Newspaper headlines: 'Outrage' over black-cab rapist release


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The i leads with an exclusive interview with an alleged victim of John Worboys – the former black-cab driver who served ten years for rape and sexual assault. She tells the paper that police “dismissed” her story five years before he was arrested and that “unheard women” were being undermined for a second time with his impending release.

The Guardian

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The Guardian reports that Worboys may face fresh prosecutions that could send him back to jail. The lawyer for eight of his alleged victims told the paper the women are devastated that he will be released but are ready to go back to court with their allegations.


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The Sun also leads with the controversy over the impending release of Worboys, with the headline “Cop Out”. The paper reports that the police and prosecutors thought his initial sentence of eight years in prison was “adequate”.


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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt may have to wait for a promotion because of the worsening crisis in the NHS, claims the Daily Telegraph. The paper says it understands Theresa May will be reshuffling her cabinet next week and wanted to make Mr Hunt her first secretary of state – replacing Damian Green who was fired last month. But the PM has been warned the timing could not be worse.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail offers no help for Mr Hunt with its front page. The paper says the NHS is “telling the public not to get ill” to help tackle the winter crisis, urging people to “stay well” by stocking up on medicines, wrapping up warm and trying to “nip early symptoms in the bud” – rather than attending A&E.

Daily Express

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The Daily Express also focuses on health issues, with an NHS warning that icy temperatures over the weekend – predicted to fall as low as -10C – could prove deadly. The paper says the weather will increase the risks of breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.


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The Daily Mirror reports that one of the killers of James Bulger is to face trial for possessing child abuse images. Jon Venables – who is now 35 and has been given a new identity – was sent back to jail in November after allegedly being found with the material.


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The Financial Times says workers’ hourly productivity in the country has risen at the fastest rate for six years, raising hopes for a turnaround in what it calls “one of the UK economy’s most persistent weaknesses”.

Daily star

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The start of ITV’s Dancing on Ice is under threat as a number of its stars have been hit by the flu, reports the Daily Star. The show is due to launch on Sunday night.

Questions about the imminent release of the convicted rapist, John Warboys, continue to dominate many of the papers.

The Daily Mail asks why wasn’t he given a longer minimum sentence, while the Times wants the Parole Board to explain its decision to free him.

His ex-wife tells the Daily Express he should never be let out and the Daily Mirror insists “this sex monster should still be behind bars.”

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Metropolitan Police

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John Worboys has served 10 years in prison and is due to be released later this month

There may yet be further prosecutions, according to the Guardian. It says alleged victims are considering bringing fresh cases.

The i publishes the concerns of a woman, whose complaint was originally dismissed by the police, leaving Warboys free to attack others for five years.

And the Sun says other cases weren’t pursued because the CPS thought his eight year sentence adequate.

Bulger killer back in court

There is also disquiet in the papers about what the Daily Mirror calls on its front page the “secret trial” of Jon Venables – one of the killers of the toddler, James Bulger – over child abuse images.

The Daily Telegraph says that while ongoing threats to Venables’ life mean care should be taken, it argues the case’s public interest justifies press coverage.

It also questions whether victims’ rights are overlooked while those of offenders seem sacrosanct.

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Venables – now 35 – has been given a new identity

The increase in UK productivity to its fastest rate in six years is front page news for the Financial Times under the headline: “Hopes rise for productivity rebound.”

But an economic forecaster tells the paper that “there needs to be sustained improvement to ease concerns”.

According to an economist in the Daily Telegraph, it is “a positive small step at a time when giant leaps are needed.”

And a columnist in the FT examines whether a small part of the productivity loss could be blamed on smartphones and computers – not just time spent on social media, but by making all staff generalists who have to do their own typing, presentations and bookings, despite lacking the specialist skills.

Asking for less

The Times reports on its front page that one in three house sellers in Britain reduced their asking price last year, calling some reductions “eye watering”.

The paper blames uncertainty about Brexit and stamp duty, and says the biggest cuts are affecting homes selling for £1m to £2m – but it suggests this could filter down.

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AFP/Getty Images

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Preparations are underway for the Golden Globes amid the Hollywood sexual abuse scandal

Plans by actors to wear black to this weekend’s Golden Globes to show solidarity with what the Guardian calls the “Hollywood resistance movement fighting sexual harassment” has not been welcomed by all.

The New York Times website questions what it calls “the empty gesture,” asking why they didn’t instead boycott an event that was built up Harvey Weinstein, the film producer accused of sexual abuse.

The American actress, Kerry Washington, tells the Los Angeles Times that they “thought it was stronger to participate.”

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