Newspaper headlines: Harry’s ‘two kids pledge’ and Facebook gets a warning

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Wednesday’s Metro leads on comments made by the Duke of Sussex in an interview for magazine Vogue. In an interview with conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, Prince Harry speaks about “unconscious bias” and how it can lead to racist behaviour. The royal said prejudice can be passed through the generations and children are unknowingly being “taught to hate”. The interview is appearing in Vogue’s September issue, which has been guest-edited by Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan.

Daily Express

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The Daily Express suggest the prince’s comments could be interpreted as a “passionate defence” of Meghan, after being “wounded by attacks” on her. US-born Meghan, who is mixed race, has been subject to racist and sexist abuse in the UK since becoming the Duchess of Sussex. The Express also says his frank interview “sparked a national debate” over unconscious bias.


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The Daily Mirror also leads on Prince Harry, but instead focuses on comments he made in another part of the interview, about his plans to help reduce the climate change crisis by having no more than two children. The royal said he has become even more worried about the planet since giving birth to first-born Archie and will have two children “maximum”.

The Sun

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New dad Prince Harry’s “two kids pledge” to help save the environment also makes the front of the Sun, which contrasts his stance to his brother Prince William who already has three children. “Only one sprog more at Frogmore,” reads the headline, referring to Harry and Meghan’s home in Windsor, Frogmore Cottage.

The Times

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Climate change also features on the front page of the Times. The UK’s 10 warmest years have all taken place since 2002 while none of the 10 coolest years have occurred since 1964, according to the Met Office’s analysis of temperatures. Scientists hope the analysis – which studied all temperatures dating back to 1884 – will help convince climate change sceptics. Summer 2018 was the joint-hottest ever, along with 2006, the paper adds.

Daily Telegraph

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New Home Secretary Priti Patel has written in the Daily Telegraph, arguing that Facebook’s plans to boost encryption on Messenger could make it easier for criminals such as terrorists or child abusers to communicate without being caught. Earlier this year, Facebook announced messages would be end-to-end encrypted, meaning even the social media giant itself will be unable to see them. Ms Patel says it would enable lawbreakers to hide their messages, and wants tech firms to give intelligence agencies “lawful access” to encrypted messages in exceptional cases.


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Serious youth violence is the top story for the Guardian, as a report by MPs on the issue is published on Wednesday. The Home Affairs Select Committee says the government’s strategy to deal with the problem is “completely inadequate… they just haven’t risen to the scale of the problem”. The paper adds that the government needs to get a grip on the “social emergency” before more teenagers die.

Daily Star

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Seven-time world motor racing champion Michael Schumacher has been watching Formula 1 on TV with his friends, according to the Daily Star. The German former Ferrari driver suffered serious head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013 and has not been seen in public since. The Star says Schumacher’s former boss, Jean Todt, says the pair watched the German Grand Prix together on Sunday.

The i news

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A photo of Boris Johnson holding a chicken – taken during his visit to Wales – is on the front of the i newspaper. And that gives the paper a chance to have a bit of fun with its headlines about his next trip – to Northern Ireland – starting with “Feathers fly over future of Ireland” and adding as a sub-headline “British and Irish leaders clash over peace process in game of Brexit chicken”.

The Financial Times

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The Financial Times’ top story is on the chief executive of Britain’s biggest energy supplier, Centrica, who is to step down from his role and retire from the company’s board next year. Iain Conn has agreed to end his tumultuous four-and-a-half-year reign, the paper says. Shares in Centrica – which owns British Gas – have plunged to a 22-year low after it cut the dividend and said it was selling its investment in oil and gas exploration and production. Mr Conn has been a divisive character in the UK, the FT says, and his pay has totalled more than £11m since 2015.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail’s splash follows up on their front page the previous day, about the police investigation into the alleged VIP paedophile ring that was sparked by lies invented by fantasist Carl Beech. On Tuesday, the Mail published a piece written by a former top judge criticising the police. Now the paper says victims of Beech – those who were falsely accused of child abuse, including ex-MP Harvey Proctor – are demanding a full investigation into the police probe.

Prince Harry’s remark that he and Meghan will have no more than two children to help the fight against climate change makes the front page of the Mirror.

It is also the lead in the Sun, with its headline referencing the couple’s new home in Windsor: “Only one sprog more at Frogmore”.

