Newspaper headlines: Charlie Hebdo attack, TV debates and Ched Evans

Several front pages focus on the manhunt for two brothers suspected of carrying out the deadly attack at the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Inside, the papers profile Cherif and Said Kouachi, with the Daily Mail charting their apparent transformation from "hooligans to assassins", having given up "smoking cannabis and chasing women" in favour of jihad. The Sun's take on former "pizzeria delivery boy and rapper" Cherif Kouachi's journey is from "loser to fanatic".

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However, the Daily Express reports that the brothers had been linked to terrorism for 10 years, leaving questions for French security services. The paper quotes one source saying of Cherif Kouachi: "This youth, who was for a long time considered to be just some kind of amateur, was in fact a time bomb, pre-programmed for a bloody and tragic destiny."

John Lichfield writes in the Independent that although the 32-year-old was still under surveillance, he was regarded as "a low-risk 'has been'... 'too old' - a failed wannabe jihadi". As Daily Telegraph defence editor Con Coughlin writes: "Again it appears security services have taken their eye off the ball."

For the Daily Mail, David Jones visits the "grim Parisian enclave" where Cherif Kouachi was radicalised to find dozens of state-owned blocks housing thousands of Muslims of North African origin. One, he describes, is a "vast and seemingly impenetrable concrete warren divided into some 600 apartments - or perhaps 'boxes' would be a better term, given their cramped proportions". The writer speaks to locals who describe the "self-radicalisation" of second or third-generation immigrants who feel disenfranchised by their conditions.

The Independent's Cahal Milmo, also visiting the 190th arrondissement, says the area has proven a "fertile recruiting ground for Islamist radicalisers" but finds the killings have prompted "only disgust" from the people he meets.


Symbolic gestures

The Daily Mirror records the world standing "resolute in its silent solidarity" with the victims, picturing people holding aloft pens and "Je suis Charlie" signs at vigils in London, Sydney and Paris. In the French capital, the Daily Mail's Robert Hardman watches people light candles and lay wreaths before the Eiffel Tower's lights were put out. "As a three-dimensional grand tableau, this was one hell of a cartoon," he writes.

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Hardman continues: "Yet behind all that 'Je suis Charlie" bravado, there is also a genuine sense of fear. How could two home-grown assassins do something like this and get away with it?" Likewise, the Financial Times's Adam Thomson finds that "unity in grief fails to mask [the] rising sense of apprehension".

Papers capture the response of cartoonists across the world to the killings of their colleagues.

British cartoonists offer their riposte, with many taking inspiration from the protests. The Independent's Dave Brown imagines the Eiffel Tower as a giant fountain pen, skewering a terrorist. Peter Brookes, in the Times, shows a cartoonist killing a masked gunman by stabbing him with the pointed end of a speech bubble in which he had declared: "Allahu Akbar!"

Brown also turns writer for the Independent, saying: "I hesitate to call satire a weapon, but it is definitely a thing these people detest. Being mocked is too much for them to take. So we need to find a way to carry on doing it and carry on laughing at them." And the Guardian's Steve Bell captures this by drawing a gunman with a rifle bent by the power of the laughter of journalists he has lined up to be shot against giant pencils.


Eye-catching headlines

  • "Paperback Rotter" - the Daily Mirror's view of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling who, it says, spent £72,000 on a failed bid to defend his ban on prisoners receiving books
  • "The Hunt for Red October - off the Scottish coast" - the US military is helping to track a Russian submarine near Faslane naval base, reports the Independent
  • "It's lonely in here with load of loons" - the Sun's Katie Hopkins prepares for life in the Celebrity Big Brother house
  • "Open under threat?" - the Daily Telegraph says the BBC faces a fight to keep Golf's oldest major championship on free-to-air TV

Podium positions

David Cameron's comment that he would not take part in TV debates ahead of the general election unless the Green Party was also included finds support in the Sun.

Despite admitting it disagrees with them "on virtually everything", the Sun reckons barring the Greens would be "absurd". "They have an MP and regularly outpoll the Lib Dems, that little known party of government... Give the leftie tree-huggers a voice, we say."

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Likewise, the Telegraph says it has "little affection" for the Greens, describing their policies as ranging "from the impractical to the downright silly" but it says Ofcom's decision to deny them the status of "major party" - and in all likelihood a place in broadcasters' TV debates - is "troubling". "The only people who should decide which parties they hear from are the voters themselves," it adds.

However, the Daily Mail wonders if there is more to the prime minister's reaction than meets the eye, asking: "Are you chicken, Dave?" It says: "Given the disillusionment felt by so many voters towards the political process, you'd think the prime minister would be thrilled to address 10 million in a single evening." Saying Mr Cameron should relish the chance to woo voters back from the UKIP leader and "colourful orator" Nigel Farage, it adds: "Instead, he stands accused of running scared."

The Daily Mirror reckons Mr Cameron is "camera sly", arguing: "In dodging election TV debates by hiding behind the exclusion of a Green Party he despises, a cynical Conservative leader is in danger of giving cowards a bad name."


Mob rule?

The collapse of Welsh international footballer, and convicted rapist, Ched Evans's proposed move to Oldham Athletic - and his subsequent complaint that "mob rule" had put paid to the deal - provokes much comment. As the Independent sees it, it leaves Evans with "nowhere to go", while the Mail wonders if he's a football "pariah".

Despite the club declaring that staff had received death threats over the proposed move, Henry Winter writes in the Telegraph: "It was not 'mob rule' that ended Evans's proposed move to Oldham Athletic as the player naively suggested in his statement. It was people's disgust that a convicted rapist felt he could swan back into a high-profile job after revealing no remorse for a crime that would preclude re-employment for many."

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Several writers complain of shortcomings in the striker's apology on a website run by his supporters. The Guardian's David Conn writes: "Evans said in his statement that those using social media 'in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are not my supporters and I condemn their actions'. However, this ran alongside to links to the CCTV footage which invites people to 'Judge for yourself' if the victim looked too drunk to consent to sex."

Independent chief football correspondent Sam Wallace writes that: "If Evans is serious about his rehabilitation he needs to show contrition, play his part in educating the next generation of players on the essential need for consent and get chedevans.com taken down as a matter of urgency. Only then can the conversation about his return to football start."

Outside the club's Boundary Park ground, however, Guardian northern editor Helen Pidd finds a male/female divide in views, with women opposed to Evans signing for the club and one 86-year-old retired kitchen fitter typical of men in asking: "Other rapists go back to work. Why not him? Is it just because he's a footballer?"

While the Times finds the club's initial decision to try to sign Evans "baffling", it adds: "The crude opprobrium that has cowed the club into backing down is deplorable. All too often it is not mature reflection but spiralling mass frenzy that forces the retraction of rash choices." And the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel, who has argued that if people believe in redemption, Evans "must be allowed to play again", asks: "Who will be thrown to the mob next, whose sentence will be morally adjusted on release, to satisfy the public whim?"

However, Sun columnist Tony Parsons agrees that "justice will never be served if we leave it to the baying mob" but questions whether we should want young fans to admire the skills of a convicted rapist. "It's very sad but sometimes prison means a change of career. Yes, Ched Evans should be allowed to earn a living. But why does he have to be a footballer?"


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