UK

Newspaper review: Anglo-French relations take a dive

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Media captionA look at the first editions of the UK papers

French calls for Britain to lose its triple-A credit rating amount to a declaration of a war of words - according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Express calls the attack "highly undiplomatic".

The Financial Times claims British officials were "privately shocked" by the remarks from the head of the French central bank, Christian Noyer.

The Conservative MP, David Ruffley, tells the Telegraph "This is another example of Gallic self-delusion."

The Independent believes the comments mark a "new low" in Anglo-French relations.

"The Gall of Gaul" complains The Sun which condemns Mr Noyer as a "triple-A rated fool".

'French whine'

The Times has a front page cartoon saying there is "nothing worse than a cheap French whine".

The rise in cross-Channel tensions comes as The Times, the FT and The Guardian all highlight the warning by the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde.

She says leaders must work together to end the Euro crisis or risk dragging the world into a Great Depression.

The Daily Mail directs its fire at the Deputy Prime Minister under the headline "the treachery of Nick Clegg".

The paper says he has been accused of turning to lobbyists over Europe.

The Mail says it has seen a leaked email in which the heads of blue chip firms are asked to sign a letter demanding the government "re-engage" with Brussels.

Many of the papers reflect on the end of US military operations in Iraq - nearly nine years after the invasion.

The Guardian notes "there was no triumphalism and certainly no shock or awe" at a low-key ceremony in Baghdad.

The FT says the economic spoils of the conflict have gone to countries that did not take part in the war while UK and US firms have struggled to cash in.

Lessons to learn

The Daily Mirror believes the lessons of Iraq must be learned as we hear growing calls for intervention in Iran.

With the Christmas party season in full swing, the i newspaper says Britain is braced for what it calls Mad Friday - the "booziest night of the year" when office party revellers are expected to cause a 65% increase in 999 calls.

The paper says the emergency services have set up field hospitals to deal with those who find themselves worse for drink, and "booze bus" ambulances will run between now and Christmas Day.

For those striving for the perfect Christmas - and not quite making it - there are words of comfort from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Put simply, his message is "Have a messy Christmas."

According to the Telegraph the archbishop has reassured listeners in a radio broadcast that the story of the nativity is the story of a series of completely unplanned events... a surprise pregnancy, an unexpected journey and a complete muddle over the hotel accommodation when you get there.

Many of the papers also reflect on the conviction of the former French President, Jacques Chirac, who has been given a suspended prison sentence for corruption.

Chirac 'fraud'

After a roller coaster of a career, stretching over half a century, the Independent says Chirac's The Independent says Chirac's reputation was stamped on Thursday with a final word - "fraud".

The Guardian is pleased that years of trying to avoid a trial ended in failure.

The arm of the law may be very long - the paper says - but it exists even for him.

And that still matters in a democracy.

The Independent reveals what it says is the full scale of the lobbying by banks to try to persuade the Chancellor, George Osborne, to water down the government's banking reforms.

The paper claims senior bank executives met or called Treasury ministers nine times in the weeks after Sir John Vickers published proposals for preventing another financial crisis.

The Independent urges the chancellor to resist the pressure and to stand up to the banks.

Several papers - including the Express and the Mirror - publish a hand-written list, drawn up by a burglar to remind him which houses are worth breaking into over Christmas.

It shows which tools would be needed for each raid and where bikes, cash and car-keys were hidden.

The note was found after being dropped by a burglar who was jailed for two years for breaking into houses in Greater Manchester.

Redundant dwarfs

Finally the Mail describes how a group of actors and theatregoers in Wolverhampton have been left feeling grumpy because of cost-cutting at a pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The short adult actors who traditionally star as the dwarfs have been replaced by children who appear on stage wearing masks; their lines have been pre-recorded by adults.

A spokesman for the production company has defended the decision arguing that dwarf actors are very expensive and money is not limitless.

The Mirror has come up with the headline "Hi ho, hi ho, out of work we go...."

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