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Newspaper review: Papers reflect on refugee tragedy

Papers

There are dramatic photographs on the front pages of the crowded refugee boat that was driven onto rocks off Australia's Christmas Island.

In the Times, the flimsy fishing boat is shown being overwhelmed by the waves as people are washed overboard.

At least 27 people drowned but the authorities have warned that more bodies are likely to be found.

The Independent says Australia's tough immigration policies have been blamed for desperate measures by refugees.

Asylum plans

A move to end detention for children whose families are awaiting deportation is attacked in the Daily Express as a "sop to liberal sensibilities".

"Asylum gets even softer" the front page declares of the coalition's plans.

It argues that in some circumstances detention is the only effective way of stopping "whole families of bogus asylum applicants from absconding".

The Daily Mail, though, thinks that locking up children is "both distasteful and unnecessary".

Appeal denial

The Guardian reports that the decision to oppose bail for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was taken by British prosecutors and not the Swedish authorities as previously thought.

Sweden wants to extradite Mr Assange over allegations of sexual assault.

Mr Assange was granted bail on Tuesday, but he has been kept in prison in London pending an appeal.

The Swedish prosecutor's office has told the paper: "We have not got a view at all on bail".

Worst blizzards

The papers are preparing their readers for another freezing snap - with bitterly cold winds from the Arctic expected.

The Sun says blizzards threaten to bury parts of Britain under 12 inches of snow, and 60mph winds will whip up massive 6ft drifts.

The Daily Mirror says Britain's big freeze will start again - and this time it is set to last until mid-February.

Deep-freeze Britain is braced for the worst blizzards in 100 years, warns the Daily Star.

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