What the papers say

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Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

It's a day of joy and amazement on the front pages.

In the Belfast papers, the joy surrounds Northern Ireland's medal winners at the Commonwealth Games.

The Belfast Telegraph has pictures of all eight as it talks of a record-breaking 24 hours.

The Irish News concentrates on the three boxers who achieved gold - Paddy Barnes, Eamonn O'Kane and Paddy Gallagher.

It notes that the boxers trained in the streets of the athletes' village amid all the controversy about the quality of the facilities, such was their determination to win.

It talks of the enormity of the achievement of all our local athletes, and says we all rejoice.

The News Letter has a picture of one of the golden boys on its front page, but its biggest headline goes to a report that almost £800,000 of taxpayers' money has been spent in legal aid in defence of a convicted murderer.

Chile rescue

The rest of its front page is taken up with the biggest story of the day.

It has a picture of one of the rescued miners, flanked by some of the orange-suited heroes who helped bring him back to the surface.

The Daily Telegraph says that in these secular times, we're reluctant to talk of miracles. But not today.

The Times also evokes religious imagery, as it says it was "a scene of almost biblical rebirth".

The Mail looks for different inspiration, saying it was like the moment when humans first set foot on the moon.

The Sun reminds us that the capsule that brought the men to the surface, was little bigger than the open pages of the paper itself. And it asks: "Who didn't blink back tears?"

The Irish Independent calls it the "Great escape".

Tony Parsons in the Mirror says it was a story that touched a secret corner of our hearts, because it seemed to reassure us that humans "are fundamentally good and kind and smart and tough".

Zoe Williams writes in the Guardian that she's inexplicably "filled with euphoria". She describes it as "a flash of global joy".

The papers agree that the country itself has emerged triumphant.

The Independent describes Chile as "a nation transformed" - although it points out that the men were betrayed by their employers and by a government that failed to regulate the mining industry.

But the Times says "Chile's big heart has buried its history of dictatorship".

Much of the story is told through the work of the photographers.

The Times and the Daily Telegraph both opt for a front page picture of one of the rescued miners, Mario Sepulveda, leading the rescue workers in a victory chant.

The caption says that moments earlier he had hugged his wife and asked about how the family dog had been getting on.

The Mail has a picture of a young boy, erupting into tears as the capsule carrying his father reaches the surface.

The Independent fills it front page with an image of Daniel Herrera, the 16th man to be freed, being embraced by his mother.

The Mirror goes for a shot of Mario Gomez falling to his knees in prayer after emerging into the light, while the Irish Times has another miner, Esteban Rojas, also in prayer.

Cancelled party

Finally, many readers may be astonished, at this stage in the year, to see an advertisement for a Christmas pudding in many of the papers.

But it's not the only item with a Yuletide theme.

The Sun reports that the Queen has cancelled the Buckingham Palace Christmas party to show solidarity with a nation braced for spending cuts.

It prompts one of the paper's inventive headlines: "O glum all ye faithful".

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