Today's Papers

The Speaker Yields

All the papers lead with Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he will not run for Speaker of the House. The Los Angeles Times and New York Times, citing Republican sources present at two Friday evening conference calls, say Gingrich will also resign from Congress in January. The NYT reports that Gingrich accused House conservatives, whom he called cannibals, of having “blackmailed” him into resignation. The Washington Post early edition, citing a prepared statement from Gingrich, does not report that the Speaker will definitely give up his seat in Congress, but does quote Gingrich’s spokesperson as saying it is “unlikely he will fill out his term.” The papers all note that long–time friend Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) announced earlier in the day that he himself intends to seek the post.

A car bomb explosion at a crowded Jerusalem marketplace gets top international coverage at the weekend papers. All report that two bombers were killed, two dozen or more bystanders were injured, and that the Israeli government has halted all discussion of the Wye Memorandum. The NYT reports that Israelis believe the group “Islamic Holy War” is responsible for the attack.

Front page stories at the NYT and WP report that Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. bookseller, will purchase Ingram Book Group, the largest U.S. wholesaler, for $200 million cash and $400 million in stock. and independent bookstores that currently buy books from Ingram are nervous–unless Federal regulators quash the deal, these booksellers’ biggest retail rival will own their main source of wholesale books.

The NYT reports that ABC television has decided not to air Oliver Stone’s prime-time special about the theoretical missile that downed TWA Flight 800. Stone, always on the qui vive for a good conspiracy, may want to do some background checks on those network journalists who protested the special–allegedly for fear that it would be perceived as an ABC News report.

A NYT obituary remembers Bob Kane, cartoonist and creator of Batman and Robin, who died Tuesday at age 83. Kane co-created the Caped Crusader for Detective Comics when he was just 18 years old.

The WP and NYT run front-page pieces on New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s decision not to run for fifth term in 2000. Moynihan, raised by a single mother in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, has held, among a series of impressive jobs, a Harvard professorship, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and an ambassadorship to the U.N..

A NYT Business article says that the Japanese have grown so pessimistic about the economy that they are “investing” in bonds with negative interest rates. That’s right, guaranteed losers. Why? The Times says that Japanese banks are in such disarray that investors will pay to put their money in Government Treasury bills at a small, but guaranteed, loss.