Newspaper headlines: Wet Christmas and a wonder diet

By BBC News

  • Published

Concerns about flooding feature on several front pages.

Boris Johnson is under pressure from regional leaders to give more priority to flood protection in the north of England, according to the Guardian.

It quotes Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis saying the prime minister has privately agreed to help convene a dedicated emergency response group to kick into action in the event of flooding.

Mr Johnson had faced criticism that he was slow to act after properties were inundated last month. The government tells the paper it's investing record amounts to help protect communities across the nation.

The Financial Times reports concerns that tens of thousands of new homes will be built in areas of England at high risk of flooding. The story is based on an analysis of local planning documents which, it says, reveal councils are struggling to balance housing targets with a dearth of suitable land, as well as the growing threat of climate change.

It highlights several examples, including the area around Doncaster where 6,000 new homes are intended for flood zones. The housing ministry tells the FT that where development in a high-risk area is absolutely necessary, measures should be taken to make sure homes are protected from flooding.

Health concerns

A million women in England do not have access to a regular female GP, according to a Times investigation.

It finds 600 practices - just under one in 10 - have regular male doctors only, even though there are slightly more women than men practising as GPs.

The Daily Mail has carried out its own survey of GP surgeries, which suggests six in every 10 are asking patients about their illnesses to decide if they're sick enough to see the doctor.

It says the questioning is typically carried out by receptionists, leading to concern among charities representing older people that they may be put off even if they're seriously unwell.

Sport and politics

Image source, Reuters

"Racism shame" and "Spurs Race Storm" are among the headlines on the back pages after Chelsea footballer Antonio Rudiger was targeted from the stands.

Andy Dunn, in the Daily Mirror, calls for clubs to be punished with ground closures if fans are racist.

He argues we cannot demand the heaviest of punishments for foreign clubs, if we do not do the same on our own soil.

The Guardian's Barney Ronay suggests politicians should share some of the blame for the racist behaviour. He says "both major parties in the general election were led by men with questions to answer" - and argues "this matters in every public space".

Minority report

In its editorial, the Financial Times criticises the controversial citizenship law in India, which critics argue is discriminatory.

There have been protests against the measure, which grants accelerated citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain or Buddhist refugees escaping persecution in neighbouring countries, but not to Muslims.

The FT says the demonstrations show Indian citizens do care about separating the state from religion, despite the Hindu nationalism of the governing BJP.

Courts may need to step in to protect India's multicultural, multi-religious society, says the Times

Meanwhile, an opinion piece in the Hindu - a daily paper based in Chennai - calls on the government to change the law to dispel the fears of minorities by dropping the reference to religion.