The Daily Telegraph leads on a warning by new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that Facebook is threatening to hamper the fight against terrorists and child abusers with the increased use of encryption.

She urges tech companies to give intelligence agencies lawful access to encrypted messages.

Facebook says the security prevents even it from reading messages and by reducing the amount of data the company can access, it cuts the amount that hackers can steal.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned of the dangers of encrypted messages on Facebook Messenger

The Daily Mail leads with the fallout from the story which it broke yesterday – the criticism by a retired High Court judge that police investigating false claims of a VIP paedophile ring may have broken the law in the way they obtained search warrants.

It says victims of the jailed fantasist, Carl Beech, are demanding a criminal investigation into the way Scotland Yard’s inquiry was conducted.

In its editorial, the Mail does not pull its punches. It says there was no secrecy for the true victims of Carl Beech’s lies – so there should be none for the officers who “trashed their good names”.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct found no suspicion of criminality – but that doesn’t stop the Times from calling for those behind the police operation to be held to account.

According to the Financial Times, Boris Johnson is preparing to spend billions of pounds more on health and social care including new hospitals in areas seen as being “left behind”.

The paper says insiders expect announcements within days – but there are likely to be questions about how the proposals would be funded.

The Times says the measures are part of an effort by the prime minister and his new senior special adviser, Dominic Cummings, to take on Jeremy Corbyn over health spending.

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PA Media

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Cummings was previously an adviser to Michael Gove and then campaign director at Vote Leave

Mr Cummings, the former Vote Leave campaign director, is also the subject of two different stories.

The Guardian says it has unearthed comments from two years ago in which he claimed Conservative MPs did not care about poorer people or the NHS – and that the public had cottoned onto this.

And the Times reports that Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, has told the prime minister that he would not enter into an electoral pact with the Tories while Mr Cummings was in post.

Mr Farage apparently said the adviser was not a true believer in leaving the EU and that he had huge personal enmity towards those who were.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph believes Mr Johnson may have given some clues as to what a Brexit deal struck by his government could look like.

He suggested yesterday the UK could stay in the customs union and single market for another two years, the paper says.

The Telegraph points out this would involve the UK managing to reach an agreement before the end of October, allowing Britain to enter a transition period before concluding a final trade deal.

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Getty Images

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Boris Johnson was photographed holding chickens during a visit to a farm near Newport

The declining value of the pound because of fears of a no-deal Brexit is the subject of several editorials.

The Sun believes sterling will rise again once Britain secures a better agreement with the EU.

But the Times says no-deal will lead to a further slide and cautions Mr Johnson, as he tours the country, that he should beware the verdict of markets.

The Mail accuses him of engaging in megaphone diplomacy and says “every sinew must be strained to reach a deal”.

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There is coverage of a report on the benefits of the cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins.

The Times says French researchers found that people who stopped taking the medicine after the age of 75 faced a 46% higher risk of a heart attack and a 26% increased chance of a stroke.

Writing in the Express, Sir Nilesh Samani from the British Heart Foundation expresses concern that negative reporting can stop people from taking statins. He stresses they are safe and rarely cause serious side-effects.

Mind-reading tech

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the quest to be able to read minds, according to a report in the Guardian.

Researchers at the University of California used electrodes to record the brain activity of people who read out a list of responses after being asked questions.

Using the recordings, the team created software which could identify their answers from brain signals alone.

Scientists hope that one day the technology could be used to create a system that can help someone who wants to communicate, but can’t.

Meanwhile, more than two hundred climate change protesters were left red-faced, according to the papers, when they chained themselves to the wrong building in the City of London.

The Mail says they had planned to stage a demo against the energy firm Drax, which wants to build a giant gas plant in Yorkshire.

They only discovered that Drax had moved offices after blocking the front and back entrance.

Instead, the Times says, they had brought chaos to a leading renewable energy company. One worker expressed sympathy towards their aim but added, it would help if they checked their facts.

Top tips from burglars

The Guardian says John Lewis has taken advice from a panel of former burglars on the best ways of keeping valuables safe.

Apparently it is not a good idea to hide things in your underwear drawer or under your pillows, as these are the first places which thieves check.

Instead the panel suggest placing items among children’s toys and in cereal boxes.

Doing online shopping just before you’re due to go on holiday isn’t a good idea either — as packages on the doorstep have made it a lot easier for burglars to work out when owners aren’t around.

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