Newspaper headlines: Trump 'on the gropes' and 'killer clowns'

"Donald Trump appeared to have a Teflon coating," observes the Financial Times, but if the UK papers are right in their consensus on Monday, the "sex boast" scandal has put paid to that.

"Controversial comments" about Mexicans, Muslims, women and war heroes "had almost no impact on the number of Republicans who backed him", the FT goes on, but now Mr Trump is "fighting to save his campaign" and "most analysts argue he has little chance to recover" with just 29 days until the presidential election.

Senior Republicans, including Condoleezza Rice and John McCain, have withdrawn support for him following the emergence of the offensive remarks.

"The surprise is that it has taken so long for his colleagues to wake up to his lewd and dismissive attitude towards women, not to mention his casual racism and xenophobia," says Jason Beattie, political editor of the Daily Mirror.

The Daily Express says UKIP's Nigel Farage has attempted to play down Mr Trump's comments, accepting they were "ugly" but insisting they were nothing more than "alpha male boasting".

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Matthew Norman, writing in the i, says the question, "Is Donald Trump finished?" has been asked many times in recent months, but the answer is now - "unequivocally" - yes.

"What Trump and his fast-dwindling gaggle of public defenders dismiss as the locker room banter of the red-blooded male was the celebration of criminal sexual assault," he says.

But Norman notes that "the end of Trump is not the end of what he represents," and the "tens upon tens of millions of Americans who will vote for him" will be available to fall behind "a more self-controlled, plausible version of Trump" who has "every chance of infecting the Oval Office".

'Irredeemable'

Max Hastings, in the Daily Mail, agrees that "the forces that enabled this pseudo-Republican to become the most despicable major party candidate in US history will still be out there".

And it is "sobering", he says, that "the US electorate will have rejected Trump not because of his lunatic policies, but merely because of his personal depravity."

"Why is this the red line?" asks Zoe Williams, in the Guardian. Well, because, "it puts Trump in the realm of the irredeemable."

"Maybe he was racist because his jet-set lifestyle had never supplied him any Mexican or Muslim friends," she posits, but there has never been a shortage of women in Mr Trump's life.

Mothers, daughters, wives, and yet "nothing has shaken his conviction that we're a different species, to serve a purpose, whose personal and intellectual attributes are no more important than those of a horse."

"Misogynies matter," adds Libby Purves, in the Times. "Rutting misogyny of the Trump variety really does matter. It should be a serious clue to wider tendencies. It isn't just something that upsets hypersensitive safe-space cry babies or 'rabid' feminists."


'Sinister pranksters'

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"Dozens of twisted jokers have been roaming our streets," says the Sun, which focuses a double-page spread on an investigation into the "horror craze" for people dressing up as clowns to terrify others, especially children.

The issue "has become a national concern" in the US, the paper says, and with more than 20 reported incidents in the UK in the past week, police here "have warned enough is enough".

"Real clowns are worried that the sinister pranksters could damage their entire profession," the Daily Star reports. It quotes the president of the World Clowns Association who says "some of its performers had been quizzed by police" about the attacks.

The Daily Mail says the trend "has been raging long enough not to be dismissed as this year's Halloween fad".

It adds that police have expressed fears "that real criminals will exploit the craze by dressing as clowns to make themselves indistinguishable from the pranksters".


Foreign workers 'mistake'

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Another day, another slew of Brexit-related news stories.

The apparent U-turn over possible plans to require companies to publicly list their foreign workers presents two pro-Leave newspapers with a fine line to tread.

The Sun says the plan to "name and shame" companies "wasn't the right approach" - although it can't resist a dig at "embittered Remainers" who greet "every new Brexit policy... with a chorus of doom and gloom".

And it argues: "The principle of Whitehall collecting this data to identify industries that snub Brits in favour of cheaper immigrant labour is spot on."

The Daily Telegraph's leader, meanwhile, notes the "opprobrium" that was "brought down on the head of Amber Rudd", the new home secretary, after the story broke, even though it came not from her directly but from back office briefings.

The "mistake" is fortunately "now being rectified" as it "runs counter to the outward-looking attitude that needs to be projected post-Brexit".

But the Telegraph adds: "She was essentially asking a question that many want an answer to: are UK companies setting out to recruit staff from abroad without even considering whether there are British workers capable of filling the jobs?"

'Risible' Remainers?

Elsewhere, many papers are exercised at attempts by a cross-party group of MPs to secure a vote for the House of Commons on the nature of the UK's EU exit.

The Daily Mirror agrees with them wholeheartedly, arguing that "the MPs we sent to Parliament to represent us should determine the timing and terms - not unelected Prime Minister Theresa May." It adds by way of explanation: "'Brexit means Brexit' means different things to different people."

But the Mirror ploughs a fairly lonely furrow with that stance. "This is just an excuse to thwart the will of the British people," writes Leo McKinstry, in the Daily Express. "Given that the overwhelming majority of MPs and peers backed Remain, there is no Brexit agreement that they will ever support."

"Risible" is the word the Daily Mail leader uses for those MPs, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband among them, who are arguing that the UK might have voted for Brexit but didn't vote to leave the single market. "Worryingly", it adds, "demands for this so-called 'soft Brexit' appear to be getting succour from Chancellor Philip Hammond".

The FT raises that point about the chancellor too, saying Mr Hammond's "reminder to Tory activists last week that Leave voters had not voted 'to become poorer or less secure' was a sign of his intent".

On one particular aspect of Brexit, the Guardian says the government "has given its first official hint that it hopes the Irish external border will provide the solution to one of the most vexing conundrums" thrown up by the referendum - "how to pull up the drawbridge" without creating a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.


Eye-catching headlines

  • Scythe of the times - "hunky" Poldark star Aidan Turner has sparked a new male craze for scything, says the Sun
  • Schools find bringing back houses is a wizard idea - schools are reviving the Harry Potter-style house system, reports the Times
  • Massive rats to shelter in your house - 120 million could invade UK homes to flee the Siberian winter coming our way, according to the Daily Star

'Oxo dad'

Finally, Oxo has unveiled a new family to star in its adverts - nearly 20 years after the late Lynda Bellingham served up their last televised meal.

It will "highlight men's role in the kitchen", says the Daily Telegraph, as well as the rise of social media, as one of the protagonists posts a picture of her food online.

"For decades the Oxo mum was a symbol of middle class lifestyle... but she has a new rival - Oxo dad," writes the Daily Mail.

The advert "will show dad pulling off a great dinner for unexpected guests under tight time pressure", adds the Daily Mirror.


Making people click


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Media captionThe Papers: Monday's front pages