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What the papers say – December 29

Fake news, healthier bacon and “happy pills” provide fodder for the newspapers.

Social media giants, high-paid doctors and anti-depressants make headlines on Friday.

Facebook and Twitter could face sanctions if they continue to block parliament in its efforts to investigate Russian democratic interference in the UK, Damian Collins, the Tory chairman of a Commons probe into fake news, has told The Guardian.

Bacon that is “free of cancer-causing chemicals” will be on sale in the UK in 2018, The Sun reports, when rashers that have not been treated with nitrites during the curing process will hit the shelves.

Britain is a “nation hooked on happy pills”, the Daily Mail says, with a report on a global study that found prescription rates of antidepressants have nearly trebled in 15 years, making the UK the fourth highest among a group of 29 western nations.

Britain’s highest paid GP in 2015-2016 earned £700,000 a year from the NHS and was one of more than 200 family doctors who made more than £200,000, according to figures obtained by The Times.

The Daily Mirror says it is campaigning for hospital parking charges to end, with Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth calling them a “tax on our sick” after it emerged trusts made £500,000 a day from the fees.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of attempting to “rig” a future general election by opposing constituency boundary reforms by constitution minister Chris Skidmore, who writes in the Daily Telegraph that opposition to reforms amounts to gerrymandering.

The i reports on calls for inebriated New Year revellers to be kept in so-called “drunk tanks” in order to take pressure off A&E departments.

The worldwide value of mergers and acquisitions topped three trillion dollars for the first time in 2017 and the pace of corporate deals is expected to accelerate in 2018, the Financial Times reports.

The number of people claiming out-of-work disability benefits who attempt suicide has more than doubled since fit-to-work assessments were introduced in 2008, The Independent reports.

Winter storms will pose a health risk until New Year’s Eve with gales, heavy rain and more snow on the way, the Daily Express reports.

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