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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 September, 2004, 06:31 GMT 07:31 UK
Paper probes 'bomb plot'
A suspected bomb plot is exposed in the News Of The World, while elsewhere the future for Labour - which holds its conference this week - and the fate of hostage Ken Bigley dominate the papers.

The News Of The World boasts about how an investigation uncovered a suspected plot to explode a dirty bomb in Britain.

The paper said it acted on a tip-off that a merchant banker was on the lookout for nuclear bomb-making material for a client in the Middle East.

It sent in investigations editor Mazher Mahmood, "posing as a Muslim extremist", who told the alleged plotters he could access radioactive material.

The paper then called in the police, who made four arrests after a sting operation.

Brother speaks

The plight of Mr Bigley features prominently across the papers.

The Sunday Times reports that three British men who travelled to Iraq to fight the coalition forces have joined the militant group that is holding him.

Many of the papers observe that Mr Bigley's brother, Paul, will be addressing a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference in Brighton this week.

The word "fringe" pops up again, in relation to the apology from the leader of the Commons, Peter Hain, for suggesting that the Iraq war would be a fringe issue at the conference.

This "fringe issue", says the Mail On Sunday, is spiralling into a nightmare.

Radical reform

"I've got my job to do - and he's got his," Chancellor Gordon Brown tells the Sunday Telegraph, when asked whether there is still trust between himself and the prime minister.

The paper is convinced that the relationship between the two has declined sharply since Alan Milburn was brought back into the cabinet, to run Labour's election campaign.

In the interview, Mr Brown insists that Labour's hard-won reputation for economic stability should be at the heart of the campaign, although Mr Milburn champions an alternative approach, based on radical reform of schools and hospitals.

The Sunday Times believes the prime minister will deliver what it calls a huge blow to the chancellor at the Labour party conference in Brighton this week, by making it clear that he intends to serve a full third term if he is re-elected.

Interviewed in the Observer, the prime minister himself refuses to comment on any of this.

'Worcester woman'

"I'm not getting into this TB/GB thing at all" he begins.

"The reason I don't get into this on and on and on business," he continues, "is that in the end, it's for the British people to decide."

The Daily Star Sunday says women are turning against Tony Blair.

News that six out of 10 women, questioned by the Fawcett Society, are no longer happy with him, says the paper, will shock the PM whose charm won him huge support from female voters in his two election landslides.

The Sunday Mirror, though, does not think it will come as too much of a surprise, saying that he is planning to launch a bid this week to win back "Worcester woman."

The paper believes his keynote speech will include his biggest-ever package for women and the family. The paper thinks he will have his work cut out though.

"Even though these raft of family friendly policies are impressive", it argues, "there are many who will never forgive him for the war."

Celebrity walkway

The People reports that the woman it calls the "Soham liar," Maxine Carr, has been taking a holiday, at the expense of the taxpayer.

And it was not just any old holiday, according to the paper - it was a secret, boozy, dirty weekend, with a 3,000 bill to keep her safe.

She owes the public a duty to behave decently, says the paper, so that they have no more reasons to hate her.

London could soon have a Walk of Fame to rival Hollywood's, according to the Sunday Express, which reveals that the television producer Michael Hurll has bought the rights to a stretch of the promenade along the South Bank of the Thames.

The paper says the celebrities will be chosen by the public in a reality TV series, which will culminate in a lavish ceremony.

The paper predicts that the first names in line for a star include David Jason, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tom Jones and the Two Ronnies.




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