Newspaper review: US presidential election reaches conclusion

"After a brutal contest that has riven America, a nation speaks". "Divided America bitter to the end".

These are just two of the headlines used - by the Guardian and the Telegraph respectively - to sum up the US presidential race as it comes to a conclusion.

The Guardian's Jill Abramson writes: "The overwhelming emotion in the United States last night was one of relief.

"Most Americans, though still divided, were just glad that the most bitter, vulgar campaign in their country's modern history was finally over.

"Now when they go online, watch television or read a newspaper, they will no longer be bombarded with talk of sex tapes or emails. At least for a while.

"The hope that filled Chicago's Grant Park in 2008 when Barack Obama faced a huge and wildly cheering crowd has, however, been utterly drained from the political system."

Image copyright AFP

The Telegraph says large queues were reported in key states following a "bruising and vitriolic" campaign.

"It was a raucous, angry end to a vicious election season," it reports. "As Donald Trump's imposing motorcade swept up to the polling station near his Manhattan home, he arrived to much fanfare - and large boos, jeers and catcalls.

"Topless protesters had stormed the polling station earlier that morning, and were quickly ushered out by staff. A line of voters looked, bemused."

The Times says Americans queued to end "months of acrimony that divided the nation".

"Tensions were high as US voters flocked to the polls to decide the most bitterly fought presidential election in generations," it continues.

"With Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump running neck and neck in key swing states, long queues gathered outside polling stations across the country."

The i lists the challenges that will face the new president - superpower status, so-called Islamic State, new Cold War, jobs, race, China, and rogue states.

The Mail says the most divisive US presidential election in history ended with long queues outside polling stations in what was forecast to be a record voter turnout.

In an editorial, the Sun lays into Mr Obama's record in office but concludes: "We can but hope the next president is an improvement. The signs aren't great."

The Star says the "fierce battle proved ugly right to the finish".

Eye-catching headlines

  • Amazon butler will clean and do the laundry: First they gave you books. Then they delivered groceries, streamed music and commissioned their own television programmes. Now Amazon is delivering a personal concierge to put your shopping away as well as do your laundry and tidy up Times
  • Suitors come out of their shell for the lovelorn snail: Cupid's arrow has found Jeremy the garden snail after a global campaign to find it a mate with a one-in-a-million anatomical abnormality Telegraph
  • More books on bestseller charts written by Davids than by minority ethnic writers: There are more writers in the bestseller charts called David than there are ones from an ethnic minority, according to an analysis by the Bookseller magazine Guardian

'Lost the plot'

The findings of the report into the police investigation into paedophile allegations against VIPs elicits a scathing reaction.

Sir Richard Henriques said the Metropolitan Police made numerous errors in Operation Midland and that it should have been abandoned much earlier.

In a leading article, the Times says the report lays bare Scotland Yard's "disastrous investigation of baseless abuse claims" but is wrong to call for less media scrutiny.

"The operation was an investigation of a single witness's claims of historic sex abuse by well-known figures at the heart of the establishment," it continues.

"The report enumerates a catalogue of police failures and errors of judgement, including a failure to corroborate testimony on which the entire investigation was based and which turned out to be fabricated."

Image copyright PA

The Telegraph says it was clear from the time police described the claims of the complainant, known only as "Nick", as credible and true they had "lost the plot".

It concludes: "There is a sense that the police are seeking to atone for past mistakes by pursuing other high-profile people on the flimsiest pretext.

"No one says they should look the other way. But the public just wants them to do their jobs competently, honestly and diligently."

The Guardian calls it one of the worst debacles in policing.

It makes the front-page lead for the Mail, which says: "Police handling of the tidal wave of historic sex abuse claims was torn to shreds yesterday in a devastating report."

The Sun describes the report's findings as "shameful" while the Mirror brands it a "travesty".

Royal romance

One person who is in the headlines even more than usual is Prince Harry after he confirmed he was in a relationship with US television actress Meghan Markle - and accused the media of subjecting her to a "wave of abuse and harassment".

However, the Times remarks: "It is inconceivable that a relationship between a popular British prince, who is fifth in line to the throne, and a beautiful American actress is of no interest to the public and the press.

"Prince Harry is the mischievous, charming face of probably the most famous family in the world.

"His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, is a star of Suits, a legal drama watched by millions around the globe. Neither has exactly been plucked from obscurity."

Telegraph columnist Celia Walden takes her hat off to the prince for a no-nonsense piece of public relations.

"'OMG it's confirmed!' seems to have been the immediate reaction to Kensington Palace's surprising statement on the subject of Prince Harry's love life yesterday morning," she writes.

"The voracious interest in Harry's private life is unlikely to be extinguished with a single letter, but Kensington Palace have laid down clear boundaries here with regards to any harassment of Markle in the future. OMG, it's confirmed!"

The Guardian says Prince Harry is right and that "this media harassment is unacceptable".

"Prince Harry's communications secretary has issued an extraordinary appeal to the press.

"In a voice that sounds deeply personal, the letter calls on those behind the frenetic coverage of his relationship with the American actor Meghan Markle to 'pause and reflect before any further damage is done'.

"The message is careful, measured and self-aware, but it also lets fall for a moment the protective veil of the royal brand to reveal a man who genuinely worries that, in the face of what is called 'a wave of abuse and harassment', he is failing to protect his new girlfriend against just the kind of press intrusion and harassment that ended in the death of his own mother, Princess Diana."

Chocs away

Finally, news that the distinctive chocolate triangles in Toblerone bars are being spaced out to cut costs is followed up by most of the papers.

The Times has clever editorial with wider gaps between the lines of text than normal - and it explains why at the end.

Image copyright AP

"Visions of the post-referendum apocalypse took many forms in the weeks before June 23. Judging by the febrile reaction to shrinking Toblerone chocolate bars, however, few imagined it would be this bad," it says.

"The confectionary company is not the first to cut corners, nor will it be the last. A rip-off, say shoppers. Nonsense.

"The Toblerone decision proves that Brexit is good for your health as nobody will be able to afford junk food in this brave new world.

"Forget £350m a week for the NHS - Brexit has brought us a sugar tax for the modern age. It will not stop there. The price of printers' ink is getting dearer by the minute."