Julian Assange will find very little sympathy for what he describes as a “terrible injustice” if he reads Saturday’s newspapers.
The WikiLeaks founder appeared on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Friday to complain he has been “detained” for seven years without charge.
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His claim was following the decision by the Swedish authorities to drop their investigation into a rape allegation against him, which he denies.
The Mail describes his appearance on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London with his fist raised in a victory salute as a “display of astonishing arrogance”.
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It says he lectured Britain on human rights and blamed everyone but himself for his five years of self-imposed detention. “What a creep!” is the headline.
For the Sun, the decision sends an appalling signal – especially to his alleged victim – that if a suspect facing serious sex allegation runs away and hides long enough, prosecutors will just give up.
The Times says his statement was a typically self-pitying message.
The Mirror says its concern is reserved for the Swedish woman shocked that her country’s prosecutors dropped the case.
Winter fuel ‘row’
The Conservative pledge to maintain winter fuel payments for all pensioners in Scotland, while subjecting those in England and Wales to means-testing, is the main election story for many.
The Telegraph says there was apparent confusion among senior Tories over why Scots were being allowed to keep the payments.
While the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, used the weather as an excuse, the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, blamed “geography” and Theresa May said that it was simply a function of devolution.
The newspaper says retired people in England and Wales were also told that the money they lose will help to fund free social care for all in Scotland.
It means older people on modest incomes south of the border could end up subsidising welfare for millionaire Scots, the paper adds.
The Mail says the decision it has sparked a “furious row” among pensioner groups and opposition politicians.
How is that fair? the Mirror asks. Clobbering people in most of Britain while giving Scots a free pass will backfire on the Conservatives, it adds.
MI5 and Corbyn
On its front page, the Telegraph says it has discovered that MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn in the early 1990s amid concerns over his links to the IRA.
According to the paper, the Labour leader was investigated over fears he could have been a threat to national security at a time when he was supporting convicted terrorists and campaigning for a unified Ireland.
A spokesman for Mr Corbyn tells the paper: “MI5 kept files on many peace and labour movement campaigners at the time, including anti-apartheid activists and trade unionists.”
UK the ‘internet policeman’
The Times’s main story says the prime minister has promised to make Britain the world’s internet policeman and force technology giants to give their customers more power over their own data.
In an interview for the paper, Mrs May says Britain “should be a leader” in regulating the internet – a measure set out in the Conservative manifesto.
She tells the paper she also wants the UK to be the best place to set up and grow a digital business, but also the safest and most secure place for people to be online.
For its lead, the Express reports that scientists have discovered a rogue protein that can trigger Alzheimer’s. It causes other proteins to multiply and clump together, damaging nerve cells in the brain.
Clumps of these proteins are a distinctive feature of the disease, the paper explains. It says the discovery by German scientists offers hope of a cure for Alzheimer’s, which makes the brain shrink dramatically, leading to dementia.
A Trump meal
There’s plenty of interest in President Trump’s first foreign trip abroad since taking office.
The Telegraph says Saudi Arabia, his first destination, has rolled out the red carpet as it embarks on a charm offensive.
Flags and pictures of the president and King Salman line the roads of the capital, Riyadh, and the president’s favourite meal of steak and ketchup will be on the menu, alongside traditional local cuisine.
‘Pippa v Meghan’
Finally, apart from the election, the topic getting most coverage is what the Mail calls the society wedding of the year.
The wedding of Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, and James Matthews merits four pages in the Mail alone and makes the lead for the Sun and the Star.
But most attention is focused not on the bride, but Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle, who’s expected to accompany the prince and other members of the Royal Family.
Ms Markle is widely pictured leaving a gym yesterday where the Express says she was getting in shape for the Berkshire wedding.
“It’s Meghan v Pippa in the wedding of the rears,” declares the Sun which says there are fears Ms Markle will upstage the bride on her big day.
The Times says it will be her most prominent appearance with Prince Harry on British soil.
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