Newspaper headlines: Adonis hits out and ‘Dad’s Army border force’

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Daily Star Sunday
The Observer
Image caption Lord Adonis – the ex-Labour minister who this week reigned as head of a government infrastructure commission – has called for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to resign, the Observer says. Mr Grayling should step down “for using hundreds of millions in taxpayers’ money to bail out private rail companies”, the peer says.
Sunday Times
Image caption Tech firms, such as Google, Facebook and YouTube, could face a “multi-million pound tax raid” unless they agree to help combat the threat from terrorism, according to the Sunday Times. It quotes security minister Ben Wallace saying some firms are “ruthless profiteers”.
Sunday Telegraph
Image caption The Sunday Telegraph says credit card users could face higher prices and new “service charges” as part of a plan by retailers and businesses to “get around the government’s ban on credit card fees”.
Mil on Sunday
Image caption A “Dad’s Army” of volunteer border force officials will be enlisted to help protect air and sea ports from criminals, people smugglers and potential jihadists, says the Mail on Sunday. It says the prospect is a “farce”.
Sunday Express
Image caption A new super-jab will “conquer” the flu, says the Sunday Express. It says doctors have been told to give pensioners over the age of 75 the new vaccine from next autumn, after health experts said the current jab had little effect on the elderly.
Sunday Mirror
Image caption “Birth of hope” is the headline on the front page of the Sunday Mirror. It says the daughter of a victim of the Manchester Arena bombing has given birth to baby son – described by the paper as a “New Year ray of light”.
Sunday People
Image caption The Sunday People says thousands of child abuse victim could be denied compensation because of a ruling preventing them from taking action against local authorities. “Abused kids betrayed” is its headline.
Daily Star Sunday
Image caption The Daily Star Sunday says SAS snipers will be on patrol in UK cities on New Year’s Eve to counter the threat from so-called lone wolf terrorists. Crack special forces units have been drafted in to protect revellers, it says.

It’s the last day of 2017 and the papers are in reflective moods.

In the Sunday Times, awards are on offer. The paper presents its not entirely serious “Gaftas”, for the best gaffes.

The paper’s political editor, Tim Shipman, names his politician of the year as Theresa May.

The paper sets out a list of things she’s had to battle – including both wings of her own party, her “own complacency”, “her inability to speak human”, as well as that coughing fit.

Despite them all, it says, “miraculously,” she’s “soldiering on.”

Like one of those self-righting toy figures, says the Sunday Express, she has wobbled but – “to date at least” – she hasn’t fallen down.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Theresa May is the Sunday Times’ politician of the year

Tony Parsons, writing in the Sun on Sunday, says he has a New Year’s ­resolution “for all those eye-bulging anti-Brexit bigots”.

“Stop all your pathetic mealy-mouthed whining”, because, he says, “the anti-Brexit bleating is becoming more than a little hysterical”.

The Sunday Mirror has a Brexit countdown – on the assumption that in 453 days’ time, the UK will be out.

The paper has been consulting opinion polls and advises Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that he will lose votes unless he and Labour come out against leaving.

A report in the Mail on Sunday suggests Brexit secretary himself, David Davis, suggested at a private meeting that Brexit might not happen.

But, the paper says, he later “claimed his remarks had been misinterpreted.”

‘A bitter tragedy’

The Sunday Telegraph insists “Brexit will not be stopped”.

“All that parliamentary rebellions can do is sabotage it.”

“Are we doomed to endure another year of division?” asks the Observer. “No, we are not,” it answers.

The paper – and others – also offer some positive proposals.

The Sunday Mirror says there has been much “bitter tragedy, at home and abroad”, but it thinks we “look ahead with hope, not horror”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There is much to look forward to in 2018 – including a world cup

So does the Sun on Sunday, which looks forwards to a “spectacular” year – with a football world cup, a new royal baby, and Prince Harry’s wedding.

“We have loads to look forward to. So smile and enjoy your celebrations tonight,” it says.

The Sunday Mirror says it thinks the monarchy is “in transition from the old to the new.”

Responsibility is passing to Prince Charles, and his children – a switch it sums up as a “takeover of the firm.”

We too are embracing change, says the Sunday Times – which sees our “enthusiasm” for Prince Harry’s engagement as “proof that we want the royal family to reflect our diverse nation.”

A couple of papers focus on the growing debate about gender and identity – and the problems that can arise.

‘Embarrassed and distressed’

The Mail on Sunday reports that the women who swim in the Ladies’ Pond, in London’s Hampstead Heath, have complained about men who identify as women also using it.

They say a decision by the City of London Corporation means a place that has been “a haven preserved for women” is now under threat.

The Sunday Times also reports on a complaint by a woman patient who didn’t want to have a cervical smear test carried out by a nurse she described as “clearly a man”.

The woman requested a female nurse but was “embarrassed and distressed after a person with stubble and a deep voice summoned her for the intimate procedure”.

It says the NHS trust had apologised for not providing a female nurse, as the patient had requested.

But, all things considered, says the paper, “in retrospect 2017 was better than many had feared”.

As for the future, the paper “the next twelve months promise to be a time of renewal”.

And it, like most of the papers, wishes its readers peace and prosperity.

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