Chinese submarine defects, Bill Clinton's cancer nightmare, reading tabloids can kill you, in this week's dubious rags

Reading supermarket tabloids causes cancer and kills thousands each year, a shocking new study has revealed.

Reading the 'National Enquirer' and 'Globe' magazines dramatically raises readers' chances of contracting a killer disease leading to death, according to doctors.

How do I know this?

I conducted the research personally, polling multiple sources (me, myself and I) and tomorrow I have an appointment to see a doctor who will not have treated any tabloid reader.

The evidence is incontrovertible: tabloid readers are an aging demographic (witness this week's ads for hearing aids, oxygen dispensers, Life Alert alarms, computers "designed especially for seniors' and Medicare supplements) and falling circulation figures that suggest readership is dying off.

This may seem unscientific and illogical bordering on insane, yet this is precisely the rationale behind many of the stories in this week's tabloids.

"Defecting Chinese Sub Spills Secrets To U.S.!" reports the 'Enquirer.'

A Chinese A-94 Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine allegedly gave itself up to US authorities in San Diego, California, and its crew of 240 defected, according to the 'Enquirer.'

Why haven't we heard about this "World Exclusive!" from a gloating Trump administration or outraged Chinese officials?

Perhaps because a U.S. Navy spokesperson said that it has "nothing that indicates those reports are factual."

The story reportedly originates with Paul Preston, founder of the Movement for a New California State' – a man clearly with his finger on the pulse of the nation – who claims "he heard about the submarine from a high-level military contact." Can't argue with that, can we?

"Clinton Cancer Nightmare!" screams the 'Globe' cover story, claiming that former President Bill Clinton has "Wasted Away To Frail 137 lbs." This is the same tabloid that claimed last September that Clinton had only "months to live," allegedly "ravaged by Parkinson's and a failing heart!" In fact, the rag gave him "six months to live" in 2010, and he's still here.

This time Clinton is allegedly "battling a terrifying skin cancer nightmare." Tabloid-friendly doctors who "have not treated Bill Clinton" reportedly "are now fearing the worst." Well, they would, wouldn't they?

'Us' magazine jumps on the factually-challenged bandwagon with its cover story about singing lovebirds Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton: "Gwen & Blake – Ready For Baby! Name picked & building a nursery."

Congratulations! When is the little one due?

Don't ask 'Us' mag, because as their story eventually reveals, Gwen isn't pregnant. An unnamed source claims "They're trying. They'd love to have a child together." Right. Better put down a deposit on a pre-school while they're at it.

As ever, the British Royals are easy targets for the fantastical conclusions leaped to by the tabloids.

"Prince Andrew Evidence Destroyed By Police! Sex Scandal Cover-Up!" reports the 'Globe.' "Cops Shred Andrew Sex Case Records!"

Well yes . . . and no.

Buckingham Palace guard duty logs are reportedly routinely destroyed after two years, so evidence that Prince Andrew returned to the Palace in the early hours of March 11, 2001, would have been shredded after March 2003 – long before there was any criminal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's sex crimes. It was hardly a deliberate destruction of criminal evidence.

Why do the logs matter?

The 'Globe' claims that the official documents would have shown that Prince Andrew was at Buckingham Palace that morning. This would allegedly demolish Andrew's claim to have been at home with his daughters 50 miles away in Berkshire the previous evening, rather than having sex with one of Epstein's sex slaves on the night of March 10 as she alleges.

But even if the Palace logs still existed they would not prove that Andrew did not spend the evening with his daughters; they would only prove that in the early hours of the following morning he was in London. The two are not mutually exclusive, and the "shocking cover-up" alleged by the 'Globe' is nothing more than routine housekeeping.

"Royal Bride Bea Escaping to America! Just like cousin Harry," reports the 'Enquirer,' ignoring the fact that Prince Andrew's daughter Princess Beatrice moved to New York in 2015 and since 2017 has divided her time between the Big Apple and London. Following her July marriage she is reportedly "running away to America!" which is certainly one way of describing her life for the past five years.

The tabloids can't ignore Harry and Meghan, of course.

"Harry in Position to Open Yoga Studio!" claims the 'Enquirer.' Meghan's mom, yoga teacher Doria Ragland, has allegedly been giving Harry yoga lessons, prompting an unnamed insider to assert: "Pals say he's become obsessed with the idea of opening a yoga studio." Right. If Meghan's mom fed him spaghetti bolognese one night presumably he'd be obsessed with opening an Italian restaurant.

"Meghan's One Ungrateful Birthday Girl!" claims the 'Enquirer.' The Queen posted kind wishes on social media for Meghan's 39th birthday, as did Prince William and Kate, but were allegedly upset that neither Meghan nor Harry phoned to say "thank you." Because as we all know, it's standard protocol that when anyone wishes you a happy birthday on social media: you must phone them up to thank them in person. The fair and balanced 'Enquirer' calls it "just another day of 'whatever Meghan wants, Meghan gets.'"

'Us' mag devotes a two-page spread to its dubious report: "All Hail King William & Queen Kate! William and Kate are on the fast track to succeed Queen Elizabeth, bypassing the heir apparent, Prince Charles."

How many times do we have to remind the tabloids that the Act of Settlement of 1701 prohibits a monarch from naming their successor. The law demands that Charles inherit the crown. Yes, he could then choose to abdicate if he wishes, but insiders note that Charles has been training all his life for the job and is unlikely to hand over the crown to his 38-year-old son, especially while Charles has so much he still hopes to achieve.

Jeffrey Epstein's sex scandal continues to fascinate the 'Enquirer,' whose cover story promises readers a "Who's Who On Epstein's Island of Sin. All the A-List names exposed & what really happened!"

But this "blockbuster special report" is just a rehash of old and recently-released court documents listing public figures who were named in Epstein's flight logs, along with self-confessed sex slave Virginia Giuffre's allegations from her semi-autobiographical memoir – which is her version of events, and not exactly "what really happened."

At the opposite end of the journalistic spectrum, 'People' magazine devotes its scandal-free cover to "Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos – Our Wild, Wonderful Family!"

It is as fascinating an insight into this orthodontically-blessed family as one would expect.. "We love each other," they say. "But we really like each other." Shocking. 'People' mag calls this week's edition its "Family Issue," which is exactly as exciting as it sounds.

Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Lucy Hale wore it best (though with only 20 per cent of the votes she can't be too happy about it), that as a child Soleil Moon Frye had a horse named Butterscotch Freeway (didn't we all?), and that the stars are just like us: they go running, play in the sand, collect their mail, wash their car and get takeout. Enlightening, as ever.

Onwards and downwards . . .