“Britain hit by power cut chaos” is the headline in the Daily Telegraph after an “unprecedented power outage” hit airports, roads and rail networks.
Britain came “to a standstill” according to the i newspaper, with one eyewitness quoted as saying “it felt apocalyptic”.
The Times notes that Chancellor Sajid Javid was at the National Grid hours before the massive power cut and captions its picture: “Don’t touch that dial, chancellor”.
The Times reports on the plans for a bailout fund – called Operation Kingfisher – to prop up businesses which run into trouble in the event of the UK leaving without a deal.
It says it understands that a secret list has been drawn up of the big British employers considered most at risk.
The Express says the prime minister has issued a direct warning to top civil servants in Whitehall that contingency planning for no agreement must be their “top priority”.
In its editorial, the paper declares that it has had a change of heart and is now in favour of a no-deal Brexit.
The Queen and Brexit
The Daily Telegraph reports on the constitutional issues of the UK leaving the EU, and says No 10 and the Palace have held talks on how to keep the Queen out of the looming controversy.
There has been growing speculation that politicians may try to force the monarch to become involved if Boris Johnson loses a vote of confidence next month.
The Telegraph says it has learned from one source that the next stage would be for the government’s top civil servant to write formally to party leaders and senior MPs, warning them to keep the Queen out of Brexit.
The Guardian leads on what it calls “a recruitment crisis” for the Army which it says is affecting frontline operations.
Using figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the paper says some combat units are as much as 40% below strength – despite growing global threats.
The shortage is being put down to low unemployment, an ageing population, the increase in people taking up post-16 education and a lack of high profile conflicts – which tend to boost numbers.
According to the paper, the figures have prompted criticism of the company responsible for managing Army recruitment, Capita. But a spokesman said its partnership with the Army was “starting to see excellent results”.
Meanwhile, 17 former and current bankers from Goldman Sachs have been charged in Malaysia in relation to a £2bn fraud, the Financial Times reports.
The paper says the charges are connected to an investigation into state investment fund, 1MDB.
The FT says the charges have been made under a law which allows executives to be held responsible for offences committed by their organisations.
The Daily Mail says they include the firm’s most senior banker in London, Richard Gnodde. Goldman Sachs and all those charged deny wrongdoing.
Arsenal players’ security fears
Several papers, including the Daily Mirror, report that the Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will miss the club’s first game of the season on Sunday after receiving what it calls “gang threats”.
Both players are said to be seriously concerned for the safety of their families.
The Mirror links it to an attempted car-jacking two weeks ago – when Kolasinac fought off a man with a knife.
The Times says there have been further “security incidents” since then, and describes the decision not to travel to the game, as “unprecedented in English football”.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is among those to cover a new study which suggests the link between obesity and cancer is far more serious than previously thought.
It says a major study of 700,000 people by the World Health Organisation and Bristol University found evidence that with every increase of BMI by five points, the risk of some cancers also increased.
The Daily Express adds that would make obesity the second biggest cause of cancer, behind tobacco.
The Sun’s front page story is an investigation launched by Birds Eye after a disgruntled worker apparently filmed himself appearing to urinate on a production line of peas.
The paper says deliveries of the frozen vegetable from the plant in Hull have been suspended, and millions of packets may have to be destroyed.
Bosses tell the paper they’re carrying out tests – but the eight second phone clip may have been faked using a hose pipe, the Sun adds. The paper calls it a “Jimmy Riddle Riddle”.