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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. How Britain's economy got dumber: Pfizer's bid for AstraZeneca (Guardian)

The true significance of the proposed takeover is how few options Britain has now that our manufacturing and research capacity has withered away, writes Aditya Chakrabortty

2. Despite the rifts, the coalition will stagger on until the election. But can you imagine Cameron and Clegg reunited in the rose garden? (Independent)

There are Tory MPs aching for a brief period of minority government, writes Steve Richards. 

3. A Swift way to curb Putin’s ambitions (Financial Times)

The evidence suggests that while the Russian president is bold, he is not mindlessly reckless, writes Gideon Rachman.

4. Spend, spend, spend: the chaotic world of free schools (Guardian)

While the crisis of primary places mounts, vast sums of public cash are being chucked at the education secretary's pet, writes John Harris.

5. This time the coalition is fighting for real (Times)

There is nothing phoney about rows over free schools or knife crime, writes Rachel Sylvester. And it can only get worse as the election nears.

6. Look in the mirror, Gary. You did a bad thing (Times)

The prime minister, who believes in the Big Society, should take a strong line against the Take That tax avoiders, says Hugo Rifkind. 

7. Now troubled children are an investment opportunity (Guardian)

An 18% return on the most disturbed and needy children in care homes is the extreme end of Britain's outsourcing culture, writes Polly Toynbee. 

8. If the super-rich like Gary Barlow paid their share, maybe the taxman wouldn't have to pick our pockets (Daily Mail)

The old saying is untrue, that the only certainties in life are death and taxes: for the super-rich only the former applies, writes Max Hastings. 

9. A day in the life of David Cameron (Daily Telegraph)

In the age of social media, meeting voters is more demanding than ever before, writes Benedict Brogan. On the road with the Prime Minister, we see how he copes.

10. Tories fail to grasp the minority vote (Financial Times)

A party stands or falls by the gut impression it creates when voters pay attention to politics, writes Janan Ganesh.

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland