Newspaper review: Papers consider US spying claims


The Guardian digests the latest US spying revelations. It gives details of the memo, leaked by the former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, that suggests the phone conversations of 35 world leaders were monitored.

According to the paper, the document acknowledges that the eavesdropping produced "little reportable intelligence".

The Guardian says any intelligence benefit to the US is being far outweighed by the potential diplomatic damage.

Not everyone is sympathetic towards the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who has complained about her phone being monitored.

Spy expert Nigel West, writing in the Daily Telegraph, questions whether she protests too much.

He argues that she cannot pretend to be surprised because she will have authorised similar operations herself.

The Financial Times expresses support for European measures designed to prevent US internet companies from being complicit in government snooping.

It argues that "freedom from unwarranted surveillance should not be a privilege enjoyed by American citizens alone".

Recruitment warning

The Daily Express leads with the decision of the Portuguese police to re-open its inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, claiming "vital clues" have been found.

The Daily Mirror also puts the story on its front page, reporting that detectives are searching for a gang of five people.

There is a warning in the Times that the plan to replace thousands of full-time soldiers with Army reservists may have to be reversed.

It comes from former Defence Secretary Liam Fox. He believes it will become more difficult to recruit and retain them as the economy recovers.

But the Ministry of Defence says it is committed to the plan, insisting there is no evidence it would be threatened by economic growth.

The papers give an insight into the thinking of Prince Charles, drawing on a profile being published in Time magazine.

The story forms the lead for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph which both claim that Charles fears he will no longer be able to pursue those things he believes in once he becomes king.

The Times says the prince sees his life's work in what he is doing now - championing causes such as sustainability and traditional architecture.

According to the Telegraph, the prince thinks his environmental campaigns will benefit future generations such as that of his own grandson, Prince George.

Shoe allergy

Almost all the papers carry the tale of Tracy Kenny who has claimed £100,000 worth of benefits over the course of 20 years because, she says, she is allergic to shoes.

The former baker, who is 45 and from Eccles near Manchester, has now been ruled fit for work by the Department for Work and Pensions - and told that her employment support benefit will be withdrawn.

It is reported that she suffers from contact dermatitis - a type of eczema that causes red, itchy skin. She says she can only wear shoes for 15 minutes before her feet blister and she questions how she can go to job interviews with no shoes on.

The Daily Express thinks the benefit cut is right, arguing taxpayers should not have to support her. But the National Eczema Society says many people do not understand how painful severe eczema can be.

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