Newspaper headlines: Arms industry on 'war footing' and Channel tragedy

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The Guardian
The Times
Daily Mail
"Biggest boost for defence in a generation" is how the Daily Mail describes Rishi Sunak's vow to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. The paper claims the decision is a "major victory" for the Mail's campaign on the issue. The front page is also one of several to carry a beaming picture of Prince Louis for his sixth birthday. [BBC]
Daily Telegraph
"Let this be last Channel Tragedy" declares the Metro as it describes how a young girl was among those killed "amid panic" on a dinghy with 112 migrants packed on board. The incident happened hours after Rishi Sunak's Rwanda bill - designed to deter migrants from crossing the Channel - passed through parliament, the paper notes. [BBC]
i newspaper
The i newspaper says Mr Sunak's pledge is the biggest hike to military spending in a generation, and comes after the PM warned of a threat from the "axis of authoritarian states such as Russia, China and Iran. He has urged other European nations to step up their defence spending, the paper says. [BBC]
Daily Express
The Daily Express says it is "about time too" that the UK committed to spending more on defence, and also says Mr Sunak will cut 70,000 civil service jobs to free up the cash to help pay for the project. [BBC]
Financial Times
The Financial Times also mentions the PM's pledge to boost defence spending, and a promise to give Ukraine another £500m in military aid. The paper leads on a warning that some banks are "in the dark" over their exposure to private equity. [BBC]
Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror leads on a follow up to their story about the murder of Jilly Dando, saying that a key witness says is "adamant" that a man spotted running minutes after the star's murder is a Serbian assassin. [BBC]
The Star
And finally the Daily Star features none other than Alan Titchmarsh - the gardener whose trousers were censored by Kim Jong Un's North Korea. The story is about said trouser-owner's "war on slugs" (of which the paper does not, apparently, approve). [BBC]

Many of the front pages declare that the UK is on a "war footing" after Rishi Sunak's announcement of an extra £75bn for defence over the next six years.

The Telegraph says there will be a focus on hypersonic missiles, lasers, anti-tank rockets and artillery shells. Writing in the paper, the chief of the defence staff - Admiral Sir Tony Radakin - said the investment was a sign that Britain had lost none of her famous resolve.

The Guardian, which pictures Mr Sunak surrounded by reporters on his plane to Warsaw, notes there have been "months of pressure" by Tory MPs to raise defence spending.

British Army Apache AH-64E attack helicopters
[PA Media]

The Daily Mail hails the funding as "a potential election dividing line". Labour, according to the Times, has not said if it would honour the commitment but has promised to conduct a strategic defence and security review in its first year of government if elected.

The leader writers remain divided on the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, after it received parliamentary approval.

The Mail argues Tuesday's drowning of five migrants on a flimsy dinghy is a reminder of why the Rwanda scheme has become a "moral duty". The Times believes the plan is "an ambitious idea well worth undertaking" - and criticises Labour for offering little in the way of a concrete alternative.

The Guardian warns there is no evidence that the policy will deter migrants. The Financial Times is worried the bill, which instructs judges to regard Rwanda as safe, sets a bad precedent. In its view, the measure legislates "to declare that the facts are not what the courts found them to be". The FT says this creates a "slippery slope" where future governments might declare black is white or that someone acquitted of a criminal charge is guilty.

An overcrowded inflatable boat heads out to sea in the English Channel under moonlight. A French coastguard ship is on the horizon.
A BBC crew witnessed people struggling on migrant boat before five died [BBC News]

The Mirror follows up its investigation into the murder of the BBC Presenter, Jill Dando, in south-west London in 1999. It says a key witness who was driving near the scene of the killing contacted the paper to say a man she saw running away was a Serbian assassin called Milorad Ulemek. The witness contacted the paper on Monday after it published the assassin's photo.

The Mirror claimed he had a striking resemblance to a man seen on CCTV near Ms Dando's home. Ulemek's lawyer said his client, who has been jailed for 40 years in Serbia for two assassinations, didn't wish to comment.

Fans of Jane Austen are being asked for help with a mystery which, according to the Times, might cast some light on the life of the cherished Pride and Prejudice author. The museum, Jane Austen's House, wants help in deciphering what it describes as the "spidery" handwriting of a manuscript written by her brother, Sir Francis William Austen. So it has set up a citizen science project asking people to transcribe the text, section by section - in the hope this will fill in some more details of the author's life.

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