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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK

Sun-soaked images fill papers

Some of Thursday's front pages

A picture on the front of the Daily Telegraph showing the flushed face of a young boy - his tongue hanging out as he flops on to a bench in London - sums up the mood. fter just a few days of sizzling hot temperatures, it seems we have already had enough, as illustrated by a cartoon in the Guardian.

In the sweltering heat, a man clutching a postcard says to his partner with obvious envy - "the bloody Jones's are in Iceland".

The Sun - also nostalgic for cooler times - has dispatched its reporter up Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, to search for the last remaining scrap of snow.


Mission accomplished, he is pictured in a deckchair, cooling off in what we are told is a pleasant 16C.

"It's just not natural this weather, is it?" says the Independent.

Not British.

What happened to the odd break in the clouds, the character-building breeze off the sea, the sand in the sandwich? Still, mustn't grumble - the paper concludes.

The Times reckons we could soon be enjoying longer annual holidays.

It says extending paid leave is the price the government might have to pay to keep Britain's opt-out from EU rules imposing a maximum 48-hour working week.

The Financial Times reports a government review of the prison system will warn that locking more people up is unlikely to have an impact in the fight against crime.

According to the FT and the Independent, the findings are a blow to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, whose Criminal Justice Bill could lead to thousands more offenders being sent to jail.

Nearly all the papers carry images from the funeral of the weapons expert, Dr David Kelly.

The Daily Mail says the service was dignified, quiet and gentle, like Dr Kelly himself.


The Independent notes the ceremony included a reading from the Baha'i faith about the importance of integrity, nobility and the need to avoid back-biting.

The conviction in the Irish Republic of a leading figure in the Real IRA, Michael McKevitt, is the main news for the Daily Telegraph, which calls him the "Butcher of Omagh".

According to the Daily Mirror, the guilty verdict will bring some comfort to the relatives of the Omagh victims, and will seriously sap the strength of the Real IRA.

For the Times, McKevitt was a rebel who hid behind a benign persona.

With his dapper clothes, gold-rimmed glasses and polite manner, the paper says he looked more the obliging bank manager than the ruthless terrorist.

Among other stories making the front-pages, the Daily Express and the Daily Star claim the England football captain, David Beckham, has become a target for the Basque terrorist group, Eta, since his move to Real Madrid.

The Express quotes a source in the Spanish Interior Ministry who says Eta has reorganised itself in recent years and would "dearly love a spectacular".

Roaring pain

The Times tells the story of a man in the American state of Tennessee, who broke his back in a quad biking accident, and then survived for six days on a diet of locusts and berries.

Tommy Parker, 58, was hidden from rescuers by dense forest after his bike overturned and fell on him.

According to the Times, he was eventually found by his son and brother when they heard him roaring with pain as he tried to roll over to go to sleep.

Finally, news that scientists have produced the world's first cloned horse attracts a lot of coverage.

In the words of the Telegraph, it is every racing fantasist's dream - a flat race at Epsom contested by exact replicas of the ten best horses of all time, and each ridden by a cloned Lester Piggott to ensure fairness.

©Copyright 2003, BBC (UK)

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