Image caption, Argentina’s victory over France in the World Cup final features across the front pages. The Sun is the only paper to lead solely on the win – carrying an image of Lionel Messi holding aloft the trophy in Qatar. The paper calls Messi “the greatest” and quotes BBC presenter Gary Lineker calling the game – which Argentina won on penalties – “the greatest I’ve ever witnessed”. It was, the Sun suggests, the greatest World Cup final since England’s win in 1966.
Image caption, The Daily Express features a photograph of the whole Argentina squad celebrating their World Cup win. But like many other papers much of the focus is on the strikes taking place in the UK this week. The Express claims nursing unions are “willing to compromise” over their pay demands, raising hopes that a deal to end the dispute could be reached before Christmas.
Image caption, The Times World Cup story says the “epic” match ended up in victory for “marvel Messi”. On the strikes, the Times says walkouts by Border Force staff “threaten misery” and will “wreak havoc” at UK airports during the Christmas period, with Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham all expected to be hit.
Image caption, The Metro leads with comments made by Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of UK’s armed forces over the weekend, who said it would be “perilous” to rely on troops to fill gaps caused by the strikes, and could hamper the military’s other work. It describes Argentina’s World Cup win as “Mess Hysteria”.
Image caption, The Daily Mirror says the government is “risking lives” in failing to avert this week’s strikes by NHS staff, which includes walkouts by nurses and ambulance workers. The article quotes Unite general secretary Sharon Graham as saying health secretary Steve Barclay is “holding the country to ransom” by “refusing to hold talks” on nurses’ pay. The government has said nurse pay rise demands are unaffordable.
Image caption, The strikes also lead the way in The Daily Telegraph, which quotes a “senior NHS source” as saying elderly patients who are “fit to be sent home” are likely to be stuck in hospital over Christmas due to the walkouts. The paper also warns that Britain’s traffic could be “the busiest ever” as rail disruption pushes millions more drivers onto the roads.
Image caption, The front page of the Financial Times says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing “a mounting political challenge” over the strikes, with some Tory MPs urging his government to reopen talks on nurses’ pay. The paper also reports on the “rapid advance” of Covid in China, which has lead to widespread illness, business disruption and medicine shortages.
Image caption, The i also describes Lionel Messi as “the greatest” in the wake of Argentina’s World Cup win. Ahead of the ambulance strikes, the paper focuses on reports that delayed 999 call response times are costing lives.
Image caption, The Guardian reports that workers at a Thailand factory that once supplied clothes for Tesco in the country are to take a “landmark lawsuit” against the supermarket giant in the UK over working conditions. The Myanmar migrant workers claim they were trapped in effective forced labour and are suing for alleged negligence, says the paper.
Image caption, The Daily Mail covers comments made by former footballer Gary Neville during ITV’s coverage of the World Cup final, when he reportedly said conditions for striking nurses and railway workers in the UK were “like those faced by Qatar’s huge foreign labour force”. The Mail quotes former levelling-up secretary Simon Clarke as describing Neville’s comments as “grotesque”, adding that ITV stressed the views were not endorsed by the channel.
Image caption, The Daily Star avoids the strikes on its front page, and although it references Argentina’s World Cup win, it’s main focus is on dogs, and how they overheat if they share a bed with their owners and sleep under the covers. “Fur crying out loud,” barks its cover story, “have they ever tried to get a 75lb Labrador to sleep in its basket!”
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