UK

Newspaper review: Marine murder verdict reaction

Papers

Many of the papers have been reacting to the conviction of a Royal Marine who murdered an injured Afghan insurgent.

The Daily Mail says on its front page that British troops are "stunned" after the marine was found guilty of murdering the insurgent in Helmand Province.

According to the paper, the verdict sent shockwaves through the armed forces with troops saying the marine had been "hung out to dry".

The Mail says nothing excuses or justifies his actions but what cannot be ignored is the chaotic, deadly environment in which he operated in - one where up to 20 of his comrades had been killed or maimed.

The Times reports that the tragedy in September, 2011, could be said to have its origins in the deaths of two widely respected soldiers two months earlier - which left the marine's unit with feelings of "shock, grief and anger".

Nevertheless, the paper's editorial remarks that the marine was not a "shell-shocked rookie" and it is no defence that he acted in the heat of battle.

It was the premeditated murder of a helpless man, believes the Times.

Iran nuclear deal

The weekend edition of the Financial Times says there's a "real chance" in Geneva of an interim agreement which will lead to Iran constraining its nuclear ambitions.

The FT is of the opinion that a permanent deal has the potential not just to resolve the nuclear issue but "spring" quite a few regional locks: Israel-Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Handled right", says the FT, "this could be the deal of the century".

Business minister Michael Fallon tells the Daily Telegraph that households in the south of England should prepare for gas fracking - because a study to be published soon will conclude that the process is largely safe and will not contaminate water.

He says Britain has the scope to emulate Texas in exploiting shale gas.

'Peasants revolt'

The Guardian reports that lawyers for the land owner, the Marquess of Salisbury, have written to households in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, advising them of his right to extract minerals from under their properties.

"Furious residents" have launched a "peasants revolt" on Facebook, but they have been told the marquess wants to safeguard his ancestral or "manorial rights" that are due to expire.

The Times, which has previously uncovered the grooming of teenage girls in the north of England, says that Rochdale will be scarred forever by the scandal of "systemic child protection failings".

The judgement follows evidence which can now be reported following the guilty verdicts in the case of five men.

One 15-year-old victim from Rochdale, reports the Times, told Greater Manchester Police in 2008 that she had been raped but they failed to act and closed the case without informing the Crown Prosecution Service.

The force have admitted failings.

John Cole

The BBC's former political editor John Cole, who has died aged 85, is praised in many of the papers.

The Independent says he was one of a select few among 20th Century broadcasters who was trusted by the public.

The Guardian says Cole "revolutionised" the routine broadcast reporting of politics because he reported with a readiness to commit himself that had been common among newspaper journalists.

The Times agrees, saying he significantly advanced the frontiers of political news on television - breaking stories, which the BBC had been weak in, and bringing a front-line Westminster atmosphere to his audience.

The Daily Telegraph says we shall not hear his like again.

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