Paper review: Oklahoma City devastation


Wednesday's papers contain dramatic pictures and graphic accounts of the devastation wreaked by the tornado in Oklahoma City.

An image of a man carrying a small girl in his arms and a woman holding the hand of a crying girl as they flee the wreckage of a school appears on several front pages.

The tornado is the lead for the Daily Star, under the headline Save Our Babies, and the Daily Mirror, which has the headline "heroes of the apocalypse".

The Guardian says the town of Moore was transformed in a matter of minutes from leafy suburbia to an apocalyptic scene.

Courageous service

The government's decision to give 600 Afghan interpreters who have worked alongside British troops the right to live in the UK is the lead for the Times.

The paper, which has campaigned on behalf of the interpreters, says there are documented cases of their lives being under threat and that granting them asylum is a recognition of their courageous service.

It says the government should be commended for making the right decision but that it is a shame it took so long.

The Guardian leads with the speech Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will be making on Wednesday morning, telling the Conservatives it is "time to get back to governing".

The paper says his reading of the riot act to the Tory right is likely to be seen as the kind of slap down to David Cameron's rebels that the prime minister himself feels too weak to administer because of the advance of UKIP.

The Sun describes the speech as a deeply humiliating intervention for Mr Cameron.

'Failure reward'

The announcement that the chief executive of the NHS in England, Sir David Nicholson, is to retire next year is the main story for the Daily Telegraph.

He has been under pressure to go since the report three months ago on the avoidable deaths of hundreds of patients in Mid Staffordshire.

The paper's headline declares that his "£2m pension pot is a "reward for failure".

The Daily Mirror calls Sir David's refusal to quit months ago an indelible stain on his record.

The Daily Mail complains that he has not apologised for the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

In a letter announcing his retirement, he said "recent events continue to show that on occasion the NHS can still sometimes fail patients, their families and carers".

He added: "This continues to be a matter of profound regret to me".

For its main story, the Daily Express reports that foreign patients owe almost £70m in unpaid NHS bills.

According to the paper, there is evidence the problem is growing with almost a third of the total lost in the past two years alone.

The health service has little chance of tracing patients who fly home without paying, it adds.

The paper says the figures have been uncovered by Conservative MP Stephen Barclay.

High pressure?

Does colder weather raise blood pressure? That is the question from the Mail.

It reports the finding by researchers at Glasgow University that a drop in temperature could cause potentially deadly changes in blood pressure.

According to the study, the blood pressure of many people varies with temperature, with a drop in the mercury particularly damaging.

Over time, these fluctuations raise the odds of dying by more than a third.

The researchers say doctors should note the weather when measuring a patient's blood pressure - this will help them determine which patients are sensitive to it so they can adjust their treatment accordingly.

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