Several of Friday’s papers cover Andrew Neil’s appeal to Boris Johnson to agree to an interview with him.
“BBC challenges chicken PM” is the Daily Mirror’s take as it accuses the prime minister of “running scared”.
The Metro deploys a different animal metaphor, nicknaming Mr Neil the “BBC rottweiler”. It describes his “on-air challenge” to Mr Johnson as “unprecedented.”
The number of violent deaths in London this year – 133 – has surpassed 2018’s total, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The “grim milestone” was passed yesterday, when a man in his 20s was stabbed to death in Hackney, in the east of the city.
Last year had itself been the deadliest year for a decade, the paper says.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has told the Financial Times that – in the event of a hung Parliament – Labour would not form any coalitions or make any deals.
Instead, it would seek to form a minority government and challenge other parties to “make up their minds” on each policy.
“Let’s see if the Lib Dems vote against the real living wage at £10 an hour,” he tells the paper.
The FT’s lead story focuses on the £25.6bn raised by Saudi Aramco, the country’s state-owned oil firm, in its initial public offering.
It is a record amount, the paper says, eclipsing the record set by the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba.
But it gives the company an overall valuation well short of the $2tn craved by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
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The Times is among the papers to cover the death of Dmitry Obretetsky – a Russian tycoon who was knocked down by a car as he walked back to his mock-Georgian mansion in Surrey.
Police are not treating it as a hit-and-run and no arrests have been made.
But, as the Mirror puts it, it’s the latest example of death “stalking Russian oligarchs exiled in Britain”.
From Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 to the apparent strangling of an Aeroflot executive last year, a “string of wealthy and fugitive Russians living in the UK”, the Mirror says, “have met grisly ends”.
A friend of Mr Obretetsky has suggested to Russian media that he was “targeted”.
So, the Sun reports, there are fears he was killed on President Putin’s orders. “Was it Vladdy murder?” the paper asks.
Libraries shutting down
Almost 800 public libraries have closed in Britain since 2010, according to figures published in the Guardian – a reduction of around a fifth.
Since the start of the Tory government’s austerity drive, the paper says, the number of library visits has fallen too, from 315 to 226 million.
It points out that Boris Johnson told the BBC last weekend some local authorities, including his own, have been able to “manage their finances so as to open new libraries”.
If getting to a library is proving harder, then perhaps those interested in a challenging read could instead head to Muse restaurant in central London.
The Daily Mail says it offers what could be Britain’s “most pretentious menu”.
Costing £145, each of the 10 courses are accompanied by what the chef calls a “gastronomic autobiography”, referencing for example a childhood memory of a tree.
The problem, the Mail, says is that the “flowery text” gives diners only the “vaguest hints” about “what you’ll actually be eating.”.