Morning Call: pick of the comment

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers

1. Don't write Japan off. The giant is stirring (Times)

The former Economist editor Bill Emmott says Japan has begun a political revolution that has the potential to bring economic strength back, too.

2. Obama can't afford to sit this one out (Independent)

The US must intervene decisively to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, says Donald Macintyre.

3. You are right to be angry. The banks should have to pay for state backing (Guardian)

The City minister Paul Myners argues that we need to re-examine an economic model that privileges investment banks over businesses and workers.

4. Don't let glacier howler cloud bigger picture (Times)

Mark Lynas argues that the IPCC's mistake with the Himalayan glaciers does not invalidate an entire body of knowledge.

5. Something blue (Financial Times)

A leader argues that David Cameron was wrong to cite the Edlington attacks as fresh evidence of the "broken society". Such rare incidents reveal nothing about the broader condition of Britain.

6. The trouble with the A word (Guardian)

John Harris says that if politicians insist on employing that tired cliché, "aspiration", we're going to need a fleshed-out definition.

7. Capitalism's conservator (Times)

A leader praises Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, for preventing the US recession from turning into a depression, and says he deserves a second term.

8. Don't underestimate the huge scale of this bloody trade (Independent)

Robbie Marsland warns that the ban on the ivory trade has been undermined and says that the EU alone has the power to save or doom the elephant.

9. Zoom in on Team Cameron. At best it's a blotchy close-up (Guardian)

Jackie Ashley says that antipathy towards Labour has allowed vast holes in Tory policy on marriage, Europe and climate change to go unexamined.

10. Stop pining for life on Pandora and come back to Planet Earth (Daily Telegraph)

Boris Johnson says there is nothing remotely new about the plot or politics of Avatar. The story is rooted in just about every film Hollywood made about cowboys and Indians.

 

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Space Oddity? Dr David Bowie is treating former astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Ground control to major coincidence.

The 86-year-old former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin has been evacuated from the South Pole to hospital in New Zealand. Your mole thought this was yet another piece of dismal 2016 news, before the silver lining popped up on Twitter. Aldrin’s manager Christina Korp sent a thrilling message about her client’s treatment:

Yes, the real-life “Starman” is going to be treated by a doctor who shares his name with the late pop icon who wrote “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars?”, “Ziggy Stardust” and “Starman”, among many other odes to space.

In fact, Bowie’s “Space Oddity” hit about ground control losing contact with the fictional astronaut Major Tom was released in 1969, a few days before Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon. This mole’s whiskers are quivering at the poignancy.

I'm a mole, innit.