Today's Papers

Take That, You IMFers

USA Today

and the Los Angeles Times lead with the continuing Iraq crisis. The New York Times leads with the House’s vote to defeat President Clinton’s plan to pay off the U.S. debt to the U.N. and to make extra contributions to the IMF. The Washington Post leads with the news that the FBI overlooked evidence it had collected of China’s attempts to influence domestic politics.

What happened in Iraq is that Saddam Hussein ousted the six Americans on the U.N. weapons inspection team, and the team’s leader responded by pulling nearly all of his multi-national team out of the country. The LAT headline is about the ouster, the USAT headline is about the pull-out.

The NYT lead is about how Newt Gingrich struck the UN and IMF fundings from a bill to hold them hostage until conservative members can get progress on an unrelated issue–tightening further the current rules against abortion-related uses of federal money. The Times points out that this non-action could hamstring U.S. efforts to forge a strong U.N. agreement on action against Iraq, and could hurt the IMF’s attempts to contain the Asian economic crisis. Clinton press spokesman Mike McCurry is quoted in the NYT and WP (which carries the story inside) as calling the congressional action “boneheaded.”

The Post lead is another water molecule in Bob Woodward’s drip-drip campaign against the Dept. of Justice’s campaign fund-raising investigation. Today’s installment is that the FBI has admitted overlooking evidence about China’s domestic political lobbying until the Thompson hearings had already shut down. The evidence even includes, says the WP, indications that the Chinese CIA boasted that it had thwarted the congressional inquiry.

The story reports that Janet Reno was “livid” when she learned of the FBI foul-up. Note that this has become an essential politico-journalistic routine: a political figure’s organization screws up and the press reports how angry he/she was about it. Other recent examples include the alleged off-camera tantrums had by Bill Clinton and Janet Reno over the belated discovery of the coffee videos, and yesterday’s report about how somebody high up in the White House nearly throttled an ATF agent over the discovery that ATF was letting scads of assault weapons into the country.

The WP says that according to a Justice Department survey released yesterday, more than one million women are stalked every year in the U.S. So are, the study says, 370,000 men.

The NYT, LAT, and WP each report that new studies of the breakthrough triple therapies for AIDS indicate that the regimen doesn’t eliminate HIV, but tends to make it dormant, which means that the therapies should be continued even when patients are completely asymptomatic.

An op-ed in the NYT by former CIA director Robert Gates calls for a strong military response to Saddam Hussein, not just a few cruise missiles. This comes on the heels of similar calls from the keyboards of the NYT’s Thomas Friedman and the WP’s Richard Cohen.

This column is sentencing itself to the Department of Corrections for several offenses committed yesterday. First, since Pakistanis aren’t Arabs, yesterday’s lead should not have spoken of the dominance of the day’s news by Arab terrorists. Second, it turns out that while the 11/12 national edition of the NYT didn’t report the Pakistani shootings and the first part of the metropolitan press run didn’t either, the story did make it into the latter half of the metro edition. Similarly, although early copies of the 11/13 Times didn’t have the FBI’s drawdown of the TWA 800 investigation on the front page, most of the press run did.

Hmmm…most guys want it on the outside. Today’s Wall Street Journal says that “Merck’s Propecia is effective in restoring hair in some people, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel found….”