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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 06:45 GMT
Hamas election victory digested
Mastheads of the national newspapers

Headline writers agree the shockwaves from Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections will be felt for years.

But there is a difference of opinion about whether the result will damage or reinvigorate the peace process.

The Financial Times says it casts a new shadow over the quest for peace in the Middle East and threatens hopes of a resumption of talks with Israel.

The Guardian says the "unexpected but crushing victory" poses a "new Middle East challenge".

Hamas' dilemma

As papers digest Hamas's election victory, the Independent says the group now has to make choices.

It says Hamas must decide between sticking to its hard-line founding principles - or ending its campaign of violence against Israel.

There are encouraging signs, it says, that Hamas may be prepared to embrace a completely democratic future.

The Daily Telegraph says the victory vaulted Hamas from a "shadowy fringe movement" to a party of government.

Lib Dem 'crisis'

The disclosure by Lib Dem president Simon Hughes that he had covered up gay relationships plunges the party further into crisis, says the Telegraph.

A YouGov poll in the paper suggests support for the party has fallen to 13%, its lowest level for eight years.

The Express says the latest controversy left the party facing meltdown. "No longer the nice party," it comments.

"What took you so long?" the Daily Mail asks, saying Mr Hughes' chances of leading his party have "slumped dramatically".

Afghan plans

Anti-war campaigners have condemned the defence secretary's plans to send more than 3,300 UK troops to Afghanistan as "disastrous", says the Morning Star.

The protesters claim that far from helping rebuild the country, it will "bring more destruction", the paper reports.

Elsewhere, the Sun says Britain's top policeman Sir Ian Blair is under fire for criticising the massive publicity surrounding the Soham murders.

Sir Ian cited the case in a "stinging attack on the media," it says.

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