Newspaper headlines :Syria attack and diesel car tax

You may find some of the images on the front pages disturbing.

Image captionThe i leads with a picture of a child victim of Tuesday’s apparent chemical attack in Syria that killed at least 58 people. It used the headline “two war crimes in one day”, referencing a later rocket attack which medics and activists said hit local clinics treating survivors. The US government says it is “confident” that President Bashar al-Assad’s government was behind the attacks but the Syrian army denies it has used such weapons.
Image captionThe Metro also leads on the apparent chemical attack with the same picture of a child victim with an oxygen mask, alongside other children being hosed down by rescuers in the streets in the immediate aftermath. The paper says children died sleeping in their beds, but the Assad regime “categorically rejected” claims it had used chemical weapons.
The Times
Image captionAnother child victim from Syria features on the front of the Times, which also reports the alleged hospital bombing later the same day. The newspaper’s second story is on former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who has had his suspension from the Labour Party extended by a year after claiming Hitler supported Zionism. The paper says it was a “surprise decision” not to expel him after an internal disciplinary hearing concluded he had breached party rules with the comment.
The Guardian
Image captionAnother distressing image of a man carrying a dead child away from the apparent chemical attack in Syria features prominently on the front page of the Guardian. The newspaper’s lead story is an investigation it carried out with Greenpeace claiming hundreds of thousands of children are being exposed to illegal levels of air pollution at school. It says the pollution is coming from diesel vehicles and affecting schools and nurseries across England and Wales.
Daily Telegraph
Image captionThe Daily Telegraph reports that the government may give financial help to drivers of diesel cars when it brings in new taxes on the vehicles. The newspaper quotes Theresa May as saying drivers who were encouraged to buy diesel cars by previous governments must be “taken into account” when the new rules comes into force. The so-called “toxin tax” could see drivers of up to 10 million older diesels facing fees of up to £20 per day to drive into urban areas.
Daily Mail
Image captionThe Daily Mail also reports on Mrs May’s “pledge” to help diesel drivers. The newspaper claims that Tony Blair’s former chief scientist Sir David King said scientists were aware that diesel was a “dirty” fuel which “belched out more dangerous fumes than petrol engines”. But Sir David said car manufacturers had convinced him they could “manage the problem”.
Image captionThe majority of junior staff working in financial services may be women, but few are making it into the top jobs, according to the lead in the Financial Times. Data collected by the newspaper from the world’s 50 biggest banks, insurers, asset managers and professional services firms showed only one in four senior executives to be female. It said progress had been made, but it was “painstakingly slow”.
Image captionThe risk of developing diabetes could be on the rise as more and more people choose takeaways for dinner over home-cooked meals, according to the Daily Express. The paper reports claims by dieticians from the National Charity Partnership that high-calorie dishes significantly raise the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
The Mirror
Image captionFormer Spice Girl Mel B is featured on the front page of the Sun after making allegations of abuse against her husband Stephen Belafonte that saw her granted a restraining order against him in a US court. Mr Belafonte has denied the allegations.
The Mirror
Image captionThe Mirror also pictures Mel B and her allegations of the “hell” she went through with her husband of 10 years.
Daily Star
Image captionThe Daily Star again features the former judge on The X Factor and a picture of her husband Mr Belafonte.

Small children and babies stare out from from behind oxygen masks on many of Wednesday’s front pages, which show them being treated for the effects of an apparent chemical attack in Syria.

And the papers have no hesitation in blaming the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Two war crimes in one day,” declares the i, which reports how civilians were gassed and then a hospital bombed.

“Make vile Assad pay,” demands the Daily Mirror, which describes the Syrian president as “a monster” and says “Britain and every other civilised country” must tighten sanctions.

Child being treated in SyriaImage copyrightEPA
Image captionPictures of children being treated after the apparent chemical attack dominate the front pages

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Kyle Orton, of think tank the Henry Jackson Society, believes the use of chemical weapons was “a message intended to flaunt Assad’s immunity to the pressures of the international community”.

He says the West must react meaningfully to “this latest outrage”.

The Guardian says all efforts must be made to ensure that the culprits face justice.

‘Toxin tax’

Owners of diesel cars facing financial penalties because of the pollution their vehicles cause are offered hope by the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, which say Theresa May has hinted that she may do something to help them.

The Telegraph speculates that she may drop plans to tax diesels entering cities or prevent councils from making diesel drivers pay more to park when the government publishes draft plan for tackling air pollution later this month.

But the Guardian focuses on the victims of pollution.

It has conducted a study with Greenpeace and found more than 2,000 schools and nurseries were within 150m of a road producing illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, leaving hundreds of thousands of children exposed to pollution.

A professor from Barts and the London School of Medicine tells the paper that we need to change attitudes and “make the polluter pay”.

The Daily Mail is unashamedly patriotic in its coverage of the tensions over Gibraltar, describing how “a tiny British patrol boat” chased a Spanish warship from disputed waters around the territory.

GibraltarImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTensions over Gibraltar and Brexit make the front page of the Mail.

A front page photo shows the Royal Navy’s boat dwarfed by the Spanish vessel, which Spain insists was on a routine patrol.

The Mail calls the incursion “a deliberate provocation” and quotes the Conservative MP, Col Bob Stewart, who accuses Spain of stoking tension with what he says could be seen as “an act of war”.

The Financial Times leads on efforts to close the gender gap in financial firms, concluding that women are still missing out on most of the top jobs.

The paper spoke to 50 of the world’s biggest companies in the sector and found that only one in four senior executives is female.

One junior banker tells the paper that she resigned because she didn’t feel she could progress in a firm where men said their female manager got her job because she was “pretty for her age”.

But the woman who chairs the British Bankers’ Association, Noreen Doyle, says that, while more can be done to eliminate unconscious bias, women need to let people know that they are willing to take on more responsibility.

Marmite: Good for the brain?

The Mail and the Daily Express report the cheering suggestion for Marmite lovers that the spread may boost brain power and could even help stave off dementia.

The high concentration of vitamin B12 in the yeast extract is said to increase levels of chemicals that protect against neurological disorders.

Researchers from York University studied the reactions of 28 people watching flickering patterns on a television screen and concluded that those who ate a teaspoon of Marmite a day showed a reduction in their response.

Alzheimer’s Research UK cautions that while the study is “interesting” it doesn’t prove any effect on memory or dementia.

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