Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Britain cannot afford to be the friendless pariah of Europe (Daily Telegraph)

A country increasingly unsure of its role and standing should be embracing its allies, writes Mary Riddell. 

2. A separate NHS tax would rein in spending (Times)

We can’t go on pouring more and more into healthcare, writes Daniel Finkelstein. Voters must be made aware of the real cost.

3. George Osborne is not the only one who will cut welfare. The numbers can’t add up otherwise (Independent)

Even two more years of decent growth will not close the gap in the public finances, writes Hamish McRae.

4. The return of dynastic wealth (Financial Times)

In a world with more inherited riches, it makes no sense to cut estate taxes, says Robin Harding.

5. Has Osborne got the bottle for cuts? (Daily Telegraph)

The Chancellor promises to trim £12bn off welfare in the next parliament – it can be done as governments all over the world have shown, says Andrew Haldenby.

6. Fairness and the minimum wage (Financial Times)

Pay not price-fixing is the answer to the cost-of-living crisis, argues an FT leader.

7. George Osborne talks tough but acts like a Labour chancellor (Guardian)

Despite the claims to austerity, Britain has seen nothing to compare with the cuts imposed on the Greeks or Spaniards, writes Simon Jenkins.

8.  If cannabis is legal, more teenagers will smoke it – and that can’t be good (Independent)

People who want to legalise drugs talk about harm reduction, and they are right to, says John Rentoul. 

9. The poverty of US political journalism (Financial Times)

It pains me to say the trade has not been in such a grievous state since Watergate, writes Jurek Martin.  

10. Don’t gamble with the poorest in society (Times)

Forget the tax income, Cameron, just pull the plug on the social curse of high street mini-casinos, says Alice Thomson. 

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.



In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.