Newspaper headlines: IS chief dead and winter UK general election likely

By BBC News

Image source, AFP
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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last appeared on camera in a video released in April 2019

Many of the front pages feature pictures of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - sitting on the floor next to a rifle - and President Trump's description of how the Islamic State leader met his end.

"ISIS Chief Died Like A Coward" is the headline in the Daily Express - which brands Baghdadi as a "monster" who was "holed up underground and living in fear" before US special forces stormed his compound in Syria at the weekend.

The Daily Mirror says the world is a "safer place" without him.

The Financial Times argues that Baghdadi's death is "undoubtedly a symbolic blow for a once potent terror group that is losing its power" - but warns that removing him may not make Islamic State any less dangerous.

The Guardian agrees - highlighting that the "huge disruption and grievances IS caused remain raw and largely unresolved".

The paper also criticises Mr Trump's description of Baghdadi as a "dog" and a "gutless animal" - comparing it with the "dialogue of a triumphant chieftain in a made-for-TV warrior epic".

But the Sun thinks the President is entitled to credit for the mission.

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Jo Swinson's Liberal Democrats have joined forces with the SNP in bid to trigger an election on 9 December

The Daily Telegraph focuses on suggestions that Boris Johnson may be open to the plan put forward by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP that would grant him the December election he wants - providing Brexit is delayed until the end of January.

In its editorial, the paper calls the idea a "con" and urges MPs to back the government's own election motion today.

The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire isn't convinced either proposal would resolve the deadlock in the Commons. "Even if there is an election before Christmas", he says, "there is no guarantee it would produce a radically different result".

Renewed criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's election chances by the Labour peer, Peter Mandelson, appears in the i. In a report for the Policy Exchange think tank, Lord Mandelson claims that Mr Corbyn's "extremely poor personal ratings make a majority Labour government an impossibility while he remains".

Party officials tell the paper that they believe support will build "in the heat of an election campaign".

Grenfell families 'silenced'

According to the Daily Telegraph, families involved in the Grenfell Tower disaster will need to sign non-disclosure agreements before they can read a long-awaited report into the fire.

Survivors and relatives of those who died are due to meet the chairman of the Grenfell inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, for a private briefing today - ahead of the report's public release on Wednesday.

One member of the "Justice for Grenfell" campaign group tells the paper she can't see how any family would be prosecuted for sharing its contents with the media before then, but adds "you never know".

The Daily Mail leads on comments from the head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, who's accused the homeopathy industry of promoting "misinformation" about vaccinations.

In a letter to the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, Mr Stevens describes some homeopaths as "chancers" who falsely claim that alternative remedies are as safe and effective as clinically-tested medicines.

He also recommends that the Society of Homeopaths is removed from an official register of professional organisations - warning that its inclusion sends the wrong message to the public.

The Society insists it does not promote any treatment that conflicts with NHS guidance.

Charity cash stash

Analysis by the Times shows that Britain's ten largest military charities have built up reserves of £275m, prompting claims that they may be hoarding cash unnecessarily.

Many charities hold unused money in bank accounts to weather unexpected financial problems, and reassure potential donors about their future.

But the Times says that several of the organisations on the list - including the Royal British Legion - have admitted their reserves are too large.

The head of Action on Armed Violence, Iain Overton, fears the sector is sleepwalking into a major funding scandal. "The unique status of military charities...", he says, "means many are uncomfortable to scrutinise them".

The Daily Express says it's obtained figures showing the number of roadside breath tests conducted by police has halved in the past decade.

It says 320,000 tests were carried out last year compared with 670,000 in 2009 - while arrests have fallen by 43%.

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, says it's concerned that drink-driving will start to increase again as forces make changes to traffic units to cut costs.

Image source, Getty Images
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The Queen chose her line in a skit with Daniel Craig for the London Olympics., says royal aide Angela Kelly

And several papers - including the Daily Mail - reveal that the Queen insisted on having a speaking part in her famous sketch with Daniel Craig at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

In a book serialised by Hello! magazine, her dresser and confidante, Angela Kelly, says the Queen "agreed immediately" to take part - providing she got to deliver the line, "Good evening, Mr Bond".

Mrs Kelly also confirms that she personally wears in Her Majesty's shoes before engagements to make sure they're comfortable enough.

"As we share the same size", she points out, "it makes the most sense this way".

Finally, the build-up to England's Rugby World Cup final with South Africa on Saturday has already started in the Times.

It says pubs across the country are stocking up on extra beer, bacon and coffee for the 9am kick off - while diehard fans are parting with vast sums of money to be at the game in Japan.

Yesterday, tickets for the match were being offered on reselling websites for up to £12,500.