Newspaper headlines: 'Freeze cruel bills now' and 'Drip drip hooray'

By BBC News

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The issue of soaring energy bills continues to lead many of the papers.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tells the Daily Mirror that the UK is facing a "national emergency" and that hard-hit families "should not pay a penny more". The Metro says Sir Keir is aiming to "trump" any offers from the Conservative leadership contenders, who the i says are under pressure to cut the energy price cap.

"At last, he has an idea", says the Sun. But the Times reports that three in four Tory voters back Labour's proposals. It says polling by YouGov "suggests a public appetite for radical measures" to combat the rising cost of energy.

Liz Truss, currently the bookies' favourite to be the next prime minister, plans to address the crisis by taking "dynamic action" to boost growth and help the poorest, according to the Daily Express. The paper says Ms Truss wants to "sever Britain's growing dependence on crisis handouts with her radical plan to boost the economy".

"Losing liberties, again", says the front page of the international edition of the New York Times, as it paints a devastating picture of Afghanistan one year after the Taliban returned to power. The paper describes the country as having "hurtled backwards in time" as it "slips again into pariah status" and says the militant group has "reversed two decades of reforms" and "instilled an undercurrent of fear in the lives of those who oppose its rule".

Image source, REX/Shutterstock
Image caption,
Monday marks a year since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan

The country's Tolo News reports that the UN has warned that the country's "future is bleak if more is not done to reverse the devastating human rights situation". The Kabul-based Khamaa Press says that Afghan journalists living in exile in Pakistan are marking the anniversary as the day freedom of speech in the country died and have lit candles to commemorate "a year in silence". The Afghan Islamic Press says a public holiday will be observed across the country on Monday as Taliban officials celebrate the withdrawal of US and other forces.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the higher education watchdog is warning of a "significant increase in applicants being rejected from their preferred universities". The paper says exam boards are expected to give out stricter marks than those predicted by teachers during the pandemic, and that pupils should be prepared for "disappointment" when results are announced this week.

According to the Daily Mail, tens of thousands of school leavers will be hit with "double heartbreak". It says those who miss out on their preferred university place could struggle to find a course through clearing because the number of last-minute courses at Russell Group universities has halved in two years.

The Guardian says almost 28,000 students have yet to receive a university offer.

The Financial Times says that new cabinet office rules require civil servants to trawl through the social media accounts of external speakers to check if they have criticised government policy in the past. Sources tell the paper that critics of the government won't be automatically barred, and the new vetting process is to ensure that "undesirable speakers" aren't given a platform.

"Drip, drip, hooray" is the headline in the Sun, which reports that "a sweltering nation's prayers have been answered" with three days of thunderstorms forecast for much of the UK. But it warns that the downpours could lead to flash flooding and won't solve a widespread water shortage.