Newspaper headlines: Rape clampdown, Labour rumblings and beavers reprieve

New guidance on the way sexual offences are dealt with by police and prosecutors is covered in a number of the papers.

The Daily Telegraph leads on it, and says greater onus will be put on suspects to demonstrate how the complainant had consented "with full capacity and freedom to do so".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The guidelines have been introduced by DPP Alison Saunders

The paper reports that Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said rape victims should no longer be "blamed" by society if they are too drunk to consent to sex or if they freeze and say nothing if they are terrified of their attacker.

The Telegraph says campaigners described the move as "a huge step forward" in ensuring that fewer rapists escape justice.

The story is also the front page lead on the Metro, which says officers will have to ask whether sex happened in circumstances such as when the victim was drunk or had mental health issues, or when the attacker was in a position of power.

"Men will have to prove they have consent under DPP's tough new rape guidelines" is the headline in the the Independent, which talks of "radical changes to the way sex offences are investigated".

The Guardian carries a warning that rapists are increasingly using social media to hide their tracks, following the first joint initiative on rape between the Crown Prosecution Service and the police.

They referred to "false narratives", such as where rapists contact their victim the next day by text or on social media to make things appear normal which can then be used in court should there be a trial.

The paper says there has been an increase in the number of rape cases coming to court, partly down to publicity over historical abuse cases and also because victims appear to have more confidence they will be believed.


Internal sniping

Rumblings within the Labour Party as the general election looms on the horizon continue to attract the attention of the press.

The Times says Lord Kinnock called for an end to the internal sniping at Ed Miliband "as he warned that the Labour leader would would face even more vicious attacks than he had endured in 1992".

It comes after former Labour Health Secretary Alan Milburn, supported by another ex-cabinet member John Hutton, said Mr Miliband's election strategy was a "pale imitation" of Neil Kinnock's failed 1992 campaign.

The Daily Mail says Labour's "big beasts are at war over Ed Miliband's controversial election campaign tactics", after John Prescott "reacted with fury" to the intervention by Mr Milburn and Lord Hutton.

John Crace's sketch in the Guardian refers to Mr Miliband's purported use of the word "weaponise" in relation to the NHS and the election.

"'Weaponise, weaponise, weaponise.' David Cameron was so beside himself with anger that Ed Miliband had told the BBC he would weaponise the NHS that he felt obliged to turn himself into an out of control red-faced Dalek and repeat the word on every occasion possible at Prime Minister's Questions," he writes.

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Image caption Has Ed Miliband's NHS weapon blown up in his face?

"The threat of weaponisation was now so great, he insisted, that he was left with little option but to weaponise it himself in order to defend it from weaponisation. The NHS is now officially at Defcon 1, with a full invasion of spin-doctors imminent."

The Mail says "Red Ed's NHS weapon" has blown up in his face.

In a leading article, the Telegraph believes that NHS scaremongering will backfire on Labour.

"People know there are things wrong with the NHS - and other aspects of their lives - but they are also aware that the situation is by no means as bad as our politicians often make out," it says.

"In other words, a strategy that identifies where improvements can be made, while offering hope and optimism for the future, will always trump alarmist scaremongering masquerading as a programme for government."

Mac's cartoon in the Mail shows Mr Miliband with knives in his back, and saying on the telephone: "Ambulance please - but tell them not to be too quick. I'm trying to prove a point."


'Fugitive family'

The papers can't get enough of news that beavers living on the River Otter in Devon will be allowed to remain in the wild, having previously been extinct in England for 500 years.

The Independent, which pictures one of the creatures on its front page gliding through water, says they have been saved from captivity following a landmark ruling by the government's nature watchdog.

The Telegraph notes that it is unclear how they ended up in the river although it is thought they may have escaped from captivity.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The beavers can carry on gnawing in the wild

The Times says the beaver family may wonder what all the fuss is about: "They have, presumably, been blissfully unaware of government plans to trap them and send them to live the rest of their lives in a zoo."

"Devon's wild beavers to keep on chewing - for now," says the Guardian. It explains that they will be allowed to continue to swim free as long as it can be proved they are free of disease and are of Eurasian origin.

The Mail gives us the beavers' back story, saying they were once plentiful in England but were wiped out by hunters in the Middle Ages. The Sun says the "family of fugitive beavers" were given the all-clear to remain in the wild.


One giant leap

America's renowned Smithsonian Institution, which houses the spacesuits worn by the first men on the Moon, is to make a giant leap to London it seems.

The Times says plans have been announced for a branch of the museum to land at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which could lead to important cultural and scientific exhibits crossing the Atlantic for the first time.

"As the home to Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, the first light bulb and the original star-spangled banner which inspired the American national anthem, the Smithsonian Institution is widely considered to boast the world's greatest collection of museums," it declares.

Image caption The Smithsonian has exhibits from the American Moon landings

The paper lists other "satellite museums" such as the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim in Venice and Bilbao, the proposed Centre Pompidou in Malaga, and the Tate's sites on London's South Bank and in Liverpool and Cornwall.

An analysis piece says the deal was sealed by London Mayor Boris Johnson with the Smithsonian's elite over hot dogs and grits.

In a leading article, the Times says: "The plan to settle a branch of Washington's wondrous Smithsonian Institution in London is not just a piece of intelligent urban regeneration but an enrichment for Britain."

The Guardian also runs the story, saying that if the plan goes ahead filling the new museum would not be a problem - the Smithsonian's collection runs to 138 million items.


Yellow peril

"It is one of Britain's most picturesque villages that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year," says the Telegraph, "but visitors to the Cotswolds beauty spot of Bibury aren't quite getting the photograph they hope for."

The paper explains that photographers have taken to Twitter to complain about a bright yellow car parked in the village which they say is ruining the view of National Trust-owned 14th Century cottages.

The Vauxhall Corsa's owner, who has lived in the village for 12 years, says he has nowhere to park the car other than outside his house.

Image caption It could be worse in Bibury...

The Times picks up on the same story, noting that the row of cottages is even depicted inside UK passports - although minus any prominent vehicles presumably.

The Mail says it is the picture perfect image of an English village - but for the bright yellow car that is usually to be found parked outside one of the houses.

"Who would have thought just one small car would be capable of driving so many people round the bend," comments the Daily Express.

And the Sun says thousands of tourists hoping for a snap of one of Britain's most famous streets are being photo-bombed by a banana-yellow Corsa.


Making people click

Times: Black people want an identity, not a label

Telegraph: Michelle Obama causes outrage in Saudi Arabia by not wearing headscarf

Guardian: 50 ways to really annoy your partner (or the quick road to divorce)

Independent: Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf

Mail: The mystery stranger who left £5 and a heart-warming note on train for young mother for teaching her son good manners