Newspaper headlines: Tory manifesto pledges dominate

Thursday's papers focus on the Conservatives' election manifesto as the party prepares to offer a new arrangement on meeting the cost of care for an ageing population.

The Daily Express says Theresa May is presenting her scheme as a "plan for a fairer Britain" but the i thinks the policy "will be seen as politically risky".

The Guardian calls it a gamble, saying "more elderly people will have to pay for their own social care."

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According to the Daily Mail, about 900,000 people "could face costly bills for the first time".

The Daily Mirror says the prime minister will "clobber richer pensioners", a move it calls "another bid for traditional Labour votes".

The Daily Telegraph suggests it could anger "older Tory supporters".

An un-named "senior figure" tells the Times it's a "slap in the face" for the elderly and their families, saying it is "a shift towards taxing wealth rather than work, with implications for inheritance.

Meanwhile, with the manifestoes of Labour and the Liberal Democrats already published - and the Conservatives' about to appear - the Financial Times says we are witnessing a change in politics.

"After decades of convergence," it says, a widening "policy divide" seems to have opened between the visions they offer.

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'Acutely awkward'

The Financial Times is among the papers to wonder whether Philip Hammond will still be the chancellor after the election.

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The news conference given on Wednesday by Mr Hammond and Theresa May was acutely awkward, says Marina Hyde in the Guardian.

The remarks that May made in praise of him were so low-key, says Michael Deacon in the Daily Telegraph. "She might as well have said, His attention to personal cleanliness is adequate, or, He is not routinely late," he writes.

"As declarations of affection go," says Patrick Kidd in the Times, "it was right up there with Prince Charles and his 'whatever love means' moment".

Defiant Trump

The crisis in Washington may be growing but the Daily Express believes Donald Trump is defiant and determined to fight.

For the Sun, the US president is a survivor and it doubts whether the latest attempts to force him out over claims he tried to influence an investigation into his team's dealings with Russia will work.

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But his critics, says the Daily Mail, "are becoming ever more vocal".

The i suggests there will not be a serious attempt to cut short his hold on power until his ratings fall "and Congress members start to worry about re-election".

Parallel universe

What the Times describes as a "gastric band in a pill" is seen as an exciting development in the struggle against obesity, but not a cure.

The Daily Mirror says the device has been welcomed as "a magic bullet for slimmers" - a balloon is swallowed, then filled with water in the stomach, so the patient "feels full" and eats less.

The Sun says obese people treated with it in trials by researchers at the University of Rome lost two stone (13 kg) in 16 weeks.

But, as experts tell the Guardian, the expectation is that, once the balloon has been removed, people will put the weight back on, almost as quickly.

Finally, readers with a taste for the baffling grandeur of science should turn to the Daily Telegraph, and its report on evidence which may prove the existence of "multiple universes."

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The paper says scientists have identified "a curious chilly area of space" and experts at Durham University think it may be where "a parallel universe crashed into ours".

Apparently, this could be the first proof that "billions of other universes may exist... beyond our own space-time".