US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1. Cashing in on shame (Boston Globe)

Joanna Weiss writes that Ruth Madoff searches for sympathy with a new book three years after her husband's downfall.

2. Oakland drowning in social justice (San Francisco Chronicle)

Occupy Oakland has scheduled a general strike throughout Oakland for Wednesday. As Debra J. Saunders sees it, the activists not only have free-speech rights -- they also have the power to stomp on other people's rights.

3. Face the questions, Mr. Cain (Chicago Tribune)

Herman Cain hopes that he can dispatch troublesome questions about sexual harassment allegations by refusing to answer them. This editorial states that "The road to the White House will not detour around these questions" -- that he must answer them.

4. What's Your Kid Getting From College? (Wall Street Journal)

Occupy Wall Street (sort of) has a point about student debt, admits William McGurn.

5. GOP strategy: Root for failure (Politico)

According to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Republicans are offering nothing more than the failed policies that created the recession.

6. Corzine Crashes Like It's 2008 (New York Times)

The former chief of Goldman Sachs was on track to get a $12 million golden parachute for failing at MF Global Holdings. Joe Nocera asks: didn't the financial industry learn anything?

7. Why we need not envy China (USA Today)

Obama likes to tout the Chinese, but their problems are worse than America's, writes Jonah Goldberg.

8. Faint welcome for No. 7 billion (Washington Times)

The United Nations believes the Earth's population is climbing too fast, and the delivery stork is jeopardizing the coveted objective of "sustainability." This editorial calls the UN's rhetoric "apocalyptic".

9. Marco Rubio's story (Los Angeles Times)

The Florida GOP senator has gained politically from a false tale of his parents' leaving Cuba amid Castro's reign. This editorial wonders whether voters will now see him differently.

10. Gaddafi's death may trouble human rights groups -- but for Libya, it was necessary (Daily News)

Charles Krauthammer writes: "So he was killed by his captors? Big deal; so was Mussolini."

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Emmanuel Macron offers Theresa May no comfort on Brexit

The French presidential candidate warned that he would not accept "any caveat or any waiver" at a press briefing in London.

Emmanuel Macron, the new wunderkind of French politics, has brought his presidential campaign to London. The current favourite to succeed François Hollande has a natural electoral incentive to do so. London is home to 300,000 French voters, making it by France's sixth largest city by one count (Macron will address 3,000 people at a Westminster rally tonight). But the telegenic centrist also took the time to meet Theresa May and Philip Hammond and to hold a press briefing.

If May hoped that her invitation would help soften Macron's Brexit stance (the Prime Minister has refused to engage with his rival Marine Le Pen), she will have been left disappointed. Outside No.10, Macron declared that he hoped to attract "banks, talents, researchers, academics" away from the UK to France (a remark reminiscent of David Cameron's vow to "roll out the red carpet" for those fleeing Hollande). 

At the briefing at Westminster's Central Hall, Macron quipped: "The best trade agreement for Britain ... is called membership of the EU". With May determined to deliver Brexit, he suggested that the UK would have to settle for a Canadian-style deal, an outcome that would radically reduce the UK's market access. Macron emphasised that he took a a "classical, orthodox" view of the EU, regarding the "four freedoms" (of people, capital, goods and services) as indivisible. Were Britain to seek continued financial passporting, the former banker said, it would have to make a significant budget "contribution" and accept continued immigration. "The execution of Brexit has to be compliant with our interests and the European interest".

The 39-year-old avoided a nationalistic tone ("my perspective is not to say France, France, France") in favour of a "coordinated European approach" but was unambiguous: "I don't want to accept any caveat or any waiver to what makes the single market and the EU." Were the UK, as expected, to seek a transitional arrangement, it would have to accept the continued jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Elsewhere, Macron insisted that his liberal economic stance was not an obstacle to his election. It would be fitting, he said, if the traditionally "contrarian" France embraced globalisation just as its counterparts were rejecting it. "In the current environment, if you're shy, you're dead," he declared. With his emotional, straight-talking approach (one derided by some as intellectually threadbare), Macron is seeking to beat the populists at their own game.

But his views on Brexit may yet prove academic. A poll published today showed him trailing centre-right candidate François Fillon (by 20-17) having fallen five points since his denunciation of French colonialism. Macron's novelty is both a strength and a weakness. With no established base (he founded his own party En Marche!), he is vulnerable to small swings in the public mood. If Macron does lose, it will not be for want of confidence. But there are unmistakable signs that his forward march has been halted. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.