The Papers: Russia-UK row and public sector pay gap

The Papers: Russia-UK row and public sector pay gap
The i front page
Image caption The i splashes with the latest on the nerve agent attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. It reports that Russia has asked to question Yulia, 33, after it was announced she is recovering well following the Salisbury poisoning. It comes after the Russian embassy tweeted: “We insist on the right to see her.”
The Daily Express front page
Image caption The main story in the Daily Express is also on relations between Russia and the West. The paper reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has tested his new missile, which it says can carry 12 nuclear warheads up to 6,000 miles. The front features a large photo of the missile, which has been nicknamed Satan 2. The paper’s splash also features a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger undergoing heart surgery in Los Angeles.
Daily Star front page
Image caption Schwarzenegger makes the top story in Saturday’s Daily Star, as the Austrian-American film star recovers in hospital. The paper quotes fans of the actor and former California governor, saying: “He’ll be back!”
The Daily Mail front page
Image caption Meanwhile, the Daily Mail leads with a story reporting that the father-in-law of Pippa Middleton, David Matthews, has been charged with the rape of a minor in France. Mr Matthews, 74, is accused of two attacks on a teenage girl. He denies the charges. The claims come from French legal sources, the paper reports.
The Daily Mirror front page
Image caption The Daily Mirror reports former England footballer Ray Wilkins is seriously ill following a cardiac arrest. The 61-year-old is in an induced coma, the paper says.
The Times front page
Image caption The Times’ front page carries a story about how social media is “driving” children to commit violent crimes and murders. The report comes from an interview with the UK’s top police officer, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick, who has warned that online message boards and video sites “rev people up” and trivial disputes are escalating at “unprecedented rates”. The eye-catching lead photograph on the front of the newspaper comes from a Good Friday procession in Guatemala.
The Daily Telegraph front page
Image caption Britain’s young people are also the subject of a story on the front of the Daily Telegraph – although for a completely separate story. In her first interview since her promotion, the Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey says teenagers should be urged to take up Saturday jobs to boost the number of “resilient home-grown workers” in the UK after Brexit. It comes after research suggested Britons were perceived to be less hard-working than European immigrants.
The Financial Times front page
Image caption FT Weekend leads with the latest on the £8bn takeover of GKN, one of Britain’s oldest engineering firms. The paper reports that the acquisition by Melrose Industries is facing scrutiny from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. Also on the front is a report suggesting Facebook was informed that the app at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal might sell on users’ data. The FT says it has seen the app’s updated terms and conditions which were sent to the social media firm. Facebook says its policies in 2014, when the data was collected, banned developers from selling, licensing or purchasing data.
The Guardian front page
Image caption Meanwhile, the Guardian carries a story about the gender pay gap within the public sector. The newspaper reports that nearly nine out of 10 public sector organisations pay men more than women. The deadline for public sector bodies to report their gender pay gaps passed at midnight on Saturday, while for other companies it is 4 April. The Guardian’s story is based on figures reported so far which show women in the public sector are paid on average 14% less than men.
The Sun front page
Image caption The Sun leads with the death of a British SAS soldier who was killed in Syria while fighting the Islamic State group. The newspaper reports it is the first British combat death “in the fight against the terror cult”.

Russia’s relationship with the West once again leads some – but not all – of Saturday’s front pages.

Instead The Times leads with its interview with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, in which she makes a connection between social media and violent crimes committed by children. Ms Dick expresses concern about the “increasingly abusive” language used online and warns that the forum allows “a conversation of a ‘show-off’ sort that involves violence”. The mother of a stabbing victim agrees, telling the paper that young people are being “brainwashed”, “living their life, gaining their experiences and knowledge from a phone screen”.

The gender pay gap is the Guardian’s top story after the deadline passed for public sector bodies to report theirs on Friday night. According to the newspaper, nine out of 10 public sector organisations pay men higher salaries, with women receiving 14% less than men on average. It reports that female staff at one hospital trust in West Sussex were found to take home 59p for every £1 paid to male colleagues. In its coverage, the Financial Times says it is essential that companies are spurred on to make “genuine, long-term efforts to reduce disparities” and encourage a more equal sharing of family responsibilities – but stresses it is “unlikely without action from government”.

The Financial Times’ front page carries a story reporting the planned takeover of the engineering giant GKN could be challenged by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. It reports that the deal is coming under renewed scrutiny from Mr Williamson, although it points out that “most analysts, as well as many in Whitehall, believe there are scant grounds for a national security referral”.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey told the Telegraph that teenagers should be encouraged to foster a good work ethic

The Daily Telegraph leads with comments from Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey who called for more teenagers to take on Saturday jobs to help build a “resilient workforce” after Brexit. She tells the paper that many young people lack the “soft skills” needed for the workplace such as good timekeeping and the ability to detach from their phones. In its editorial, the paper welcomes her idea but suggests “politicians must practise what they preach”, proposing that “perhaps MPs could refresh their own employability by taking up odd jobs too, such as a paper round?”

Meanwhile, the Daily Express splashes with a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s newest missile, nicknamed Satan 2. The i newspaper carries the latest in the Skripal spy poisoning, reporting that Russia has demanded access to Sergei Skripal’s daughter, Yulia, after it was announced she is recovering well in hospital nearly one month on from the 4 March nerve agent attack.

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Several column inches are devoted to the anti-Semitism row that continues to trouble Labour. Tony Blair addresses the issue in The Daily Telegraph in a joint article with the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor. They argue that “we can’t sit back and let extremism and intolerance become an accepted part of public discourse”. The Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, meanwhile, suggests Mr Blair and Mr Corbyn are “not so very different”, sharing an “unshakeable belief in one’s own moral purity”.

And the Daily Mirror reports that former England footballer Ray Wilkins is in an induced coma after suffering a cardiac arrest and a fall at home. His wife, Jackie, tells the paper he is critically ill.

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