World considers a Trump presidency, and many shudder
Following Donald Trump's breathtaking string of Super Tuesday victories, politicians, editorial writers and ordinary people worldwide were coming to grips with the growing possibility that the brash New York billionaire might become America's next president - a thought that aroused widespread befuddlement and a good deal of horror.
"The Trump candidacy has opened the door to madness: for the unthinkable to happen, a bad joke to become reality," German business daily Handelsblatt wrote in a commentary for its Thursday edition. "What looked grotesque must now be discussed seriously."
There was also glee from some Russian commentators at how American politics is being turned topsy-turvy in 2016. And in Latin America, Ecuador's president predicted that a Trump win could boomerang and become a blessing to the continent's left.
However, the dominant reaction overseas to the effective collapse of the Republican Party establishment in the face of the Trump train appeared to be jaw-dropping astonishment, mixed with dread at what may lie ahead.
"The meteoric rise of the New York magnate has left half the planet dumbfounded," wrote columnist Andrea Rizzi in Spain's leading newspaper, El Pais.
"To consider Donald Trump a political clown would be a severe misconception," said another European daily, Salzburger Nachrichten. If Trump is elected to the White House, the Austrian paper predicted, his ideas "would bring major dangers for the USA and the world ... basically a nationalist-chauvinist policy that would make America not great, but ugly, and risk the stability of the international order".