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Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 06:02 GMT 07:02 UK
Papers consider Cherie's remarks
Cherie Blair's comments about Palestinian suicide bombers have been greeted with fury, dismay and sympathy.

The Daily Mail is scathing about her remark that "young Palestinians feel they have no hope but to blow themselves up", following Tuesday's suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem that killed 19 other people.

It advises she "would be wise to concentrate on her family and her law practice, leaving politics to the elected representatives of the people".

The Daily Telegraph is disgusted by her comments, arguing that "she could have expressed human sympathy for the Palestinian plight without treading on such dangerous terrain".

But the Guardian leaps to Mrs Blair's defence and describes her remarks as "a truthful and appropriate response to a question about terrible news".

The paper's editorial is highly critical of its rivals - accusing them of abandoning journalistic reporting standards, poor judgement, and a lack of objectivity.

Chancellor's 'glee'

Two of the tabloids see the misfortune that has beset Number 10 over recent weeks being well received by one senior member of the cabinet.

The Sun claims the prime minister's difficulties - over his role at the Queen Mother's lying-in-state, the rows over spin and the latest "gaffe" by Mrs Blair - have been greeted with rejoicing by Gordon Brown.

The paper thinks the Chancellor sees the latest developments as the "beginning of the end of the Blairs".

Tony's dilemma

The Times sees more immediate consequences of the prime minister's troubles... Should Tony Blair go to the World Cup final if England make it?

"So poisoned has the climate become", writes Alice Miles, "that the prime minister would almost certainly be accused of muscling in on Sven's success".

"You can bet", she writes, this little dilemma has already been exercising minds in Number 10".

Youth 'disengaged'

More deep-seated problems appear set to challenge both the government and the media, given the results of a survey by The Face magazine that appear in the Daily Mirror and the Independent.

England's youngsters are down in the dumps, reports the Mirror.

The paper thinks "it may take more than a bit of Golden Jubilee pageantry and a few football victories to lift their spirits", given the results of the survey of more than 11,000 people aged between 16 and 29.

It suggests that a quarter don't know or don't care what being British means, while 65% have felt ashamed to be British, citing hooliganism and violence as their reasons.

The Independent says the deep alienation among British youth "is markedly at odds with recent suggestions that this summer was witnessing the birth of a renewed sense of national identity".

Rugby risks

It seems the threat of legal action is undermining another British tradition - the Telegraph reports that a leading public school is set to stop its pupils playing rugby partly because it fears litigation over injuries.

King's School at Ely in Cambridgeshire, whose former pupils include Edward the Confessor, is to phase out the game over the next four years and replace it with hockey, rowing and football.

The Telegraph thinks what it calls "sanatorium lawyers" are to blame and describes them as "an unpleasant and increasingly familiar after-effect of a painful tackle".

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