The top non-local story at the Washington Post is today’s round of presidential primaries. A Super Tuesday package off-leads at the New York Times, which goes instead with the conviction yesterday of three NYPD officers of covering up the true facts of the station house cop assault of Abner Louima. The Wall Street Journal tops its front-page general news box with a new poll concerning hypothetical general election pairwise matchups, which for the first time, says the paper, shows Al Gore catching up to and running dead even with George W. Bush, with 46 percent apiece. The poll also has John McCain running ahead of Gore, 46 percent to 41 percent. The Los Angeles Times fronts the primaries but leads with the Energy Department’s forecast that the national average gas price could be $1.80 per gallon by this summer and, predicts the paper, probably closer to $2 per gallon in California. Nobody else fronts the gas story. USA Today goes with Alan Greenspan’s virtual promise, in a speech yesterday, that the Fed will raise interest rates later this month.
The papers report that McCain continues to rail against nominally independent ads criticizing his environmental record and, in fact, filed a formal complaint about them today. The Times sees McCain as having “lost energy.” The papers say that Bush is continuing to respond to earlier worries that he was religiously divisive, the WP reporting that he had a warm phone conversation with New York’s Cardinal O’Connor, and both the Post and NYT reporting that he said he might meet with gay Republicans, and made an appearance at Los Angeles’ Museum of Tolerance. The coverage sees Gore as continuing to focus on Bush, the Post saying that yesterday he criticized Bush’s failure to offer a health-care plan. Bradley, says the paper, “barring a miracle,” plans to pull out on Thursday. The NYT finds Bradley giving a talk “devoid of political points,” and at one point captures his campaign banner collapsing behind him as he spoke. And the paper reports that Gore spoke to a group of Jewish voters, to a gathering of hospital workers, and then dropped in on a lesbian and gay community center.
USAT fronts the appearance together in Denver of Jim Brady and an NRA honcho, both in support of Project Exile in Colorado, the third state to adopt the program, which emphasizes hard prison time for gun offenses.
An inside NYT story carries this quotation: “I don’t trust the police, and I don’t think people can depend on them for protection or to solve a crime when it happens.” More citizen disgust with the NYPD? Well no, this is a Kyoto street vendor’s opinion of the cops in his city. It seems that in Japan, where police were long celebrated as models of honesty and competence, a series of foul-ups and scandals have left, according to one poll, 45 percent of the populace not trusting the police at all.
The WP reports inside that the influx of Western helicopters is enabling an expanded effort to rescue and feed some 250,000 flood victims in Mozambique. Despite the aid, however, the death toll has risen to 400, with malaria on the rise, and medical officials concerned about the threat of cholera and dysentery. The end of the story mentions an extra concern: These developments threaten one of Africa’s few democracies.
The WP reports on the musical tastes of the presidential contenders–with the exception of Bill Bradley and Alan Keyes, who didn’t respond to the paper’s inquiry. Like, what are they so busy with?