Newspaper review: Looking ahead to Autumn Statement

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Media captionA look at the first editions of the UK papers

Many of the front pages look ahead to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail lead with the news that George Osborne will unveil a major increase in free nursery places for two-year-olds.

According to the Telegraph, it is designed to appeal to women voters who may feel neglected by the Coalition.

But Mr Osborne cannot be Santa or Scrooge, the Independent warns, while the Sun says he has no magic wand to wave away economic woes.

Pension demands

The press's leader writers reflect on Wednesday's public sector strike.

The Mail says it hopes union members will decide they have nothing to gain by battering the British economy when it can afford it least.

In the Guardian's view, the surest way for either side to capture the mood of a cash-strapped country would be to compromise on their demands.

The Sun asks where public sector workers think the extra pension money they are demanding would come from.

Student numbers

The Daily Express reports on claims that eating a low calorie diet for four months can cure Type 2 diabetes.

Some papers report that applications to study at university next year are down by 15% among British-born candidates, compared with a year ago.

The Times says such a shortfall would be disastrous for the government, which aims to help more teenagers from poor homes to go to university.

The Mail says British students are being deterred by fees of up to £9,000.

Easy rider

The Daily Telegraph says a Santa fled his grotto after teenagers burst in, pulled his beard and stole his glasses.

The Father Christmas had been asking children about their wish lists when the incident happened at Longton, near Stoke-on Trent, on Friday.

A pet dog who went missing five years ago has been found - riding on a bus.

Owner Pat Oates tells the Mail it was no surprise the micro-chipped dog was found on a bus, as he always enjoyed going on car journeys with the family.

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