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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008, 05:55 GMT

BA condemned over Heathrow chaos

Newspapers (generic)
British Airways takes a hammering from editorial writers over the airline's handling of the flight chaos at Heathrow's new Terminal 5.

The admission by BA's chief executive that the opening was not its "finest hour" has to be the understatement of the century, says the Daily Mail.

The newspaper accuses the airline of tearing Britain's reputation for competence to shreds.

The Independent says the carrier displayed "institutional hubris".

Safe as houses?

A steady rise in the cost of mortgages - despite two interest rate cuts since December - keeps the papers talking.

The Daily Telegraph says that borrowers are paying an extra 150 a year on their home loans compared with the start of the previous week.

But fears of a major housing market crash are diminishing, argues the Daily Express.

It says that the average value of a home rose by 1.1% over the past 12 months, and house prices have risen by more than 30 a day over five years.

Wild things

The government's case for allowing animal-human embryos is backed from different ends of the newspaper market.

Sir Leszek Borsiewicz, head of the Medical Research Council and a practising Catholic, attacks his Church in the Times for opposing the plans.

And Stuart Maconie in the Daily Mirror marshals a menagerie of mythical beasts in support of hybrid embryos.

He asks: "Who wouldn't want to have a few pints with a centaur? Or go on a canal-boating holiday with a mermaid?"

Laugh-a-minute

Several papers enjoy a chuckle over BBC Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green's on-air giggling fit during a live broadcast of the Today programme.

Ms Green "corpsed" following an item about the oldest recording of a human voice, reports the Guardian.

A colleague whispered that it sounded like "a bee buzzing in a bottle" - making her laugh uncontrollably.

Afterwards, says the Sun, the BBC switchboard was in "meltdown" - with listeners asking for a replay.

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