Page last updated at 05:23 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Civil liberties covered in papers


The issue of the potential erosion of civil liberties preoccupies several of the day's newspapers.

The Daily Telegraph leads with the views of the former head of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington.

She believes the government is using people's fear of terrorism to erode civil liberties.

Retired senior law lord, Lord Bingham, says in the Guardian that the British are the most spied-upon people in the democratic world.

Economy fears

According to the Times, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, Charles Bean, has more bad news about the economy.

He believes there is a "three in four chance" that growth in the UK will contract by more than the 4% predicted by the Bank only last week.

He also warned that efforts to restore the banking system "may take longer to bear fruit".

The Financial Times says Lloyds Banking Group has lost its triple A status with the credit ratings company Moodys.

The Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail cover the jail sentence handed down to a Portuguese lorry driver for causing the death of a family of six.

"Two months for each life," is the headline carried on the front page of the Mirror.

"One year jail for six lives" is that of the Mail.

And in an editorial, the Sun says it is hard to disagree with the opinion of grieving relatives who called the court ruling "a circus".

Sonar theory

A new report into the proceedings of the Delhi High Court in India has concluded that it will take at least 466 years to clear its cases backlog.

According to the Times, it has nearly 75,000 cases pending - some of which are more than 20 years old.

Many papers report on how two British and French nuclear submarines collided in the Atlantic.

The Telegraph says their respective anti-sonar devices may have concealed one sub from the other.

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