Newspaper headlines: Internet trolls and obesity fight

News that internet trolls will face up to two years in prison makes the lead story for both the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express.

The Mail says harsher sentences are to be introduced following a series of "shocking, high-profile cases" including threats against Chloe Madeley, the daughter of TV presenter Judy Finnigan.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling revealed to the paper, it says, that the maximum six-month sentence for internet abuse would be quadrupled in a "Chloe's Law".

Rachel Johnson, in her column in the Mail, says two things need to happen if if trolling is going to end.

"One, everyone must stop repeating and reprinting and echoing the insults and, two, anonymity online should end."

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Image caption Chloe Madeley, pictured with father Richard, was the target of Twitter trolls

The Express says the government crackdown comes after "last week's Twitter storm that saw bullies taunt Chloe Madeley with terrifying rape threats".

Mr Grayling, writing in the Express, says new technology comes at a price.

"And one of the downsides is that it gives those grubby individuals who choose to fling insults and intimidation, sometimes at complete strangers, another outlet for their vitriol and bile," he says. "It's cowardly. It's pathetic. And today I want to give a clear message to those who do it; you could find yourself behind bars."

The Express says "these cowards" will no longer be able to lurk behind the anonymity of a screen and stalk their victims.

"While this will not stop all of those intent on peddling their abuse," it says, "it will serve as a stern warning to the ones who have even a modicum of sense, that their actions will no longer be tolerated and they must now think before they tweet."


'Stark warning'

The Observer reports that NHS boss Simon Stevens is to urge his staff to set a good example in the nation's battle against obesity by joining weight-watching groups and taking out gym memberships.

The paper says the move comes amid mounting frustration within the medical profession and the NHS over the failure of successive governments to invest sufficiently in public health campaigns.

The Observer continues that Mr Stevens will give a "stark warning" that unless there is a "revolution in attitudes" to issues such as obesity, the health of millions of children and the financial sustainability of the entire health service will be at risk.

The Sunday Times reflects on Ed Miliband's pledge that, under a Labour government, patients suspected of having cancer would have to wait only a week between seeing a doctor and getting test results.

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In an editorial, the paper, which has its own campaign to improve cancer care, says Mr Miliband's plan is ambitious but "cancer charities have welcomed the Labour leader's initiative and so do we."

"Mr Miliband's seven-day target will be difficult to achieve but its intention is a good one," it says. "Britain's cancer survival rates compare poorly with other countries in Europe. Early diagnosis is one way of addressing that. It is right that the Labour leader has made it a political issue."

But the plan gets short shrift from David Blunkett's biographer Stephen Pollard, himself a leukaemia survivor, in the Mail on Sunday. He brands Mr Miliband as either a cynical vote-grabber... or an idiot.

"In nearly three decades of following politics, for sheer shameless, dishonourable and downright nasty cynicism, nothing I've encountered comes close to Ed Miliband's promise yesterday," he writes.

"It's not just a false hope that he is holding out; it's a shameful piece of political posturing designed solely to boost Labour's poll rating without any basis in medicine or reality."


Straight fight

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, David Cameron says Britain's prosperity is at stake in the most important general election "for a generation" in 200 days' time.

The prime minister says mortgages will rise, businesses will be crushed and the international markets will take fright if Labour takes power.

The Telegraph says Mr Cameron is "quite correct" that it is a straight fight between the Conservatives and Labour.

"UKIP may be enjoying a moment in the sun, capitalising on the frustrations that many people feel about the slow place of reform," it says. "But do not mistake a protest movement capable of stealing headlines with by-election victories for a serious force for change."

Matthew D'Ancona, in the same paper, asks how often in modern political history have both main party leaders been threatened, simultaneously, with a coup?

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The charge sheet for Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron is uncannily similar, he says.

"Both men are said to be 'out of touch'; each is accused of insulating himself with a wicked cabal of courtiers and political professionals; neither has found a way of reconciling voters to the thunderous forces unleashed by globalisation. In this rhetorical battle 'immigration policy' usually does service for 'change' in general."

Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer says both main parties are "vainly yearning for fantasy leaders".

"This is a lovely time in British politics to be called Johnson," he writes. "As Labour MPs grow more anxious about their prospects under the management of Ed Miliband, the trees whisper with a yearning for Alan Johnson.

"By a neat symmetry, a similar hankering for a prince over the water is to be found among many a Tory. As they grow more fearful about their future under David Cameron, there is a low moan of desire for Boris Johnson."


No remorse

The Sunday Mirror has an exclusive interview with footballer Ched Evans, who has been released from prison after serving half of a five-year sentence for rape.

The paper says he said he wished he could turn the clock back - but failed to show remorse for his victim.

Kate Russell, of charity Rape Crisis, tells the paper: "His protestations of innocence and sympathy only for his girlfriend are insulting, harmful and hurtful - not only to his victim but also to the countless other victims of sexual violence out there. He has never taken a moment's responsibility for his crime nor shown any regard for the terrible impact it has had on her."

In an editorial, the Mirror says that whatever Evans thinks of himself he is a convicted rapist whose victim has considerably more reason to want to turn back the clock.

Elsewhere on the front pages, the Sun on Sunday says Boyzone star Stephen Gately's family want a fresh probe into his 2009 death, the Sunday People pictures terminally-ill actress Lynda Bellingham's last TV appearance, and the Daily Star Sunday also has a story about Ched Evans.


Final score

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the England rugby team is suppressing a patriotic video because of "political ramifications", particularly from Scottish nationalists.

The motivational film is said to be so emotionally charged that it prompted tears among some of the players at a private viewing.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster, the paper says, is worried that it could prompt claims of "arrogance" should it be released publicly.

The paper comments that some might call it a "definitively English act of self-deprecation".

The Telegraph also says plans for development at Lord's cricket ground are causing a stir.

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Image caption England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster doesn't want England to be seen as arrogant

The proposals include changes to the Nursery End and Pavilion End, as well as a museum, library and two 11-storey blocks of flats.

The paper says the ground's owner, the MCC, has been under pressure to update the facilities but wants to rebuild it without relying on developers' money. Some members, however, favour major redevelopment funded by residential projects.

The Telegraph says the plans are likely to reignite a long-running row within the club, which has been on the site since 1814.

And here's a late football result...

The Sunday Times reports research that claims there wasn't just one but as many 15 impromptu football matches between British and German troops on the Western Front on Christmas Day in 1914.

And in what the paper describes as a "Christmas miracle" the British actually beat the Germans 4-1 in one of them.


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