Newspaper headlines: Smart TV 'spying' and Brexit Budget

Philip Hammond preparing the Budget Image copyright PA

The papers do not expect any big surprises in Philip Hammond's first Budget.

The Daily Telegraph says he has been happily talking about it, if only to reassure everyone that there is nothing in it.

The Daily Express says the underlying theme is "steady as she goes".

For the Financial Times, it will be a Brexit Budget aimed at bolstering economic defences ahead of Theresa May's imminent triggering of EU divorce proceedings.

But the i says the chancellor still has several tricky decisions to take and will spend cash on sensitive political issues at the same time as reassuring markets that he is not loosening the purse strings.

One of the sensitive issues is business rates, and the Sun says he will announce a permanent annual discount that will benefit nine out of 10 pubs in England.

It also says he is looking very closely at a cut in beer duty.


The Daily Mail leads with a report that tens of thousands of men could benefit from a breakthrough treatment for an enlarged prostate.

According to the paper, the technique uses tiny plastic beads to block the blood supply and shrink the gland, without an operation.

A successful trial in Portugal is being followed up in the UK, with results due back later this year.

If successful, the paper adds, it could be rolled out on the NHS.


There is plenty of coverage of the rescue of a 22-year-old British backpacker in Australia who had been held against her will for two months and subjected to repeated sexual assaults.

The Sun says she was saved by a heroic petrol station attendant.

Beverley Page spotted the distressed woman's black eyes and bruised neck when she stopped to fill up in a remote town in Queensland.

The Mail says that when she drove off without paying the attendant alerted police conducting a drink-drive operation nearby.

Officers caught up with the car and found the woman's alleged attacker in a hidden compartment inside.

The Express quotes Mrs Page as saying: "If she had been able to pay for the fuel, I might not have interfered with her life and she would have gone off and who knows?"


There is fresh anger at the energy suppliers after E.ON announced a 13.8% increase in the cost of electricity.

For the Sun, it is a staggering rise and surely the final insult to its customers, the watchdog Ofgem and the government.

The paper says that instead of punishing three million loyal punters still on standard tariffs, it should be cutting their bills or moving them to cheaper rates.


A rhinoceros named Vince which was shot dead by poachers for its horn at a zoo near Paris is pictured in most of the papers, and many express revulsion at the killing.

The Times says it beggars belief that poachers, who normally operate in Africa and East Asia, are penetrating European countries.

The Daily Mirror says killing a rhino for its horn is an attack on civilisation, not just on an animal.

At their best, it continues, zoos are about conservation and education - so the animals who really need to be behind bars are the poachers.