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Newspaper headlines: IS teen’s baby plea, and Trump Brexit ‘boost’

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The Times leads with a plea from IS bride Shamima Begum that she be allowed to keep her baby, should she return to the UK. The pregnant 19-year-old, who ran away to Syria to join the Islamic State group in 2015, has been speaking to the newspaper from a refugee camp after fleeing fighting in the war-torn state.

The Daily Telegraph front page on 16 February 2019

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The Daily Telegraph reports the head of MI6 has said British citizens who join the Islamic State group – such as Ms Begum – have a right to return to the UK. Alex Younger also warned that fighters trying to return home from Syria were “potentially very dangerous” and the group would “morph and spread”, even as world leaders prepare to announce the end of the so-called caliphate.

Daily Mail front page 16 February 2019

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The Daily Mail has claimed a “victory” following its campaign urging banks to reimburse victims of “sophisticated” frauds. A number of banks have agreed to pay into a fund that will “ensure no genuine victim is left out of pocket”, the newspaper reports.

FT Weekend front page 16 February 2019

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Mobile phone companies will be forced to open up their networks to rivals in an effort to improve coverage in rural areas, according to the FT. More than a fifth of the UK does not have adequate signal to make a phone call, the paper reports. The digital and culture secretary has told the telecoms regulator to examine the benefits of forcing operators to share masts.

Daily Express front page on 16 February 2019

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The Daily Express celebrates on its front page US President Donald Trump’s remarks that US-UK trade will increase “very substantially” after Brexit. The paper says the comments will give Britain a “huge boost”.

The i Weekend front page 16 February 2019

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The i features a special report on the state of zoos in the UK, following the deaths of two tigers. In its investigation, the newspaper found that dozens of zoos have been “cautioned for failing to properly carry out escaped-animal drills”.

The Guardian front page on 16 February 2019

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The Guardian leads on Friday’s UK-wide climate change protest in which thousands of students missed school to take part. It also has an interview with the parents of Dawn Sturgess, who died in the Wiltshire novichok poisonings – they reveal their concerns over the decision to settle ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

The Daily Mirror front page 16 February 2019

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The Daily Mirror reports that TV presenter Ant McPartlin has accused broadcaster Piers Morgan of insulting people suffering from mental health problems. Morgan recently questioned why McPartlin was up for an award since he had been “sitting on his backside”. McPartlin pulled out of hosting ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway last year after he was arrested for drinking and driving.

The Sun front page 16 February

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The Sun features on its front page a “fiery clash” between the estranged wife of celebrity chef Paul Hollywood and his “young lover” in Marks and Spencer.

Daily Star front page - 16/02/19

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The Daily Express reports on the trial of Ceon Broughton, who denies manslaughter and supplying a class A drug, following his girlfriend’s death.

The front page of the Times features the second instalment of the paper’s interview with the pregnant British teenager found in a refugee camp, four years after she went to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

Shamima Begum admits she will face possible terrorism charges and intense media interest if she does return to the UK, but says she is “desperate” not to be separated from her baby.

She also speaks of her fear that she might never see her jihadist husband ever again – whom she says she still loves “very much”. The Times says it can reveal that he is suspected by police of being involved in a terrorist plot in his home country of the Netherlands.

A woman who grew up in Middlesex has told the Mail she is “proof jihadi brides deserve a second chance”.

Tania Joya was nicknamed “the first lady of IS” after marrying an American who became one of the group’s senior commanders, but she fled Syria after claiming to renounce extremism, and now lives with her second husband in Texas.

She argues Shamima Begum could be rehabilitated – “if she is willing to accept her mistakes” – and believes the teenager “will outgrow the brainwashing, as I did”. She says Ms Begum’s situation is “100% her fault”, but insists she should be helped “for humanitarian reasons”.

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The Daily Express highlights a claim made by Donald Trump’s that trade between the UK and the US will increase “very substantially” after Brexit.

The intervention was, it says, a “much-needed fillip” to Theresa May, following another week of “gruelling parliamentary wrangling”.

The paper’s editorial argues that since the referendum result, both the Conservatives and Labour have failed to grasp the sense that “this is a time of the most enormous opportunity ahead” and praises Mr Trump for injecting a “note of optimism and common sense” into the proceedings.

The Guardian has what it calls an “exclusive” interview with the parents of Dawn Sturgess, the woman who died in the Wiltshire Novichok poisonings last year.

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Dawn Sturgess’s father said the UK government had not given his family all the facts about his daughter’s death

Stan and Caroline Sturgess tell the paper they believe more of the nerve agent could be found in the county and call for “justice” from the government.

Mr Sturgess complains that in his view, ministers have not given them all the facts, and says “if anyone, I blame the government” for exposing residents to risk by settling the target of the attack, the former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury.

The couple also say they took “huge relief” from tests which showed their daughter had no recreational drugs in her system when she died, after press reports “unfairly portrayed” her as a homeless addict.

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According to the Sun, bosses at BBC Radio 2 “are set to risk the wrath” of older listeners, by banning hits from the 1950s. “Crooners” will apparently “get the boot” as part of the station’s efforts to “evolve” with its audience, and attract younger listeners.

A Radio 2 source is quoted as saying that the move is “not the sort of thing managers would ever announce” – so the plan is to “just quietly play less and less 50s music until there’s little on the playlist”.

A Radio 2 spokeswoman has told the paper that listeners will continue to hear tracks from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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