Newspaper review: Thames Estuary airport sparks debate

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Media captionA look at the first editions of the UK papers

Thursday's papers are preoccupied by the controversial question of how to expand airport capacity, as plans for an aviation hub in the Thames Estuary return to the spotlight.

The Times believes it is a much better place for an airport than Heathrow, and it urges the prime minister to press ahead with the plan.

The Daily Telegraph argues Britain must remain an aviation hub if it is to continue to play a central role in the global economy.

The paper, which supports the Thames Estuary project, urges the government to stop dithering and act fast.

Battle looming

The Daily Mail fears a lack of runways in south-east England means passengers further north will instead choose hubs in Europe as a link to global destinations.

The Independent senses trouble ahead, predicting the project will pit businesses against residents and environmentalists for years.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times sees difficulties on the political front.

It says a rift has opened in the coalition after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg vowed to oppose any new runways in the south-east.

Titanic tune

There are many accounts of the mood in Italy after the cruise liner crash.

The Guardian says the captain's alleged actions have touched a nerve in a country tired of reading about public servants dodging responsibility.

The Daily Express highlights another aspect of the story - that the theme tune from the film Titanic was playing in a restaurant when the liner crashed.

One passenger, quoted in the Sun, says the film was far more realistic than one would imagine.

'Dashed dreams'

The Financial Times believes rocky times lie ahead after the latest figures showed unemployment rose again last month.

However, it says there are some signs that the rate of deterioration in the labour market may be slowing down.

The Daily Mirror puts the blame firmly on the shoulders of Chancellor George Osborne , arguing that his policies are not working.

The paper reminds readers that behind the statistics are millions of real stories of hardship and dashed dreams.

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