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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK
Hijacker ruling draws criticism
Mastheads of the national newspapers
Thursday's papers feature the story of a gang of Afghans who hijacked a plane and landed in Britain, but have not yet been deported.

The Sun is outraged, saying: "Ludicrous human rights laws put their interests above those of the British public."

The Daily Telegraph recalls that the Human Rights Act was meant to protect the citizen against the state, but "what has happened is quite different".

The legal ruling marks the end of a "six-year farce", the Daily Mail says.

But the Morning Star reports that the High Court judge castigated the government over its "deliberate" failure to grant the Afghans permission to enter the UK.

'Damning indictment'

A report on the handling of sex offender Anthony Rice, who killed after being freed, features in the papers.

"It's a further damning indictment of the probation system," according to the Daily Mirror.

Both the Telegraph and Daily Express believe they know exactly where to place the blame - the Human Rights Act.

"Until the Human Rights Act is scrapped," says the Express, "the only winners will be evil people and a few highly-paid human rights lawyers."

'Draining authority'

The prime minister took a pounding in the Commons on Wednesday, according to the parliamentary sketch writers.

The Guardian's Simon Hoggart believes it was the worst Question Time Tony Blair has ever suffered.

"It was disastrous," the Mail says. "You could see his authority draining away," according to the Times.

The Sun, Independent and Mirror blame lack of support from Mr Blair's silent backbenchers. The Telegraph says that is the single most ominous aspect.

Silver service?

Several of the papers carry comments made by chef Anthony Worrall Thompson on the standard of waiters in Britain.

The Telegraph says he is "in the soup" after he blamed low standards on Eastern Europeans with poor English.

He also says the minimum wage should be scrapped, in what the Independent describes as a "blistering attack".

The Express says Polish groups have leapt to the defence of their countrymen, saying many English waiters are almost impossible to understand.

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