Newspaper review: Russia's Paralympics ban and rail strike pain

The ban on Russia taking part in the Paralympics makes the lead in the Guardian.

It says the ruling immediately prompted comparisons with the failure of the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes - despite wide-ranging evidence of a state-run anti-doping system.

"It will further damage the credibility of the IOC and its president, Thomas Bach, who has close links to [Russian president Vladimir] Putin."

The "i" newspaper says it has taken the Paralympic movement to show the way in the fight against the scourge of Russia's state-sponsored doping.

It says it did so with a passion and energy that will make the world sit up and take notice.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Photographs of cyclist Lizzie Armitstead featured on many of the front pages

Following the second day of the Olympics, several front pages feature cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, who finished fifth in the women's road race at the Olympics.

The world champion and London 2012 silver medallist faced being banned from the Games after missing three drugs tests, but was cleared to compete at Rio after a successful appeal.

The Mirror says the controversy left her exhausted in the run-up to the event.

'Southern discomfort'

The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, leads with the start of a five-day strike on the Southern Rail network. The paper says 300,000 commuters will have their journeys thrown into chaos.

Union leaders who called the stoppage have been accused of deliberately damaging the economy, it says.

The Times calls it "Southern Discomfort" and accuses the RMT union of having "selfish, Luddite" aims. However, it also says the response of the Southern has been lamentable and ham-fisted.

In the view of passengers, the paper says, things could hardly be worse.

The Guardian says the prime minister is facing a "cross-party backlash" over plans for new grammar schools, after speculation that she will use the Conservative conference to announce plans for new selective schools in England.

The paper says the idea will face stiff opposition from some senior Tories, as well as Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

The Daily Mail welcomes the idea, saying pupils from poor backgrounds had a far better chance of realising their potential when they had grammar schools to give them a leg up.

Allison Pearson, in the Daily Telegraph, hails the grammar school system, comparing it to the "highly selective, elite training" that turned Olympic champion swimmer Adam Peaty "into the Ferrari of the pool".

"If we don't want another generation of Reliant Robins coming out of our schools, we need to bring back the greatest single engine of social mobility this country has ever known," she says.

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Image caption One columnist warned about fostering a generation of Reliant Robins

But the Daily Mirror says campaigners have vowed to oppose attempts to return to selective education.

And in the "i" newspaper, Stephen Bush argues that the merit of testing children at 11 and sending them off to different schools has been comprehensively debunked. He says people forget the many pupils who get left behind.

'Boardroom excess'

The Financial Times leads on the survey suggesting the bosses of Britain's biggest publicly listed companies received a 10% pay rise last year - taking their salaries to around £5.5m.

The paper says the findings will bolster demands by Prime Minister Theresa May for curbs on boardroom excesses.

The Guardian says that while pay at the top is an outrage that needs tackling, pay at the bottom needs addressing even more.

It quotes a survey of companies conducted last year which found the biggest pay packet was 129 times the size of the average employee's.

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Image caption The controversial issue of fracking again featured in many of the papers

The Daily Mail reports that the idea of compensating households for the effects of fracking schemes could be extended to payments for the building of unpopular housing estates.

It says the suggestion is being seen as an attempt to end years of deadlock over housing developments on the edge of towns.

The Telegraph argues that the advent of fracking must be speeded up - and if offering cash gets schemes off the ground, then so be it.

"One thing is certain", its editorial concludes, "no-one will ever benefit from shale if the resources remain in the ground".

But the Daily Mirror says the prime minister has been accused of trying to bribe residents. It quotes Greenpeace as saying that people's concerns can't be silenced with a wad of cash.

Drone crime

The "i" newspaper says there's been a big increase in the number of reported crimes involving the use of drones.

It says there have been allegations that the devices, fitted with cameras, are being used by paedophiles over children's playgrounds, by burglars scouting out likely properties, and even by cashpoint scammers recording Pin numbers.

The newspaper says the reported crimes include endangering commercial airliners and transporting drugs, often into prisons.

Image copyright @Mavise42Mavis


News of the gold medal for swimmer Adam Peaty came too late for the newspapers.

However, there are tributes and a number of photos of him, in expectation of his gold medal-winning swim.

The Mail charts his transformation from a young lad who was scared of water to a magnificent performer of explosive power.

The Daily Express says he's been spurred on by his biggest fan - his grandmother, Mavis Williams, who regularly takes to Twitter to express her support.

The Times says she's given herself the hashtag #OlympicNan and has gained hundreds of followers as she energetically uploads pictures and messages for her grandson.