UK News

Newspaper headlines: Chaos of the Gatwick ‘speck in the sky’

Daily Mail front page
Image caption The front page of the Daily Mail features a picture of the sky over Gatwick with a small dot circled – thought to be the drone which brought the airport to a standstill. “How COULD this speck in the sky ruin Christmas for 350,000?” the paper asks.
The Guardian front page
Image caption An emergency meeting has been called in Whitehall to determine a response to the airport shutdown, the Guardian reports. The paper says the chaos prompted “disbelief” and calls for new restrictions on drone operations.
Daily Telegraph front page
Image caption “Eco-warriors” could be to blame says the Daily Telegraph, quoting a Whitehall source. The paper also reports that the Conservatives have cleared Boris Johnson over his controversial remarks about the burka earlier this year.
The Sun front page
Image caption The airport chaos was caused by “a lone nut”, says the Sun, which dubs the person responsible “the drone wolf”. The paper also suggests the “saboteur” is motivated by environmental concerns.
Daily Express front page
Image caption The Daily Express asks, “Just how can drone maniac shut Gatwick?” It says at least two remote-controlled craft ruined Christmas getaways for 240,000 people.
The Times front page
Image caption The decision to call in the Army is the focus of the Times front page. The paper says concerns have been mounting over drones near airports, with 117 near misses this year.
Metro front page
Image caption Metro also leads with an image of police marksmen standing by with their firearms and the headline, “Seek and destroy”.
The i front page
Image caption “Chaos in the skies,” is the headline on the i, which says that police marksmen held their fire against the drone for fear of stray bullets.
City AM front page
Image caption City AM also notes the involvement of the Army and points out that the disruption comes as Gatwick was expecting its busiest Christmas in history, with 3 million passengers due to use the airport over the festive period.
Daily Mirror front page
Image caption The Daily Mirror reports a claim that the Lockerbie bombing 30 years ago was carried out not by the Libyans tried in court, but by Palestinians funded by Iran. One of the alleged terrorists confessed the plot to family members, the paper says.
Financial Times front page
Image caption China is being accused by Britain and the US of a worldwide campaign of cyber attacks to steal trade secrets, the Financial Times reports. The paper says that authorities believe the hackers gained access to 90 companies in 12 countries.
Daily Star front page
Image caption And the Daily Star focuses on a story involving radio DJ Iain Lee, who helped rescue a caller into his show who had overdosed. The paper says the former I’m A Celebrity star has been hailed as a hero for keeping the man on the line while police tracked him down.

“Flightmare” is how The Sun sums up the plight of tens of thousands of passengers stranded at Gatwick airport. One woman waiting with her two young children says she has experienced “emotional disaster”.

The Guardian describes passengers slumped on the floor among piles of bags they weren’t able to check in. “Patience is a virtue,” says a 20-year-old woman from Norway. “That’s what my mum tells me, but I think I’m going to crack.”

The Matt cartoon in the Daily Telegraph shows a child at the packed airport declaring: “Only four more sleeps till we get on a plane.”

The Daily Mirror insists that there have been repeated calls for the licensing of drones and for additional safety measures around airports. “It’s a scandal they were ignored,” says the paper.

The mood is echoed in a letter sent to the Telegraph which describes the ability of a drone to immobilise a major airport as “pathetic and almost unbelievable”.

Image copyright AFP

The chaos at Gatwick even makes headlines on the Sydney Morning Herald website which suggests the UK has been slow to adopt solutions to prevent such incidents.

HuffPost UK helpfully publishes what it calls five “surprisingly ingenious ways to shoot down a drone”.

There’s a strong reaction to a call from England’s chief medical officer for a sugar and salt tax to help tackle obesity.

The Independent says that Dame Sally Davies has declared herself the nation’s “chief nanny” but the Sun accuses her of “snobby hectoring”. The nanny state brigade won’t be satisfied, it says, until Mars bars are a “ten-quid luxury” and broccoli compulsory.

Christopher Snowdon from the Institute of Economic Affairs tells the Daily Telegraph that the chief medical officer is becoming “increasingly detached from reality“.

But the Daily Mail quotes Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum saying the proposals are music to his ears.

The Financial Times claims that videos and pictures of children being subjected to sexual abuse are being shared on WhatsApp on a vast scale.

The paper says Israeli researchers have warned Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, that it’s easy to join chats where in some case more than 250 people are sharing sexual images.

WhatsApp says it has a zero-tolerance policy and actively scans group names and profile photos in an attempt to identify people who are sharing illegal material.

Image copyright PA

Japan is at the centre of an international outcry, says the Times, after reports that it’s planning to resume the commercial hunting of whales.

The paper predicts dismay among Tokyo’s international friends if it withdraws from the International Whaling Commission, which regulates the practice.

Environmentalists tell the Times that not only are the animals endangered, but their size means it is impossible to kill them without causing unjustifiable suffering.

And almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, according to a report in the Guardian.

It says that major new offshore wind turbines, as well as solar panels, helped to achieve a quarterly record for green energy.

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