Newspaper review: Spain train crash pondered


A young girl smeared in blood - being carried by a grim-faced fireman from the wreckage of Spain's worst rail crash in years - is the stark image on the front pages of the Daily Telegraph and the Independent.

As officials continue to try to identify the 80 people who were killed near Santiago de Compostela, one man tells the Independent he was supposed to be celebrating a christening. Now he is going to a funeral.

The Telegraph is one of a number of papers that claims the train driver had previously "boasted about speeding" to friends on Facebook.

The Daily Express says he posted a picture of a train speedometer, reading 200km/h (125mph), in March last year.

Alongside the photo, he joked about trying to take on the police and triggering their speed radar, the paper says.

'Siren voices'

The Guardian - not usually known for its support of the Conservative-led government - says the boost in the British economy has put Labour on the back foot.

The paper says the latest official figures have handed Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne "a precious weapon" against Labour attacks on the government's economic policy.

In an article in The Times, the chancellor says the renewed growth confirms the economy is on the mend and he was right to stick to his plan.

But Mr Osborne says recovery must not be taken for granted.

"We must avoid the siren voices that would drag us back to the bad old days of a debt-fuelled and unbalanced economy," he says in an apparent dig at Labour.

The Daily Mirror, however, accuses Mr Osborne of being the "chancer of the exchequer".

It goes on to say that he is quick to take credit for a glimmer of good news after spending three years avoiding responsibility for the failure of austerity, as the paper sees it.

The Daily Mail claims that a Conservative minister is pushing for UK companies to hire British people, rather than immigrants.

Business minister Matthew Hancock tells the paper that, as vacancies rise and unemployment falls, it is "the duty" of firms, especially big businesses, to take on local young people - and not immediately take the "easy option" of recruiting workers from abroad.

Promising path

A number of papers report that common pills for high blood pressure may not only slow the onset of Alzheimer's, but could even reverse mental decline.

The Mail says researchers have uncovered the first evidence that the drugs - called ACE inhibitors - may boost brainpower.

Patients with dementia already taking the drugs were found to decline more slowly than those not taking the drugs, while people starting a fresh course showed a slight improvement in their brain function.

The Times reports that experts think the findings mark a promising path for treatment, although it is too early for dementia patients to begin routine treatment using the drugs.

Princely sum

And the papers have fun with Prince Harry's promise to make sure his newborn nephew enjoys life.

The Times picks up on his wisecrack about looking after Prince George - so long as Prince William can afford him.

"Babysitting? That'll cost you're a princely sum," says the paper.

The Telegraph thinks that, given the 28-year-old prince's track record of misdemeanours, it is only right to warn: "Watch out Prince George, Harry wants to have fun."

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