Newspaper review: History and health leads papers

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Media captionA look at the first editions of the UK papers

The newspapers lead with a variety of stories on the penultimate day of 2011, but health and history make a mark.

The release of official archives from 1981 give the papers a chance to run over a year which, as several note, bears more than a passing resemblance to the one now coming to an end.

It was Margaret Thatcher's toughest year as prime minister, the Times says.

Among the revelations the Guardian says documents show a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland was contemplated.

NHS 'scandal'

The Daily Telegraph reports there were secret talks on arming the police in case riots disrupted the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

There are details too of cabinet rows between Mrs Thatcher's cabinet allies and her more liberal critics or "wets".

But the paper's headline is the "scandal of NHS 'production line'" .

It says the number of NHS patients returning to hospital in an emergency within a month of being discharged has risen by more than 75% over 10 years.

Offender figures

Meanwhile, the Times reports a call for companies that make cosmetic surgery implants to be compelled to keep a record of patients who receive them.

The demand by Mr Lansley's predecessor, Stephen Dorrell, comes after a recent safety scare over breast implants.

The Daily Mail leads with government figures which, it says, show 50 people a day suffer a violent or sexual attack by an offender spared jail.

The paper thinks the revelation will cast doubt on community orders.

White Christmas

Finally, several papers have photographs of a thick white blanket which descended on the Lancashire seaside town of Cleveleys this week.

The Guardian says the festive scene was created by gallons of oily foam blown off the sea by 90 mile-an-hour winds.

With foam covering cars and houses by up to three feet, it was like a carwash out of control, the Daily Mirror says.

The Mail says it may look like a winter wonderland, but the locals are anything but enchanted.

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