Newspaper headlines: ‘Pestminster crackdown’ and US-Russia … – BBC News

Metro front page

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“Pestminster crackdown” is the headline on the front page of the Metro, which is one of several papers to focus on recent allegations of sexual harassment taking place in Parliament. The paper says “sex pest” ministers could be fired and MPs forced to answer for their behaviour under a new crackdown on sexual harassment in Westminster.

Daily Telegraph front page

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Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure from her own MPs to open a “comprehensive” investigation into the claims of sexual harassment, according to the Daily Telegraph. The paper says it comes amid revelations that two women staff members of a minister moved jobs because of his “inappropriate” behaviour.

The Times

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The Times says anti-sexual harassment rules will be introduced within days. The paper quotes the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, as saying that “very swift” action will strengthen protection for victims of sexual harassment.

The Sun

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The Sun, meanwhile, reports that Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has admitted to “inappropriately” touching the knee of journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer. The paper quotes Sir Michael as saying that he apologised to her over the incident 15 years ago and both considered the matter closed.

Guardian front page

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New developments in the US investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election make the front page of the Guardian. The paper says the investigation “closed in dramatically” on US President Donald Trump, after one of his former election campaign advisers pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the timings of the meetings with alleged go-betweens for Russia.

FT front page

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The Financial Times says the charges against Mr Trump’s former campaign manager and a campaign aide mark the most serious legal threat to the president since Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to oversee the investigation in May.

The i front page

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“FBI closes net on Trump’s campaign aides” is the front page headline on the i. The paper says Mr Trump is trying to distance himself from the indictments against his former campaign manager and aide.

Daily Express front page

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In other news, the Daily Express reports that taking an aspirin a day for at least six months can halve the risk of developing some cancers. The Express cites a study of 600,000 people which found the drug was especially effective against types of cancer that start in the digestive system.

Daily Star front page

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News that Coronation Street actor Bruno Langley has been charged with two count of sexual assault is the front page story on the Daily Star.

Daily Mirror front page

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And the Daily Mirror leads with coverage of its Pride of Britain Awards. The paper says Prince William praised the Grenfell Tower firefighters at the ceremony, adding that it had been “truly inspiring” how survivors had “rallied to help”.

The Daily Mail says the first charges brought by the special investigation into links between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia have left the White House “reeling”.

The Guardian talks of the president being “under pressure”, while the Financial Times says “this is not political posturing” by the special investigator.

The FT has no doubt that “the integrity of the US political system is at stake”.

The Times thinks the prosecution of the “veteran Republican strategist” Paul Manafort is a sign that the investigator “sees financial impropriety as a legitimate target” – something far wider than an inquiry into last year’s election.

Walter Ellis, on the Reaction website, judges that the president is in “a ton of trouble” and asks whether this could be “Donald Trump’s White House Watergate moment?”

Westminster scandal

The Sun devotes its front page to the apology by Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon for touching the knee of a journalist – 15 years ago.

The presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer – whose knee was touched – is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying that she worries that “wild rumours” are fuelling “a witch hunt”.

What the Daily Telegraph calls a “scandal engulfing Westminster” shows every sign of continuing to spread.

Patrick Kidd, of The Times, wonders what the party of primary school children – on a visit to the gallery – must have made of the speeches.

“The subject,” says the Guardian, was “parliament at its worst” – “sexual pestering and bullying.”

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A “vortex of anguish” about sexual harassment is sweeping through Westminster, according to Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail.

Reflecting on the mood in the Commons yesterday, he says anyone might think the legislature was “a dungeon of bacchanalian revels” and “squalid, whiplashed oglers… sketched by a modern Hogarth”.

The Sun says the growing number of sexual misconduct claims, made about at least 36 Conservative MPs – 21 of them past or present ministers – has left parliament “in a panic”.

The paper says it is time for “pest control” but worries that changes in the rules should not be so broad that they include extra-marital affairs between consenting colleagues.

The Daily Express agrees, saying “abuse is wrong” but a clumsy fumble or flirtatious remark should not be seen as “some sort of assault”.

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Kevin Spacey has faced criticism for coming out as gay at the same time he apologised for making “drunken sexual advances” towards a 14-year-old actor

The actor Kevin Spacey is judged by the Guardian and others to have done himself no favours by “choosing to come out as gay” at the same time as apologising for making “drunken sexual advances” to a 14-year-old actor.

Matt Cain, writing in the Sun, says linking “gay men and sexual predators” is “a real kick in the teeth to the gay community”.

The Daily Mail relates the star’s admission to the allegations against the producer Harvey Weinstein, saying it is a case of “another Hollywood darling accused of being a predator – and once again, everyone knew”.

Digital divorces

Couples wanting to get divorced will soon be able to complete the formalities online, as the Daily Telegraph reports.

The paper calls it a “digital revolution”, which would simplify the ending of marriages when both parties agree that the relationship has broken down.

A cartoon in the Mail shows a couple of men chatting over drinks in a living room, while a woman toils in the kitchen behind.

One says: “We would have separated years ago – but we’re still on a dial-up connection.”

‘Hotbed of hysteria’

Exeter was “a previously unrecognised 17th century hotbed of hysteria over sorcery”, according to research reported on by the i.

Professor Mark Stoyle has found that more than 20 women and men were denounced to magistrates as witches and sorcerers.

According to the Guardian, the city appears to have been the first place where a witch was put to death in England, as well as the last in 1685.

Professor Stoyle says many of the accused were poor, elderly women, and their crimes were sometimes no more than being seen “sitting by the fire with a toad in her lap”.


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