Today's Papers

Peccadillo Re: Armadillo

Different leads all around. The Washington Post runs a big spread on the aftermath of the Capitol shootings. The New York Times leads with the debate over Kenneth Starr’s move to subpoena President Clinton. The Los Angeles Times leads with a promise by Japan’s new Prime Minister to rescue his country’s failing economy. USA Today goes with a poll (taken by the paper) showing that 70% of Americans oppose raising the Social Security retirement age from 65 to 70, but 66% “support the idea of letting individuals invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market.”

The caskets of the two murdered Capitol guards will be displayed all day Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda, where the President and Vice President will pay tribute to the men. The WP notes that this treatment is normally reserved for presidents or military leaders, adding that we’ve conferred this honor only 27 times in our history (the NYT says 26). Others so honored include Lincoln and Kennedy. Stories further detailing the alleged attacker’s nutso personality get front-page play at the WP, NYT, LAT and USAT. The WP reports that Russell Weston shot and killed two family cats a few days before his assault on the Capitol, while the LAT says it was several cats, and the NYT pegs it at 14 cats in all. The LAT’s oddly comic sub-headline: “Did confrontation over cats lead to rampage?”

The NYT lead claims that Clinton will face pressure from Democrats to accept Starr’s recent subpoena. Despite evidence that Clinton could win a court victory quashing the subpoena, White House officials fear that any attempt to fight it might cost them support from congressional Democrats. The subpoena gets front-page treatment everywhere, but only the NYT gets the internal party pressure angle. The other papers focus on the fight over what form testimony should take–jurors might go to the White House, or Clinton might testify over videotape or closed-circuit television; Clinton wants his lawyer present during testimony, while Starr refuses this concession.

The LAT lead reports on promises made by Japanese politician Keizo Obuchi, who will likely become Prime Minister this week. Obuchi vows to kickstart the flagging Japanese economy with a major tax cut and stimulus package, acceding to U.S. pressure for prompt action. The LAT and NYT note Obuchi’s reputation for timid foot-dragging, and characterize this as a purposeful attempt to appear bold and decisive. The WP relegates the news to page A24, running an AP story with little detail or context.

All the papers give front-page notice to a new partnership between AT&T and British Telecom. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal explains this business story in the clearest terms: The two companies “agreed to form a global phone venture with $11 billion in annual revenue to provide low-cost voice, data and video services to multinational customers.” The venture seems designed to counter the pending merger between MCI and Worldcom.

A WP story says armadillos are migrating north, and may eventually reach New England. The animals are largely harmless, but their expansion will markedly increase the road kill counts in their new environs. TP once ran over an armadillo. The experience held little to recommend it.