Newspaper headlines: Papers try to fathom Florida massacre

Police vehicles at Pulse nightclub Image copyright AFP

Most of Monday's papers lead with the shooting massacre at a gay club in Florida. All of them try to describe what happened, its causes and impact.

Each describes the dreadful scenes at the Pulse nightclub, where, according to a Times reporter, "suddenly the beat seemed louder and more pronounced" as the attacker started shooting.

All mention his previous, inconclusive interrogations by the FBI, and his father's claim that the attack was nothing to do with his Islamic religion but was provoked by his anger at seeing two men kissing.

America's political factions, says Gary Younge in the Guardian, will "pick through the wreckage of the heinous events" and try to portray the tragedy in a way which suits their agenda.

Some writers note the confident reaction of Donald Trump, who, says the Daily Telegraph, "used the shootings as a chance to boast that was 'right on radical Islamic terrorism'" and attack President Obama and Hillary Clinton for being, he says, ineffectual at combating it.

The Telegraph is among those who quote Mr Trump as saying Mr Obama should "resign in disgrace" for not linking the massacre to Islamic terrorism.


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Tense time for England fans

  • Amid warnings that England could be disqualified from Euro 2016 if there is more violence involving fans, the papers contain many accounts of the clashes with Russian supporters.
  • The French police are widely condemned for doing little to prevent the fighting. "It was disgraceful. We got no protection at all," one fan tells the Daily Mirror.
  • The Russian hooligan, stresses the Daily Mail, is unlike "his paunchy, drunken British counterpart"- he is disciplined, extremely fit and "motivated by extreme right-wing nationalism".
  • And the papers fear that mismanagement could lead to fresh clashes, with fans being advised to stay in Lille - where Russia will also be playing - when England play Wales in nearby Lens.
  • Writing in the Daily Mirror, Dave Kidd calls the arrangement an "astonishing Uefa blunder".

The president has been cautious in declaring the exact motivation for the attack, but the papers describe how he and others have used the event as an example of why they say more gun control is needed.

Nevertheless, says Tim Montgomerie in the Times, the massacre will ensure that US gun shops will "do a roaring trade" since many Americans believe the way to stop such atrocities is to make the attackers fear that their victims will shoot back.

None of the papers ignores the fact that the gunman's target was a gay club. But the extent varies to which they portray the atrocity, as does the Financial Times, as a "savage attack on the US gay community" during Pride Month, and after the Supreme Court's recognition of same-sex marriage.

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Media captionRob Merrick, Westminster Correspondent at South West News Service, and writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes join the BBC News Channel to review Monday's front pages.

The Telegraph says gay groups and venues in Britain have been told to be vigilant following the Orlando attack. It quotes gay campaigner Peter Tatchell as saying attacks by Islamic extremists on gay and other target groups in the West have "always been on the cards".

In the Guardian, Steven W Thrasher writes that "gay America is stronger than its enemies" and the tragedy "could be gay America's moment to find the best in ourselves".

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Image caption Gordon Brown is to take a leading role in Labour's Remain campaigning, say the papers.

In the EU referendum debate, warnings continue from opponents of a Brexit. The Times and Guardian quote European Council president Donald Tusk, who says a vote to leave would be followed by two years of exit talks, and then five years for approval of future relations by every other member state "without any guarantee of success".

But there is anger concerning the warning by David Cameron and George Osborne about the effect of a Brexit on public spending. "Voters won't easily forgive the vicious threats the PM and chancellor have levelled at things like pensions and the Army," says the Sun.

The Daily Express claims that "Tory aides were on the retreat last night" and promising that retirement benefits would be guaranteed until at least 2020, whatever the referendum result.


Eye-catching headlines


Most of the papers report plans for Labour to conduct what the Daily Mirror calls a "10-day media blitz" led by ex-PM Gordon Brown "to rescue the Remain campaign after Leave surged ahead in the polls".

"The focus will be on Labour's efforts to win over voters in its working-class heartlands," says the Financial Times.

It says shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn will make a speech stressing Labour's internationalist roots.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, says the Times, has cleared his schedule for an "all-out push" for Remain, starting with a speech on Monday.


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Are cats outdated?

  • There is much interest in the views of Dr John Bradshaw, who says cats could be bred to lose their primeval hunting instinct, to stop them preying on unfortunate birds and bringing their remains into the house.
  • For 10,000 years we have prized cats' ability to hunt, but now we are put off by "blood and flesh and death," he says in the Times.
  • He believes we can tackle the problem by identifying the genetic differences which make cats more or less eager to hunt, according to the Mail.
  • The paper adds helpfully that putting bells on their collars will warn off their prey.
  • With the whole cat genome already sequenced, it should be possible to alter the "hunting" genes, the Telegraph quotes Dr Bradshaw as saying.

The Telegraph quotes shadow chancellor John McDonnell as saying Labour will "save" the Remain campaign, as well as remarking that "If we come out while the Tories are in power I think it will be disastrous for working people."

With many pictures still appearing of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations the Times combines the subject with the EU debate in a cartoon showing rain-drenched revellers in ponchos thronging the Mall.

"You said the forecasts were just a part of Project Fear," a woman chides her husband as the rain pours down.

There are claims that a ban on umbrellas for security reasons aroused some annoyance among the partygoers. "It feels like I'm in a tent in this poncho. It's so British. We're going to enjoy ourselves regardless," the Sun and other papers quote one woman as saying.


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