Today's Papers

Mexican Watershed

Everybody leads with the Mexican elections. The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and USA TODAY each put the story at the top right and the New York Times gives almost the entire right side of its front page to it. And the top of the Wall Street Journal “World-Wide” News column notes “Mexican Stocks Surge.” As of press time, it remains unclear exactly what the balance of power in the legislative branch or in the various states will be between the three major political parties, but the news is that for the first time in the country’s modern history, there will be a balance of power. USAT quotes one political scientist as saying, “This was a revolution, the beginning of a new country.” The Times has another saying, “If votes begin to count in Mexico, then this is a revolution.”

The Post has Cambodia on the front above the fold, while the LAT and NYT put it inside. What happened there is that one of the country’s co-rulers–as established by U.N.-brokered elections in 1993–conducted a coup when the other one was in Paris. The U.S. has delayed taking sides. The NYT has the State Department spokesman’s official position: “I think the origin of the fighting is sufficiently murky so that we don’t want to shoot arrows at one side or another today.” If nothing else, the episode allows the Post to trot out this foreign correspondent’s staple phrase (found, I believe, on key F7): “the capital appeared calm but tense tonight.” By the way, what does that actually mean?

The Journal’s front page “Work Week” column has two rather interesting items today. One details that a Missouri federal appeals court has ruled that a woman demoted while on maternity leave wasn’t a victim of pregnancy discrimination. The story notes that a 1978 federal law bars discrimination based on “pregnancy, giving birth or a related medical condition,” but that the court ruled that it didn’t apply to her case because caring for a child is a gender-neutral “social role,” not a condition related to childbirth. The other item relates how Karl Mason, a self-described numerologist and astrologer, and a dozen of his colleagues, have asked the Broward County, Florida, state attorney to look into why the psychic phone network where they dispensed visions of the future to callers had stopped paying their salaries. The county is investigating. But the Journal wonders why the employees didn’t see trouble coming.