Page last updated at 07:00 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Brown's banker in the spotlight

The career of Sir James Crosby comes under scrutiny after the former HBOS chief resigned from the Financial Services Authority.

The Independent calls him "the banker who ran out of credit".

His swift exit was a welcome contrast to the belated recognition of past mistakes that has typified bankers' begrudging behaviour of late," the Financial Times says.

The Daily Express, meanwhile, says the "guilty banker's" luxury lifestyle "makes your blood boil".

'Depressing spectacle'

The swearing in of Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe's prime minister is discussed in many papers on Thursday.

Paul Collier in the Guardian is not optimistic about his appointment, saying that President Robert Mugabe shows "no sign of a genuine intention to share power".

The Daily Telegraph says Mr Mugabe's refusal to step down "has been a singularly depressing spectacle even by the standards of African despotism".

Mr Tsvangirai "may come to rue the day he did a deal with Mugabe," it adds.

'Bad politics'

The Home Office decision to ban right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders from the UK is criticised by the Daily Mail.

He may be "a revolting extremist," but he is an elected politician and the government is guilty of "double standards and authoritarianism" by barring his entry.

The ban has "brought shame on Britain's reputation for free speech," it argues.

The Times condemns the ban as "bad politics and a bad precedent". It says Wilders' right to express his "obnoxious views" must be defended.

Sir Beckham?

David Beckham's 108th England cap, equalling the record of World Cup hero Bobby Moore, makes some back pages.

The Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt says Beckham's career is "a pale imitation" of Moore's, but his "dedication and commitment" to the game should still be celebrated.

The Sun insists "Becks is a legend," but sadly, unlike Moore, his career "has coincided with one of the least inspiring England periods in history".

The Daily Telegraph says there are rumours of Becks getting a knighthood.

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