As Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to be sworn in as president of South Africa, the Times feels that any sense of excitement will be dwarfed by the scale of the daunting task ahead. It suggests he will have to rebuild the country’s economy and unite a riven African National Congress.
The Guardian talks of him having to balance the need to reassure foreign investors and local businesses against the intense popular demand for dramatic measures to address the country’s deep problems.
Writing in the Financial Times, Barney Mthombothi thinks Mr Ramaphosa will have his work cut out because he will inherit what can only be described as a shambles.
Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning
The Daily Telegraph thinks Theresa May is facing a political crisis in Northern Ireland after the collapse of the power-sharing talks. It feels it’s a significant blow to her authority as she attempts to finalise a Brexit deal over the Irish border.
The i blames the failure to reach agreement on the inability of the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, to sell the idea of an Irish language act to her grass roots support. The Times says it understands the government will continue discussions with the DUP and Sinn Fein over the weekend.
The shooting at a high school in Florida, which happened too late for many of the early editions of the British newpapers, is described by the Miami Herald as an American nightmare. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the 19-year-old manwho opened fire in Parkland had been expelled over disciplinary problems. The New York Times says that, including this latest attack, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have happened in the last five months.
Boris Johnson’s speech on Brexit gets mixed reviews. For John Crace in the Guardian, the foreign secretary tried his familiar tricks, but all the things that had worked so well for him in the past fell flat. Writing for the Huffpost website, Paul Waugh says it was classic Boris: nicely turned journalistic phrasing, Latin references, off-colour jokes and a glaring lack of detail.
Jane Merrick in the digital edition of the Independent takes up the theme, saying it wasn’t so much a Valentine’s Day message of sweet nothings, but of nothing at all. But Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail praises his efforts, arguing that he puts more oratorical vim into one sentence that Philip Hammond puts into an entire budget.
The main story in the Sun is devoted to what it calls shock claims that Jeremy Corbyn met a communist spy at the height of the Cold War and warned him of a clampdown by British intelligence. The paper says it has seen secret papers that show he was vetted by Czech agents and met one twice at the House of Commons.
Last night, a spokesman for the Labour leader said he’d met a Czech diplomat in the 1980s, but he never offered any privileged information to any diplomat. Labour also insisted that any claim he was an agent or informer for an intelligence agency was “entirely false and a ridiculous smear”.
Finally, the Daily Star reports that Sir David Attenborough has become an unlikely party icon for students. Images from his Blue Planet series are being shown on video screens behind a DJ at raves. The funk, soul and house music nights also feature samples of Sir David’s voice. The paper says they have been dubbed “Sir David Attenborough’s Jungle Boogie”.