Today’s news summary – Paper Talk: US and UK strike Houthis & Horizon scandal public inquiry
Friday’s front pages lead on the build-up to the US-UK strikes on Houthi military targets in Yemen. Online, the paper’s headline stories are on the reaction to the strikes.
US and UK strike Houthis
The Sun Online boldly announces the Western response, accompanied by an unverified image displaying an explosion and fireball in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah. MailOnline follows suit with a headline proclaiming “It’s payback time,” detailing how coalition forces unleashed a bombardment on the rebels using warships, fighter jets, and submarines.
The decision to initiate air strikes unfolded after a day of intense behind-the-scenes activity in Whitehall, featuring an emergency Cobra meeting and a gathering of the National Security Council, as reported by the Daily Telegraph’s print edition.
The Times discloses that discussions spanned several days to carefully select targets and prevent the conflict from escalating into a full-blown war. A Whitehall source is quoted as stating that the US-led response is anticipated to be “limited but significant.”
The Daily Express editorial conveys a clear warning: “Nobody can say that the Houthi rebels were not warned,” portraying the group as a “force of terror in the Red Sea.” The i’s leader underscores the risks of military intervention, highlighting the potential involvement of hostile powers like Iran. The Daily Mirror’s editorial acknowledges a “sea of troubles” in the region, urging a “robust defence” of international shipping along with “equally robust diplomatic efforts to calm tensions.”
Post Office scandal
Several of the papers continue front page coverage of the Post Office scandal as the public inquiry receives evidence from Post Office investigator Stephen Bradshaw on Thursday.
Bradshaw’s work played a role in the conviction of nine sub-postmasters. The Daily Mail reports on Bradshaw having to refute accusations of behaving like a Mafia gangster during his investigations. According to The Telegraph’s Madeline Grant, Bradshaw “mumbled and spluttered” through cases.
The Guardian’s John Crace notes a sense of “poetic justice” in the increased publicity of Stephen Bradshaw’s evidence session, highlighting that he had “never lost a moment’s sleep” over the impact of his flawed investigations.
The i sheds light on Royal Mail’s struggles, revealing a record number of lost parcels and letters in the past year, accompanied by complaints from nearly 900,000 customers. Compensation payments surged to £26.2m, with a County Durham postal worker expressing concerns about untrained delivery personnel. Royal Mail, however, contends that the vast majority of parcels and letters were successfully delivered.
The front pages of the Times and the Daily Star feature images of former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson after he disclosed his battle with terminal cancer. The Star’s headline prominently displays his remark that he has “a year to live at best.”
According to The Sun, Eriksson kept his diagnosis private since discovering it in February last year. The Daily Express reports that he has received an “overwhelming” outpouring of support, with former England striker Wayne Rooney describing him as a “brilliant coach and a special person.”