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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 06:08 GMT 07:08 UK
Papers relish Saddam trial drama
Mastheads of the national newspapers
The fronts of the Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and Independent show the scene inside the Baghdad courtroom where Saddam Hussein has gone on trial.

The Times says the "blustering and arrogant" former dictator is turning the case into a battle of wills between the new and old Iraqi regimes.

The Daily Express describes a "ranting dictator, spitting defiance", showing him jabbing a finger towards the judge.

The trial's opening day was one of high drama and low farce, it says.

Run-off speculation

If any Tory MPs still cannot decide which way to vote in round two of the party's leadership contest, there is no shortage of willing advisers.

"Fox, not Davis," the Sun tells those who do not want David Cameron.

David Heffer in the Daily Mail agrees, saying a Fox-Cameron run-off would pit two men of different party wings but the same generation against each other.

The Daily Mirror is among several papers reporting Davis may stand down if he ends up a poor second this round.

Parental leave

The Guardian is none too happy about what it calls "this week's fudged deal" on the public service retirement age.

It asks how the government will persuade private sector staff to work past 65 when its own retire at 60.

The Times has misgivings about Wednesday's extension of paid maternity and paternity leave - and the possible effects on small and medium businesses.

The Mirror, however, praises the move, saying it shows "commitment to families at a crucial time for them".

'Reality radio'

Joan Rivers takes two pages in the Independent to tell the world "I'm no racist" after a run-in with Darcus Howe on Radio 4's Midweek programme.

The Times says it was a conflagration that rocked Radio 4's genteel corridors as Libby Purves gamely acted as a peacemaking Oprah Winfrey.

Ms Purves tells the paper: "This was not a stunt. It was real rage."

The Express describes Wednesday's spat as "rough stuff", saying: "This was reality radio."


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