Newspaper headlines: US launches 'mother of all bombs'

The Times is just one of the papers to print detailed diagrams of the so-called "mother of all bombs" that was dropped on Afghanistan.

The paper reveals everything from the weapon's dimensions and how much it cost, to how it was dropped and what it is capable of destroying.

The Sun speaks to a military analyst who suggests that the massive blast from the 30ft (9m) weapon would feel like a nuclear weapon to anyone in the area.

One man living close to the mountains where the where the bomb targeted IS tunnels, tells the Guardian that the ground shook and it was the loudest blast he had ever heard.

Another says: "I have grown up in the war, and I have heard different kinds of explosions through 30 years: suicides attacks, earthquakes, different kinds of blasts. I have never heard anything like this."

The Daily Telegraph says the bomb was a signal to US enemies, including Syria, North Korea and Iran, that the White House is prepared to take action from which previous administrations refrained.

Describing it as "the bomb from hell", the Daily Mirror argues that the president's sudden taste for military action is the most significant and potentially frightening of his U-turns.


Alien life

The Daily Mail tells its readers that president Trump may have dropped the most destructive bomb since Nagasaki on Afghanistan, but there is some "happy" news: NASA has announced that practically all the elements needed for life have been discovered in the same place - on one of Saturn's icy moons 800 million miles away.

It says the missing ingredient, hydrogen, has been found for the first time under the surface of Enceladus.

The discovery has been hailed by NASA as a "new frontier".


'Soft on crime'

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Liz Truss has been accused in the Daily Telegraph of being "soft on crime"

The Daily Telegraph says that in another blow for political correctness the word "punishment" has been omitted from the first legal definition of a jail's purpose.

Prison governors will be told they must protect the public, reform and rehabilitate offenders and prepare prisoners for life outside.

The paper says critics have suggested that Justice Secretary Liz Truss has "gone soft on crime".

The Daily Mail quotes the Conservative MP Philip Davies, who believes that the purpose of prisons first and foremost should be punishment.

The Ministry of Justice insists that courts punish offenders by sending them to prison - and that no further punishment is necessary once they are locked up.


The Guardian leads on a report about what it calls a shocking anti-gay campaign in the Russian republic of Chechnya, possibly involving hundreds of men.

One man, who is being held in an informal detention facility, describes how he is subjected to torture on a daily basis, including beatings and electric shocks.

An activist in St Petersburg talks about the mass persecution of gay people and tells the paper that hundreds of people have been kidnapped by the authorities.


'Benefits capital' revealed

Several papers report that Birmingham is the benefits capital of Britain.

The Times says that in parts of the city one adult in ten, who either works or wishes to work, is on welfare.

The Sun says four areas of Birmingham feature in a league table of constituencies with the highest proportion of claimants.

The Daily Express names other benefits hotspots, including Foyle in Northern Ireland and Middlesbrough.


'Indestructable' £5 note

Claims that the new £5 note is "indestructable" unravelled yesterday, says the Daily Telegraph, when the Bank of England had to admit that some had become so badly damaged that a police force mistook them for counterfeits.

The suspect notes were missing the gold imprint of the Elizabeth Tower and had green holograms rather than clear ones.

The Bank said they had been damaged due to "extreme use".

The Telegraph also claims that a surge in digital listeners could trigger the beginning of the end of FM radio as early as this year.

It says that as more people access radio through tablets and smart phones, analysts predict digital listeners will become the majority within a year.

The government has said that once that milestone is reached it will undertake a review, which could result in the FM signal being switched off.