Newspaper review: 'Houdini Hillary' gets 'major boost'

Houdini Hillary or wronged woman? It depends which paper you read.

The Daily Mail says the "sensational announcement" from the FBI means Mrs Clinton has "got out of jail".

But the i's front page suggests the Bureau owes her an apology, with the headline "FBI clears Clinton (Sorry about that...)".

In truth, most papers have little enthusiasm for the next president of the United States - whoever it may be.

"I have never seen two more unsuitable candidates for what is still - or should be - the most powerful office in the world," writes Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail.

"Trump might call her 'Crooked Hillary'... but he's riddled with serious defects of his own, not least his rampant dishonesty and congenital megalomania."

In the Sun, Trevor Kavanagh makes the same point. "A Trump triumph would leave the White House in the hands of an emotionally immature egomaniac who has never read a book," he writes.

In the Times, Michael Gove - who's following the campaign in Florida - predicts that Mrs Clinton will win.

"But that would be the beginning of her troubles," he says. "She would win with the highest negative rating among voters of any victor."

Amid the gloom, Stefano Hatfield in the i sounds an optimistic note.

"America is filled with some of the most hospitable, intelligent, passionate and decent people on the planet," he writes.

"Vote Hillary this week. The alternative is too horrendous to contemplate."

Christmas comes early

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The YouTube video titled "John Lewis Christmas Advert" had "all the elements of the beloved annual tear-jerker", reports the Guardian.

Featuring "a lonely snowman, heart-tugging music, and a calendar marking the days until Christmas," the clip has been watched almost 500,000 times.

Just one problem - it was, in fact, a piece of coursework from an A Level student in Gillingham, Kent.

"I left it until the last month to do it," the student, Nick Jablonka, tells the paper. "It's a very rushed piece."

Rushed or not, the Daily Mail reports that "viewers say it's as good as anything the professionals could do".

"I never had any intention of putting it out there, until my mum and girlfriend saw it," Mr Jablonka tells the Mail.

"I was pretty critical of it, despite getting full marks on the project."

The Mail points out that last year's John Lewis advert cost £1m to make - with another £6m spent on advertising slots.

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Media captionTony Grew and Caroline Frost review Monday's papers for BBC News

Vox populi

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Is it time for an early election? Jane Merrick in the i thinks it would "heal the divided country".

"While referendums leave a large proportion of voters feeling robbed, general elections have a cleansing, settling effect," she writes.

"The EU campaign was short on facts and high on hysteria.

"An election campaign would force all parties to draw up manifestos, and make pledges on which the winner will be held to account."

The front page of the Daily Telegraph says the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has "hinted" that Mrs May could call an election, if Parliament delays Britain leaving the EU.

If that happens, writes Kevin Maguire in the Daily Mirror, the result is a foregone conclusion.

"Jeremy Corbyn sounds like a terrier barking at a ferocious rottie when he yaps that Labour could force an early election," he writes.

"The brutal truth is his party would be savaged if a contest happened next year."

Pigeon detective

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"A teenager is being hauled before a court for feeding a chip to a pigeon," reports the Daily Star.

The paper says Lauren-Paige Smith, 19, was eating a McDonald's meal when she fed the bird.

A council worker in Cardiff said she was littering - even though the pigeon ate the chip.

When Miss Smith refused to pay a £25 fine, she was summoned to court.

"I can't believe I'm being penalised for a kind act," she says.

The Star's headline reads: "A right old flap" - while the Sun calls the case a "coo dunnit".

Rakish behaviour

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Finally, an ethical dilemma from the letters page of the Daily Telegraph.

"As I stood on my front lawn preparing to sweep up the leaves, my much more active neighbour appeared and offered to help," writes Robert Whittle from Hook in Hampshire.

"She said she had nothing else to do, as her husband had gone out, taking the keys and locking her out.

"The dilemma: just when should I remind her that we keep a spare set of keys for their house?"

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