UK

Newspaper review: Relief at fiscal cliff crisis deal

Papers

There is relief in the papers after the United States managed to stave off the impending fiscal cliff calamity.

The Guardian's lead talks of a "surge" in the world's financial markets.

The Daily Express sees Wednesday's 18-month high on the London Stock Exchange as a sign that it is "boom time for Britain at last". It calls it the "perfect start to 2013 for savers and investors".

But the rally may not last long, says the Financial Times, as the White House and Republicans are already positioning themselves for a series of even greater confrontations over the budget in the early months of the year.

According to the Daily Mirror, the way Mr Obama has dealt with a US crisis created - as in Britain - by "greedy bankers" is a "slap in the face for David Cameron". "The president believes nations can't cut their way to prosperity," it says, adding: "Mr Cameron is proving him right".

However, according to the Daily Mail a poll carried out by the Institute of Directors suggests business leaders firmly endorse the Chancellor's programme of cuts to restore the public finances.

Benefit 'raid'

The Daily Telegraph reports that almost a third of families affected by what it calls "George Osborne's raid on child benefit," have not been formerly warned they will no longer be eligible for the handout - which will be means-tested from next Monday.

As a result, it says, more than 300,000 will have to come forward and start completing complex tax returns from April or face heavy fines.

The Universities Minister, David Willets, has told the Independent that he wants universities to treat white, working-class boys like an ethnic minority and target them for recruitment.

He describes them as "a disadvantaged group". In an article for the paper, Mr Willetts also says there are now more women actually entering university each year than there are men applying to enter.

Mr Willetts describes this as "the culmination of a decades-old trend in our education system which seems to make it harder for boys and men to face down the obstacles in the way of learning". He sees it as "a challenge for all policymakers and all parties".

'Life not life'

One in nine murderers is freed from prison after serving less than 10 years of their life sentence, according to a report in the Sun.

It says 275 killers on life terms were let out during 2010 and 2011 and of these, 32 served less than 10 years. The figures were uncovered by the Tory MP, Philip Davies, who tells the paper that they "lay bare just how soft our justice system has become".

Pictures of the comedian Jim Davidson appear on nearly all the front pages, after his arrest on suspicion of sexual offences - allegations he vigorously denies.

The Sun recalls his catchphrase "Nick nick" and runs the headline: "Nicked nicked". It says: "his arrest could cause chaos for Channel Five bosses, who are said to be relying on him as their 'big name' on Celebrity Big Brother."

Finally, what have a python, a winning lottery ticket, Harry Potter's wand, breast implants, a bucket of live crabs and a diamond-encrusted iPhone got in common?

According to the Daily Telegraph, they've all been left behind in Travelodge Hotel rooms. And in the past 12 months, customers have left 20,000 books behind, including 7,000 copies of Fifty Shades of Grey.

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