Newspaper headlines: The PM's plans for the asylum system, and the latest on the strikes – BBC

Several front pages highlight Rishi Sunak's pledge to clear the backlog of asylum claims, including the Times, which said the prime minister had "staked his political future" on resolving the issue.
In an interview with the Mail, Mr Sunak describes the current system as "not fair" and "not right", and promises to cut what he calls the "appalling" costs of housing migrants in hotels while they wait for their cases to be assessed.
Writing in the Telegraph, the prime minister said migrants who get to the UK by "cheating" will be barred from claiming asylum.
The Times features the warning by nursing leaders that patients' lives could be put at risk during Thursday's strike by nurses, because of what they say is the failure of unions to protect key services from disruption.
The Telegraph said there were fears that urgent cancer surgery could be cancelled. But the newspaper reports that the nurses' union, the RCN, has dismissed the concerns as a "politically-motivated smear from a government failing patients".
The Mirror reports the RCN has appealed for public support ahead of the walkout, insisting it is fighting to protect the NHS for all. In what it calls a "special report", the Guardian devotes five pages to focusing on the pressures facing a busy London hospital. "33 hours inside an NHS on the brink", the headline reads. The paper reports on "swamped" emergency departments, "crammed" wards and "burnt-out" GPs, concluding that the health service is "at breaking point".
With the headline, "You've Lost It, Lynch", The Sun claims the leader of the RMT union saw support for strikes by rail workers "running out of steam" on Tuesday. It said Mick Lynch was "losing public sympathy" for the walkouts as he "piles on the misery" with weeks of action, prompting him to "lose his rag" twice during live interviews on Tuesday morning. The paper's leader column argues that RMT members increasingly know they should accept the offer made to them by Network Rail, as "much of Britain has grimly swallowed far worse".
Union sources have told the Telegraph that rats and foxes have been gnawing Christmas parcels and letters left outside depots during strikes by postal workers. A spokesman from the Communication Workers Union is quoted as saying the backlog "will take at least a month to clear", but Royal Mail said the items were moving "very quickly" on to the next stage of their journey. The company did not respond to the claims about rats and foxes.
The Express is one of several papers to feature the image chosen by the Prince and Princess of Wales for their official Christmas card. The photograph, taken in Norfolk earlier this year, in weather warm enough for shorts, shows the couple smiling as they walk hand-in-hand with their three children. The paper said the picture showed the happier side of royal life, ahead of Thursday's release of the final three episodes of the Netflix series about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Mail reports that new polling suggests Prince Harry was Britain's most unpopular Royal, with just a third of people now holding a positive view of him.
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