Newspaper headlines: EU-Turkey summit, Sharapova drug 'shock' and royal 'privacy row'

The summit between EU leaders and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on curbing the number of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea into Europe sparks much debate.

The talks in Brussels may have ended without formal agreement but correspondents report proposals to resettle one Syrian refugee in Europe for every Syrian returned to Turkey, as well as the doubling to £4.6bn of EU funding to Ankara by 2018.

The Daily Telegraph sees the meeting as "a highly ambitious bid to contain Europe's worst migrant crisis since the Second World War".

Image copyright AFP

But along with the Times and Daily Mirror, it chooses to angle its coverage on the £500m the UK could now have to provide to Turkey, up from an initial £250m agreed in October.

In the view of the Daily Mail, Turkey's demands amounted to a "case of blackmail".

And Ross Clark, in the Daily Express, worries about the promised acceleration of talks on Turkish accession to the EU.

But according to the Financial Times, a deal is taking shape with the EU side reluctantly accepting most of Turkey's wish list.

For the Guardian "there has been no more important European Union summit for years".

"Coping properly with the refugees who streamed into Europe in 2015 remains unfinished business. But preventing 2016 turning into a second, and possibly bigger, version of 2015 is now at least as pressing," it says.

A final agreement itself has been delayed but the Independent's Laura Pitel in Istanbul writes: "Syrians here need to be comfortable and happy enough not to look towards Europe. That is the EU deal's central purpose. But if Europe and Turkey cannot agree how best to support them, the signs are not good."


Sharapova bombshell

Tennis player Maria Sharapova appears on the front pages after her revelation she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. The former world number one tested positive for meldonium, a substance she said she has been taking since 2006 for health issues, and which was outlawed this year.

In the words of the Sun: "Sharapova - the highest-paid female sports star on the planet - stunned the world."

The Independent says tennis "is in shock".

Image copyright AFP

The Daily Mail's tennis correspondent Matt Dickson says the announcement was a "huge bombshell", coming at a press conference in Los Angeles which many assumed would be to announce the star's retirement after a spate of injuries.

The Independent says: "Throughout her career Maria Sharapova has been the ultimate sporting professional but the 28-year-old Russian admitted... that one rare moment of unprofessionalism had cost her the chance to carry on playing tennis, which has always been the part of her working life she cherishes the most."

According to the Times, Sharapova is the highest-profile athlete to fall foul of meldonium's addition to the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. In an analysis piece, the paper explains the drug is designed to treat angina but can aid endurance.

"Sharapova's announcement is almost unprecedented for a top athlete," says the Guardian.

"Most sports stars try to hide positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs, hoping news will not break until a suspension is revealed. But few athletes are like Sharapova...

"By revealing the test results herself she is attempting to take control of the story, hoping that by being up front people will believe she is being honest and really was taking mildronate for health purposes."


Eye-catching headlines

  • Diana... the icon we most admire - A poll conducted to mark International Women's Day places the late Princess of Wales ahead of Emmeline Pankhurst, Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale, and the Queen in a list of the most inspiring females of all time - Daily Express
  • Carole King brings us her Tapestry -Veteran singer-songwriter Carole King is to perform her 1971 best-selling LP live in its entirety for the first time when she performs in London in July - Times
  • Maths, science and English lessons just a distant memory, survey finds - There is an apparent lack of recall among many adults who have forgotten not just the rules of mathematics, but many of the key principles of English and science they were taught at school, research commissioned by distance learning specialist Oxford Open Learning suggests - Guardian

Privacy row

The release of a series of photographs from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's family ski trip to the French Alps may, in the words of the Times, prove to be a "double-edged sword in the royal PR battle".

Image copyright John Stillwell/PA

The six images, taken by the Press Association news agency and featuring the duke and duchess with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were released to the media on Monday.

"While they show the family looking at their best, the images of the Cambridges enjoying the slopes will do nothing to dispel the view held by some that William is a part-time prince," says the Times.

And, reports the Daily Mail, the Cambridges found themselves at the centre of a privacy row because they chose to take their trip in secret.

"Unlike royal ski holidays of old - when a group of photographers was invited to capture the family relaxing on the slopes - the Cambridges chose to escape the country without telling the media of their plans."

The Sun says the royals "rescued their failing 1990s public image" by increasing transparency but suggests that has now been put into reverse.

The paper carries the headline - Busy? I'm snowed under - and refers to complaints from some commentators in recent weeks that William has been shirking royal engagements and his duties as an air ambulance pilot.

It is a point also implied in the Daily Mirror's coverage which describes the holiday as "ice work if you can get it".

No such complaints from the Daily Express, which says it was the family's first overseas trip together since the birth of Princess Charlotte in May last year and a "welcome break from their official duties".


What the commentators say...

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPhillipa Leighton-Jones of the Wall Street Journal and Hugo Rifkind from the Times joined the BBC News Channel to review Tuesday's front pages

Making people click

Times: Lonnie Ali: I wish Muhammad's voice was stronger. The world needs him

Guardian: Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y's income

Daily Mail: Breakthrough could end the misery of serial miscarriages

Independent: International Women's Day 2016: What is it and why was it set up?