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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 20 September

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Mike Weilbacher in The Philadelphia Inquirer

on adults turning a blind eye to catastrophe

Boomers take note: The kids are right about climate change

“That competent adults are still debating whether or not the issue is real, willfully ignoring the painfully obvious and increasingly loud signals the earth is sending us, is inconceivable, maddening, mind-numbing. We have been literally fiddling while the world burns. For 30 years. These kids sense something adults seem to have missed: that we are running out of time. Whatever predictions science makes about the climate, climate beats the prediction. Oceans are rising more rapidly, wildfires are burning hotter, ice caps are melting more quickly, species are vanishing faster: it is all unfolding sooner than expected. It is here, now. And people are responsible.”

2. Lenore Taylor in The Guardian

on the tall task of editing a rambling president

As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump's press conference

“I’ve read so many stories about his bluster and boasting and ill-founded attacks, I’ve listened to speeches and hours of analysis, and yet I was still taken back by just how disjointed and meandering the unedited president could sound. Here he was trying to land the message that he had delivered at least something towards one of his biggest campaign promises and sounding like a construction manager with some long-winded and badly improvised sales lines. I’d understood the dilemma of normalising Trump’s ideas and policies – the racism, misogyny and demonisation of the free press. But watching just one press conference from Otay Mesa helped me understand how the process of reporting about this president can mask and normalise his full and alarming incoherence.”

3. Melissa J. Gismondi in the New York Times

on Justin Trudeau’s slim hopes of re-election

The downfall of Canada’s dreamy boyfriend

“For many Americans, the story connects Canada to what’s often seen as a deeply ingrained American tradition: blackface. Down here, Trudeau’s brownface and blackface episodes are bursting the Canadian exceptionalism bubble. Slowly but surely Americans are learning we Canadians can be just like you: very, very racist. For Canadians, though, the story is different. It also has bigger stakes, coming as it does in the middle of a federal election that has seen the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck in the polls. It’s the latest in a series of scandals that have led many liberals to grow disillusioned and, yes, even flat out embarrassed by Mr. Trudeau.”

4. Marwan Bishara in Al Jazeera

on the false hope of a new dawn in Palestine

Israel after Netanyahu?

“Anyone expecting an FW de Klerk to emerge from these elections should have their head examined. Israel's own version of apartheid continues to deepen in the occupied Palestinian territories where some 650,000 illegal settlers live with the privileges of a ‘superior people’, not so different from pre-1994 whites in South Africa. Not a day goes by without an increase in the illegal settlements, which has created a one-state reality governed by two separate and unequal systems; one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians.”

5. Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

on the bumbling return of a controversial PM

David Cameron has unwittingly written the best ever case for Brexit

“There is almost nothing in those 700 pages to explain why EU membership is a good thing. There is not a single example of anything emanating from Brussels that benefits Britain. So why does he start to talk about Britain’s future being in the EU and about it being a fundamental part of who we are as a country? He doesn’t offer a proper explanation himself. Perhaps his close friendship with George Osborne, an avid Remainer, swung him – in the way he thinks his friendship with Michael Gove and Boris Johnson ought to have swung them. It’s pretty hard to reconcile the calm, rational, patient author of the first 40 chapters of the book with that of the final seven chapters who talks about Brexiteers as careerists, villains and Islamophobes.”

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