The world – at least so far as a cartoon in the Financial Times is concerned – is teetering on the edge of a crumbling cliff, labelled 2017.
Below it stands a crowd of world leaders. As one they cry: “Jump!” The feelings – of risk and desire for a new start – are widely shared by the papers on the brink of a new year.
The i is unusual in offering a two-page spread of “reasons to be cheerful” about the events of 2017.
The Guardian says politicians were “to the fore” when the honours were being handed out.
But most prefer to celebrate the others who have put a smile on the face of the public – such as Darcey Bussell, “the dancing Dame,” who is pictured on the front of the Daily Telegraph.
As the Sun reports, he sees his knighthood as a tribute to his late brothers Robin and Maurice.
There’s less unanimity about Lord Adonis – who resigned as head of the infrastructure commission yesterday.
The Times calls him one of the last survivors on the central ground of politics – a strand of continuity linking the Blair government to that of Theresa May.
It thinks he “retains admirers” in the cabinet despite his anti-Brexit views.
The Mail does not agree – its headline reads: “Good riddance to this supercilious servant of the EU.”
And neither does the Sun – which says it once had high hopes for Lord Adonis – but now he’s “properly deluded” and it’s “Ad enough!”.
The main news for the Guardian is a report suggesting that the police believe there are more than 20,000 men in the UK who are potential child abusers.
The paper says that’s the estimate of men grooming, or seeking to groom, children on the internet.
The police say they need more resources – and think that, while the awareness of child sexual abuse has grown, so, too, have the dangers.
Looking forward, several expect another year of challenging politics.
The Mail thinks Mrs May has weathered the storms and argues that the economic “portents look good” for Brexit Britain – “a very happy and prosperous new year.”
Artificial intelligence, says the Financial Times, is both “hugely impressive” and “a one-trick pony”.
The paper thinks it has the potential to become the most important technology development of the decade.
And that raises a concern – how to make sure that computerised devices remain powerful tools, directed to the best ends.
“Intelligent machines,” it says, “need to be judged on how well they enhance their makers”.
The weather being pushed our way by Storm Dylan is preceded by an entirely predictable blizzard of puns.
The Telegraph expects some “hard rain.”
The Daily Star talks of the “snow-go north” being “set to be blowing in Dylan’s wind”.
“The times they are a changing” says the Daily Mirror, if not, it seems, the jokes.
At least the Daily Mail looks to Burns for its headline – “Cold Lang Syne.”
And the Sun – noting the absence of its namesake – talks of a “nation divided by weather.”
One thing rail travellers can rely upon is the annual increase in rail fares.
The Mirror says passengers in the UK spend up to five times more than their European equivalents.
And the paper complains that British commuters are “paying over the odds for an unreliable service.”