Today's Papers


A high-fatality, high-injury train wreck in Germany leads at USA Today and the New York Times–and pictures of it are on everybody’s front. The looming post-primary fight to reinstate public school bilingual education in California leads at the Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post goes with the government’s decision to lower what counts as obesity, thereby instantly classifying millions of Americans as overweight. They won’t be able to become thin again by leaving the country either: the new rules are more in line with those wielded elsewhere. The Post notes that one of the critics of the move is C. Everett Koop, who worries that it will discourage people from trying to lose weight.

There’s a lot in the papers about Tuesday’s California primaries. The LAT lead reports that in the wake of the passage of Prop. 227, which ends bilingual education for most students after one year, eight school districts applied for waivers, but that the state school board will probably not grant them. Meanwhile, says the LAT, a coalition of civil rights groups opposing the measure has filed a federal lawsuit. And according to USAT’s front, the superintendent of San Francisco schools says his system will not comply with the new law while waiting for the lawsuit to be resolved. Similarly, the LAT reports that as many as 1,500 L.A. teachers say they may commit the “equivalent of educational civil disobedience” by not teaching in English. The story offers a quotation from one teacher saying just that, but the reader is left mystified as to where the paper came up with the 1,500 figure. Another curiosity: the piece delays until the seventh paragraph the information that recently, 48 percent of those participating in a L.A. teachers union election voted for ending bilingual instruction. Statistics appearing elsewhere on the paper’s front also make it clear that this is a more nuanced issue than the LAT generally makes it seem: 37 percent of Latinos voted against continued bilingualism, as did 57 percent of Asians.

A NYT editorial says the defeat in California of several super-rich candidates “may cause multimillionaires to rethink their plans for midlife career changes.” And a front-page WP piece says this development shows that with the economy on the rise, the electorate’s distaste for professional politicians is on the wane

The NYT, WP and the LAT (which carries the WP story) fronts all report that the FDA has given a company permission to conduct the world’s first full-scale test of an anti-HIV infection vaccine. The experiment will be conducted with 5,000 uninfected participants over the next four years. All the pieces mention that such a study has an inherent conflict: science says don’t do anything to cloud the role of the vaccine, while ethics says do everything. But none give the reader any idea how this problem can be resolved, and so it’s hard to see how the proposed vaccine tests can avoid coming acropper like the recent controversial AIDS research in Africa these papers reported on at some length.

The Wall Street Journal continues to pass along good news for the auto industry. The latest: sales of cars and light trucks were up 12 percent in May. Special incentive deals have been driving things, so the trend could cool soon, but in the meantime it’s producing some tremendous numbers: GM minivans, for instance, are up 60.6 percent over a year ago, and for GM sedans, the surge is 85.7 percent.

Everybody’s inside carries word that President Clinton notified Congress that he will ask for yet another year of Most Favored Nation status for China, meaning that China will continue to enjoy the tariff and trade treatment extended to most other countries trading with the U.S. The WSJ points out that with the recent ethical and national security controversies surrounding China, Clinton is now spotlighting Beijing’s value as a broker for peace between India and Pakistan.

In a WP op-ed titled “I Didn’t Get Dumped,” former Monica Lewinsky attorney William Ginsburg settles scores on his way out of town. Decrying the insular nature of D.C.’s political/legal culture, he observes, “A person apparently needs a passport to get into Washington.” Then comes the self-praise: “I am.a hell of a trial lawyer, with an innate sense of right and wrong and up for any fight, even with an anti-constitutional monster.” And the tired excoriation of the press: “To my detractors and the naysayers out there, otherwise known as “talking heads,” or “kibitzers,” I say, bah humbug!” And don’t forget the Bulworth reference: “My former client is now represented counsel, and while I will remain a spirit, not a ghost, they must go forward and represent her as they know best how to do.” All this prose does nothing so much as convince the reader that Mr. Ginsburg has something in common with his former client: he probably blew it.