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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 07:36 GMT
Shipman's death divides papers
"A cold coward," is how the Daily Mirror sums up Harold Shipman, who took his life in Wakefield Prison on Tuesday.

"He should not have been allowed to commit suicide," the newspaper says.

"Once again a horrific serial killed has robbed society of its role in determining his fate."

The Sun believes we should be glad that he has saved us the cost of keeping him locked up for many years.

The paper seems unable to conceal its glee.

It runs the front page headline "Ship Ship hooray" and names another prisoner it would like to see follow Shipman's example.

But in the Guardian, the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham, writes of the hopelessness felt by those sentenced for the rest of their natural lives.

He suggests indefinite sentences would be better because - while the prisoner might still never be released - he would always have the hope that it might happen.

The Independent wants the inquiry into Shipman's suicide to look more widely at the state of Britain's prisons and the welfare of those inside them.

Howard's advert

Michael Howard's advertisement in Wednesday's Guardian Society section - appealing for help from public sector workers in identifying waste - might be seen by some as a bold move to storm the enemy ramparts.

"But that's not the way we see it here," a spokesman for Mr Howard tells the Guardian.

"We're keen to get away from the idea of a Guardian-reading liberal elite."

The spokesman is keen to assure public sector workers that they and their views are valued.

In a front page report on the development, the Guardian notes wryly: "Howard finds there is such a thing as Society".

Kilroy was here

The Daily Express continues what it calls its "crusade to get Kilroy back on the box" - as well as its onslaught against the BBC.

In an editorial, it accuses the corporation of having warped values and attempting to be politically correct.

It goes on to devote two pages to telling readers how the BBC is allegedly wasting their money - especially with its digital television channels.

That is a theme that crops up in several papers.

The Daily Mail says the channels have failed to take off as hoped, while a Sun editorial speaks of millions being wasted on channels nobody watches.

The Daily Telegraph seems frustrated by trailers which appear on BBC1 and BBC2 which wet viewers' appetites for programmes that can be seen only on digital channels.

It argues that until analogue TV is switched off in 2010, the BBC should run its best programmes on normal channels first, so that everyone who pays for them can enjoy them.

Straight marriages

The love of a woman is the single most important factor in turning men away from crime, according to research reported in the Times.

A study of juvenile offenders born in the 1920s has apparently found those who married were far more likely to "go straight" in later life than those who remained single.

'Raining pheasants'

The Telegraph is among papers to tell how animal-loving children at a primary school in Norfolk were left in tears over the fate of pheasants that often come into their playground.

The school is next to the Sandringham estate and as 250 children went out to play, says the Sun, Prince Phillip and his pals let rip with their guns, sending dead pheasants raining down from the sky.

A spokesman for Sandringham has apologised and promised that no more shoots will take place during playtimes.




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