The spy poisoning case continues to dominate newspaper front pages.
The Daily Mirror urges Theresa May to “Put-in the boot” saying “we need to see tough action.”
The headline on the front of the Daily Mail asks “how can we go to Putin’s World Cup now?”
The Russian newspaper Pravda talks of the UK and Russia being “on the brink of war”. It thinks the UK cannot forgive Russia for winning the right to host the the World Cup.
Paul Waugh of the Huffpost website expects Britain to seek a resolution condemning the nerve agent attack at the United Nations.
The Politico website points out that the challenge facing the Prime Minister is to mount an effective response at a time “when the UK’s relationships with traditional allies are strained”.
And that, says the Daily Telegraph, adds up to the “biggest foreign policy crisis since the Falklands”.
‘Only death could get him off stage’
Against such a background, it’s no surprise that the papers display so much warmth as they say their farewells to Sir Ken Dodd.
The Times quotes the comic as having said “anger and despair and depression are the enemy of the joker. My job is to try to dispel those thoughts.”
He may have inspired John Osborne to write The Entertainer, says the Telegraph, but Dodd’s career disproved its argument that television had killed the music hall tradition.
“He really was the last of the line,” says the Guardian, and, in the view of his peers, “one of the greatest ever.”
“In the end,” it says, “only death could get him off stage.”
The Mail describes the apology given by the TV sport presenter Jamie Carragher for spitting at a 14-year-old girl and her father as the “humbling of a soccer hardman”.
The Daily Express calls him the “spit-shame football pundit”. But the Mirror says the girl’s parents have begged Sky not to sack the former player.
Anthony Clavane – writing in the Guardian – thinks the episode shows that football has become “a soulless enterprise” and is another sign of the contempt displayed by the superstars of the game for the men, women and children who pay so much to watch them.
Easter is coming and the Sun advises parents, who don’t want to be overcharged for chocolate eggs, to shop around.
It reports that eggs offered for sale by some stores as a three-for-10 pounds deal can be bought more cheaply elsewhere.
With the paper’s usual appetite for puns, the Sun says shoppers are being asked to “shell out more” than they have to – a case of “eggstortion”.
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Puns are on show too when the Times describes how the Goths, Huns and Vandals managed their conquest of Bavaria and other parts of the declining Roman empire.
Archaeologists believe the old picture, of barbarians sweeping in and laying waste, is wrong.
Instead, the DNA evidence suggests that women from Eurasia thought nothing of crossing half a continent to “bag a strapping Bavarian husband”.
Post-Roman Europe was a melting pot, says the Times, and the women acted as a kind of “Hunnytrap”.