Newspaper review: Prince's 'drug overdose' and Obama's EU warning

Barack Obama's meetings with David Cameron and members of the Royal Family provided plenty of photo opportunities on the first full day of the US president's UK visit, but his words about the UK's future in or out of the EU produced the headlines.

His comment that the UK would be "at the back of the queue" for any future trade deal with the US, if Britain were to leave the EU, is described in a range of terms in headlines and comment pieces in Saturday's papers.

The Daily Express sees the president's words as an "amazing threat to Britain" that "provoked outrage and scorn from pro-Brexit campaigners". They dismissed it as "yet another scaremongering ploy from the pro-EU lobby", the paper says.

'Stinging rebuke'

For the Times, Mr Obama delivered an "ultimatum". His unexpectedly blunt comments were part of a forceful performance that laced charm with menace, the paper writes.

The FT says he delivered a "stinging rebuke" to supporters of an EU exit, with an "unrestrained warning that Britain would be less secure, less influential and less prosperous" if it votes to leave the EU in June's referendum.

The Guardian says Mr Obama made an "emotional plea to Britons to vote for staying in", but he insisted he was not issuing a threat, just offering a point of view.

Image copyright Reuters

The paper's Patrick Wintour writes that the intervention in the EU exit campaign was "a direct and blunt pocketbook warning to every British voter".

"Jobs and prosperity are at stake, Obama said, sounding for all the world as if he was on the campaign trail. It was the economy, stupid."

Mr Wintour also reflects that "David Cameron could not have asked for more, or for the president's intervention to be more deft or pointed".

'Bully boy'

The Daily Mail headlines its story on the issue "Barack turns bully boy" and a comment piece by Quentin Letts carries the words "Menace and a threat - how Number 10 purred".

The Daily Mirror's comment piece suggests Mr Obama's mixture of "stating simple truths with a crushing clarity" produced a warning that is "cataclysmic for the Brexit brigade".

But political commentator Stephen Pollard does not think the UK should get too hung up on what Mr Obama has to say.

Writing in the Daily Express, he says there is no reason to take any notice of the words of a man whose foreign policy record "is one of almost uninterrupted uselessness".

"You would have to be mad to take lessons in foreign policy from this of all US presidents."


A young prince among men (and women)

Image copyright Kensington Palace

Away from the politics of Mr Obama's UK visit, a meeting between the US president and a future king provides a lighter moment for the papers.

"Prince George took on the biggest diplomatic challenge of his young life when he was allowed to stay up to meet the leader of the free world," writes the Daily Telegraph on its front page.

Image copyright Kensington Palace

Wearing his pyjamas and dressing gown for his meeting with Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle (as you do), the two-year-old "immediately charmed them by playing on a rocking horse given to him by the president and First Lady for his first birthday".

Mrs Obama is reported to have asked if she could meet Prince George and Princess Charlotte, but unfortunately it was past the younger royal's bedtime, reports the paper.


How did pop star die?

Barack Obama revealed he had listened to Purple Rain and Delirious by Prince to "get warmed up" for his UK engagements.

He paid tribute to the creative energy of the pop star, whose death, at the age of 57, continues to figure prominently in the papers, with the focus on the exact cause intensifying.

The Guardian reports that officials say it could take several days to determine the cause and several weeks to receive the results of toxicology tests.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Fans have been lighting candles outside Paisley Park

But many newspapers report that Prince had overdosed on a powerful painkiller - and was later given an emergency "save shot" by doctors - six days before he was found unresponsive in a lift at his home, near Minneapolis, on Thursday.

The Daily Mail says it is believed Prince was taking percocet - a highly addictive opioid drug - to combat chronic hip pain brought on by years of wearing high-heeled boots.

The Daily Mirror publishes a photo it says shows Prince leaving a pharmacy the evening before his death. He was described as looking "frail and nervous" and "not his usual self", the paper says.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince appeared at the Grammys in February 2015

The Sun carries a picture of Prince at the 2015 Grammy awards, where it says the "pain-wracked" artist looked gaunt, walked with a stick and wore a wig. "Purple Strain" is the headline, playing on the title of his song.

His death means there could be a battle over the unmarried star's £220m fortune, reports the Daily Express. It adds that there are said to be enough unreleased recordings in his personal vault to release 200 more albums.

Meanwhile, fans want Prince's Paisley Park estate to become a shrine to the star, says the Daily Star. The £7m mansion was where he had produced almost 30 albums since it was built in 1987, it reports.


Eye-catching headlines

The Guardian: House prices on London Marathon route more than triple in 15 years

Daily Telegraph: Wives become less stressed after husbands die, study finds

The Sun: £9.50 holiday talent contest winner set to wow BGT judges

Daily Mirror: Thousands of athletes thought they'd run a marathon, but have now been told they didn't

Daily Mail: Crushed carriages show full horror of Smiler crash


'The Teen Ripper'

The background of a teenager, described as having a fascination with the Yorkshire Ripper and convicted of murdering two strangers in 2014, provides fertile ground for the papers.

James Fairweather, who has been dubbed the Teen Ripper, was just 15 when he stabbed James Attfield and Nahid Almanea to death in separate attacks in Colchester, Essex.

He was the "Ripper's disciple" and the "nerd guilty of two horror murders", says the Daily Star.

The Times highlights that after his arrest, Fairweather told a psychiatrist that he could have gone on to kill at least 15 more people.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Police photos of killer James Fairweather

The Daily Mirror leads on an interview with a woman who believes she was Fairweather's next target. Hairdresser Michelle Sadler tells the paper she saw him hiding in bushes waiting to kill her, and alerted police.

"I could have been murdered in a ditch. It's terrifying," she says.

Inside the paper charts the teenager's journey from "Mr Bean to butcher", saying he was bullied at school over his geeky appearance and claimed he heard voices in his head telling him to sacrifice people.

'Weakling and a loner'

The Daily Mail says he was the "weakling obsessed with the Yorkshire Ripper" - "a loner who played violent video games and watched pornography".

It adds that he became increasingly reclusive in adolescence and began fantasising about raping girls at his school and killing boys who mocked him.

Fairweather was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey in London on Friday.