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Tuesday, November 9, 1999 Published at 07:09 GMT


UK

Britain booms 'outside Euro'



With the Chancellor poised to deliver his pre-budget statement, reported comments from the Lord Mayor of London that Britain's economy is doing very nicely outside the Euro are given prominence in several broadsheets.

The Financial Times says his remarks will delight the Eurosceptics.

The comments are significant, says the paper, because the government's tests of whether to join the Euro include an assessment of the effects of staying outside it.

But the Daily Telegraph says the Mayor, Lord Levene, who used to be a Euro-fan, has changed his mind.

'Cancer disgrace'

The Express and the Daily Mail say cancer specialists are lying to patients about the treatments available, because underfunding means they cannot afford to prescribe the latest, and most effective, drugs.

"Our cancer disgrace", says the Mail.

Several papers carry photographs of the British woman, Rachael Goldwyn, re-united with her family after being released from a prison sentence in Burma for singing a human rights protest song.

The Times quotes her as wanting to go back, but not to confront the authorities.

Peers revolt

The Guardian's main headline is "Defiant Peers in Final Revolt".

It tells of how the hereditary peers - facing extinction at the end of the week - rallied for one major act of defiance.

The group inflicted another embarrassing defeat on the government in the constitutional clash with the Commons over the troubled welfare bill.

The paper quotes Andy Gill, a campaigner on behalf of people with disabilities, as saying that when Tony Blair assumed power, he spoke of justice and equality, but people with disabilities had found those words short of the truth.

Masters of spin

Peter Mandelson is back on election duties, reports the Times, working with Gordon Brown to make sure that Labour triumphs again when Britain goes to the polls.

The paper says that the early announcement of the election team appears to be a deliberate move to put the party on alert a good 18 months in advance of a reasonable polling date.

Elsewhere, The Independent reports on another job requiring expert PR skills.

A government communications guru is wanted, the paper says.

The mission: To persuade almost half a million disaffected teachers that payment by results is good for them.

Tabloid spat

The Daily Mirror has used the outcome of the Australian referendum on republicanism to mount a strong attack on its main competitor, The Sun.

In a front page comment, the Mirror speaks of a "revolting stench from the cesspits of this country".

The Sun, it says, tried to dump the Queen in Australia, and would like to do the same in Britain, but the Mirror regards the monarchy as the greatest institution in the world.

Loneliest creature on Earth

Finally, the Guinness Book of Records describes a giant tortoise called George, who lives in the Galapagos Islands, as the loneliest creature on Earth.

The Independent says he is the last of his species, and his mate died a quarter of a century ago.

But now scientists have set up a giant tortoise dating agency just for George, and think they have found other feminine heavyweights who might arouse his ardour.

He is in his 70s, and may have another century to live, but they hope he will not waste too much time.



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