Newspaper headlines: Salmond charged and Brexit 'madness'

Pictures of Alex Salmond leaving Edinburgh Sheriff Court after being charged with 14 crimes, including two attempted rapes, feature on many front pages. All make clear that he strongly denies all the charges.

The Herald quotes the former first minister saying outside court that he "absolutely refutes" any criminality.

The Sun says he vowed to clear his name. The Scottish Daily Mail describes the developments as a "bombshell that rocked Scottish politics".

News of his arrest "stunned the Holyrood establishment", agrees the Guardian. For the Daily Telegraph, the charges represent an extraordinary turn of events for one of Britain's best-known politicians, and a figure revered as a hero by many nationalists.

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The Sun says that the Democratic Unionist Party has privately decided to support Theresa May's Brexit deal - when she toughens it up.

According to the paper, the party's ten MPs are willing to accept the controversial backstop, designed to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland, as long as it has a specified time limit.

The DUP is said to fear that pro-Remain Conservatives will vote with Labour for a significantly softer Brexit if the prime minister's deal is conclusively defeated.

Search called off

The Times reports that the pilot of the light aircraft which disappeared over the Channel on Monday with Cardiff City's new Argentine striker, Emiliano Sala, on board was not licensed to carry paying passengers.

The paper says David Ibbotson's qualifications are now part of the investigation into what happened. The plane was registered in the US; records there show that Mr Ibbotson had only a private pilot's certificate based on his British private pilot's licence.

These pilots, notes the Times, can't take paying passengers. Securing a commercial licence requires significantly more training and flying hours. The search for the missing men was called off on Thursday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jack Shepherd, pictured inside a police station in Tblisi, Georgia

The Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror both lead with the news that Jack Shepherd - who was convicted in his absence of killing a woman in a speedboat accident on the Thames - is fighting extradition from Georgia.

According to the Mail, he's paying up to £15,000 to local lawyers for help, while also claiming thousands of pounds of UK taxpayers' money in the form of legal aid to appeal against his manslaughter conviction.

"No wonder his victim's family say it's the final insult," says the paper.

The Mirror reports that Shepherd has been enjoying a "high life on the run" in Georgia, including ski trips and "boozy nights in trendy nightclubs".

Under the headline "Queen calls for end to Brexit feud", the Times portrays her comments to the Sandringham Women's Institute as a clear sign of royal nervousness about the divisions caused by the Europe issue - and a rebuke to warring politicians.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen makes an annual visit to a meeting of Sandringham Women's Institute

It expects further interventions with a similar tone from other members of the Royal Family in the coming days.

But there's a very different angle on the Queen's annual visit to West Newton village hall in the Daily Express.

It describes how she led the winning team as members of the local WI played a version of the TV quiz, Pointless, compered by the show's host, Alexander Armstrong.

He later revealed that the Queen had "some deft, silky Pointless skills".

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