reaction to the virus: "As the rich world belatedly grapples with the singularly nasty, but reasonably well-understood, outbreak of Ebola in Africa, fear itself is becoming the primary problem in Europe and America."

However, the Independent declares a "red alert" on Ebola.

The paper says the government's announcement came "only hours after ministers insisted that tighter checks on passengers were unnecessary", following pressure from MPs urging the UK to take stronger measures.

The Daily Telegraph says "Ebola may have spread to Britain", after the man who died had been suffering with symptoms not unlike those of Ebola. The government changed its guidance after fresh advice from the chief medical officer, it adds.

Telegraph columnist Robert Colville believes the disease is a highly efficient killer, but with the West finally alert to the threat, its spread can surely be contained.

"In keeping with the horror-move narrative, the disease is starting to creep out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, " he says, "Yet those who have seen this movie before may also feel they know how it ends."

In an analysis piece in the Times, Dr Mark Porter says Ebola faces a far more hostile environment in the West than it does in rural Africa.

"A fit young man treated in the UK - such as the nurse William Pooley - is more likely than not to pull through," he advises.

In a leading article, the paper says the government should not be distracted by political arguments about Ebola screening: "The fight against the virus will be won in hospitals and in Africa."


Election gains

The results of two parliamentary by-elections - in Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester and in Clacton in Essex - come too late for the print versions of the papers, but pictures of UKIP leader Nigel Farage on the campaign trail are prominent on many of the front pages.

His party made big gains at the expense of Labour in the former constituency and won the latter seat - but there was plenty to analyse ahead of the outcomes.

The Times reflects UKIP's confidence of "making political history and breaking into Westminster".

Laura Pitel, in Clacton, describes Mr Farage as saying "there a first time for everything" - referring to the McFlurry ice cream he was "anxiously clutching".

Meanwhile, over in Manchester, Lucy Fisher gives an impression of the "fierce" campaigning and the worry among Labour activists ahead of the result.

Image copyright Reuters

A cartoon features two seagull's in Clacton discussing the poll: "Politicians... they always leave a mess."

A beaming Mr Farage, and his Clacton candidate Douglas Carswell, are pictured on the front of the Daily Telegraph, which says he is calling on MPs to "come and join the party.

The paper predicts that UKIP will "urge MPs to defect en masse" - by crossing the floor of the House of Commons without the need for a by-election and sit as Members of Parliament for the party until next year's general election.

Telegraph cartoonist Adams depicts Mr Farage and Mr Carswell flying off Clacton pier, screaming: "The only way is up."

The Express also features a jolly Mr Farage on its front page, as the paper asserts that UKIP's surge "signals a new dawn in politics.

Political correspondent Owen Bennett charts the party's history over its 21 years - and says that, in Clacton, it has "come of age".


Diabetes breakthrough

The Times reports on a development which is being "hailed as a medical advance potentially as significant as the advent of antibiotics".

The breakthrough by Harvard scientists brings the prospect of a "cure" for people with diabetes - the treatment eliminates the need for insulin injections.

The paper profiles one of the experts at the centre of the research, Prof Doug Melton, who spent 23 years on the project after his son, then his daughter, were diagnosed with the condition.

"Doug Melton's satisfaction is as much personal as professional," says the Times. "He had to overcome scepticism and political hurdles."

Also in the Times, there are some stunning images as "autumn leaves its mark" - ranging from storm clouds over the coast of Cornwall, a double rainbow amid grey skies in Porthleven and commuters ducking heavy showers in London.

The Telegraph picks up on the same theme, predicting a "battering for Britain as tornadoes and floods storm in".

"The unsettled start to October comes as after the driest September across the UK since records began in 1910," the paper notes.

Experts are warning of floods in coastal Cornwall due to a combination of high winds, large swells and spring tides, says the Guardian.

Finally, the Financial Times bucks the trend of Ebola and by-elections, followed by most of the other papers, with its main story.

It reports that the Irish Republic's tax system, which is seen as favourable to major US technology and scientific multi-nationals, is coming under scrutiny from the European Union.

Brussels is challenging a tax avoidance measure through its competition authority, says the FT.


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