Newspaper headlines: Focus on North Korea-US tensions

By BBC News


Most of the papers express concern about the tension between the US and North Korea - particularly the Daily Mirror whose headline screams: "We're on the brink of nuclear war".

The paper's editorial describes Donald Trump's public threat to attack North Korea as "lunacy" and says the "increasingly unhinged" president needs to "cool it".

image source, EPA

The Sun admits these are "nervous times" but is more hawkish in its view. It says we have learned from the naivety of the left's "hero", Barack Obama, that doing nothing "can have even worse consequences".

Provoking North Korea "will not end well at all", according to the Daily Express. Mr Trump is "playing with fire", it says, before claiming that when Russia and China sound reasonable in comparison, "we are all in deep water."

The Guardian also thinks rattling sabres "is a particularly dangerous thing to do" on the Korean peninsula, and worries that a preventative strike on North Korea "could set off a chain reaction", while the editorial in the Times suggests that China holds the key to resolving the crisis.

The language surrounding the crisis concerns the Daily Mail, which says it finds it "hard to recall a time" when the rhetoric from world capitals was "so intemperate". Its editorial describes this week as "perhaps the darkest and most dangerous since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962".

The confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington has prompted the CIA to make a "threat", according to the Daily Telegraph. It says the head of the intelligence agency has warned rogue states should "take note" of Donald Trump's forthright military decisions in Syria and Afghanistan.

Father of all bombs

Testimonies of people who live near the site in Afghanistan where the US dropped the so-called "mother of all bombs" earlier this week are featured by several papers.

image source, Reuters

The Daily Mail says locals felt "like the heavens were falling in" as the $16m bomb released a "huge blast wave, with a one-mile radius".

The Daily Express says Russia has responded by showing off "the father of all bombs" which is four times more powerful than that used by the US.

£3,500 a shift

Elsewhere, government sources have told the Daily Telegraph that the UK is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets, which add more than £100 to the average bill, after Brexit.

The Guardian claims "desperate" hospitals are so short of doctors that they're offering locums £95 per hour to cover gaps in their rotas. It says it has seen messages sent by "dozens" of hospitals across England and Wales, which "paint a picture of near panic".

The Daily Mirror says one locum was paid more than £3,500 for a 10-hour shift - seven times the rate earned by senior, full-time staff doctors.

Seagulls and footballs

A woman from Bridlington in East Yorkshire who was told she faces arrest for failing to return footballs which come over her fence attracts some sympathy.

The Daily Express says Penny Freeman was "incensed" as the balls smashed pots and broke plants, so she stashed them in her shed.

The Daily Mirror reports that Mrs Freeman last made headlines in 2013 claiming she feared leaving her home due to seagull attacks.

"We came here for a quiet retirement and what do we get?," she says. "Seagulls imprisoning us and harassed by footballs".

Selfies with the PM

Finally, several papers publish photographs of Theresa May dressed in a luminous bib acting as a marshal at a running race in her Maidenhead constituency.

image source, PA
image captionThe prime minister with some of the runners at the annual Good Friday Maidenhead 10-mile race

The Daily Telegraph says she "swopped her famous kitten heels for trainers" as she kept runners on the right track - with several participants choosing to sacrifice their personal best times in order to pose for selfies with the prime minister.

The Times remarks that for most people, directing a rhinoceros to turn right "would be a daunting prospect", yet having taken on Brexit, a tiny majority and Boris Johnson, marshalling runners in animal costumes "was less of challenge" for Mrs May.