The New York Times leads with Attorney General Janet Reno’s Tuesday deadline to announce whether she will appoint an independent counsel to investigate Al Gore’s role in questionable Democratic fundraising activities. The Washington Post leads with news that Iraq is not cooperating completely with U.N. arms inspectors. The Los Angeles Times leads with outgoing California Governor Pete Wilson’s anticipated last minute judicial and regulatory appointments.
The NYT reports that after reviewing essentially the same evidence concerning fund raising improprieties for two years, Reno must finally decide whether to begin a thorough, independent investigation into possible Democratic abuses. The primary issue for Tuesday’s decision is whether Gore knew that money he solicited in 1996 was going to be used as both soft-money, which is unregulated and used for nonspecific party activities, and hard-money, which is regulated and can be used to pay for re-election ads. The NYT notes that extra pressure is being put on Reno from the House Judiciary Committee, which has expanded its investigation to include campaign finance, and could potentially include the AG herself–particularly her repeated refusal to appoint a special prosecutor over the last two years. The Times does not make clear who imposed the Tuesday deadline or what the ramifications are if no decision is made.
The WP lead says that UNSCOM inspectors see little evidence that the latest standoff with Iraq has improved their ability to search for weapons. Iraqi officials have already denied inspectors’ requests for documents, calling the requests “provocative rather than professional.” Inspectors fear that Iraqi officials plan to stall and doubletalk their way out of random weapons searches without blatantly refusing to cooperate. The WP notes that this strategy has effectively eroded French, Russian, and Chinese support for UNSCOM in the past.
An LAT Sunday Report focuses on the changing role of daughters in China. Once viewed by parents as “a curse,” Chinese women are now significantly contributing to the economic well being of poor rural areas and gaining new respect in the process. The piece says that the government decision to allow women to work outside their hometowns ten years ago has prompted an increase in prosperity in the form of money sent home by the new class of urban workers.
The NYT, sworn enemy of sports utility vehicles everywhere, illuminates yet another danger that SUVs pose to fellow drivers: high-mounted headlights. Federal regulators are concerned that the annoying glare larger vehicles cause in your rear-view mirror at night poses a threat to driver visibility and causes premature eye-fatigue.
The NYT Magazine cover story marvels at the resurgence of Prince Charles. After Diana’s death, disgruntled pundits wanted to pass over the adulterous Charles and make his son William heir to the throne. But by hiring a PR firm to manage his image, wooing reporters with occasional jokes, and bonding with Prime Minister Tony Blair, Charles has staged an astounding revival. The Brits now appreciate his many good works and his affectionate fathering. The story hints that Charles does not much like his cold parents. The author gets a rare private interview with the prince and confirms that Charles does have “large ears, as advertised.”