Today's Papers

Next Year in an Expanded Jerusalem

USA Today

and the Los Angeles Times lead with Israel’s controversial plan to expand Jerusalem’s borders. The Washington Post leads with President Clinton’s call for surveys to determine which cigarette brands underage smokers prefer. The New York Times, prone to leading with financial news, claims that while inflation remains down, prices for many products are zooming (to consumers’ annoyance).

Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to expand Jerusalem’s borders, “strengthening” the 70% Jewish majority in the city, and increasing the city’s tax base. The unilateral gerrymandering move goes sharply against U.S. and Palestinian wishes, and all the papers agree this further jeopardizes the peace process. USAT quotes a Palestinian official calling this a “declaration of war on the Palestinian presence” in Jerusalem. Many soon-to-be-annexed Jewish neighborhoods protested the higher taxes they’ll pay once encompassed by the city’s borders. (The NYT adds that some of these Jews had earlier fled Jerusalem to escape its heavily orthodox culture.) While the other papers all put the story out front and above the fold, the WP oddly buries it on page A22.

The WP lead, in tune with the paper’s heavier focus on domestic politics, covers Clinton’s plan to keep annual stats on which tobacco brands are most popular with minors. The executive order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to survey smokers aged 12 through 17, salvaging a provision that was originally in the failed tobacco bill. The WP sees the move as 1) image bolstering for Clinton, and 2) “a useful way to put public pressure on the [tobacco] firms.” USAT, the NYT, and the LAT all leave the story off their front pages.

The NYT lead says both inflation and the Consumer Price Index are low and steady, but Americans are still griping about high prices. How can this be? The CPI averages costs for “thousands of goods and services,” and most essentials (food, gas, cars) are fairly cheap. But prices in the service sector (“the extras in life”) are quickly rising. Among commonly complained-about overcharges: video rentals, legal fees, theme park admissions, and pay phone rates (up to 35 cents from a quarter).

The Wall Street Journal’s leader covers Disney’s troubled foray into the cruise ship business. Disney’s eagerly awaited first ship is far behind schedule and still not ready, largely because of the company’s nitpicking specs. The boat’s builders claim Disney requires ridiculously costly and unnecessary guidelines for the ship’s structure, and on-board decoration involves hand-painted murals incurring hundreds of hours of work.

All the papers run front-page stories on the Iranian soccer team’s 2-1 defeat of the U.S., marking both Iran’s first-ever World Cup victory and the elimination of the U.S. from the tournament. Everyone agrees that the politically heated match was marked by excellent sportsmanship from fans and players on both sides. So sporting was the U.S. team, notes the LAT, that it handed its opponents not only trinkets of goodwill, but also the match itself.