Today's Papers

Tagalogging Off

The Washington Post leads with an arrest in the “love bug” virus case–that of a reclusive Filipino bank employee living in Manila public housing. The paper says the man’s girlfriend and her sister are still being sought in the case. The Los Angeles Times puts the arrest on its business front and goes instead with the Dept. of Justice’s conclusions about the LAPD after a four-year investigation: a widespread pattern of civil rights abuses involving excessive force, false arrests, and illegal searches and seizures was in part attributable to LAPD’s lax management of its officers. The paper explains the findings were presented to the cops accompanied by the DOJ’s threat to bring a federal suit if the city did not agree to a number of police reforms. In response, top city leaders pledged their cooperation. Avoiding litigation will probably mean, says the LAT, the appointment of an outside auditor. Everybody else carries LAPD inside. The late metro edition of the New York Times goes with the Cardinal O’Connor funeral at St. Patrick’s, accompanied by a center-top photo showing in close proximity among the mourners, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, President Clinton, Al Gore, and George W. Bush. (Everybody else save the LAT has some version of the shot.) The Times story notes that the service was interrupted by a two-minute standing ovation after the celebrant invoked O’Connor’s “constant reminder that the Church must always be unambiguously pro-life.” The story does not capture the individual crises of deportment experienced by the various pro-choicers mentioned above as decorum pushed them to their feet. The Times top non-local story is the decision by the U.S. to provide limited airlift to bring in new troops for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, in the wake of the latest unrest there in which rebel soldiers fatally shot some of the protesters massing their leader’s compound. The WP also fronts the story. USA Today goes cart above horse, leading with “BIG GAME PRIZE SWELLS TO $325M” while going below the fold with the FDA’s concern that a commonly used foreign-made drug caused toxic reactions in hundreds of consumers and was implicated in 17 deaths last year.

The Post account of the Manila arrest in the virus case says that the suspect’s phone number was captured by a caller ID device at his local Internet service provider. The paper also reports that the delay over the weekend was caused by the difficulty officials had finding a judge who understood the case’s technical details, and that during the delay the suspects got rid of their computer. The NYT says another cause of delay was trying to find a local law justifying the warrant. A Filipino source tells the Post the point of the scheme was to filch Internet passwords by raiding address books, and the worldwide kludgefest was unintended, but the U.S. investigators aren’t buying this.

The papers all report that today John McCain and George W. Bush will meet in Pittsburgh. The consensus is that George W. will not move policywise in order to get McCain’s endorsement, and that McCain won’t move when he gives it. The NYT astutely cites the reason why despite all this non-movement, the meeting is being covered heavily: The national political press corps is starved for news.

I’m sorry Mrs. Goldberg, but we can’t pay off on your policy because it doesn’t say anything about losing all your property, being forcibly separated from your loved ones or being nearly starved or worked to death. Have a nice day. The LAT fronts a nasty little bummer of a story: European insurance companies are rejecting three of every four claims submitted on behalf of Holocaust victims–and this is for cases that were put on the fast track to adjudication because they were particularly strong.

The WP and NYT report that the conservative group challenging Bill Clinton’s law license in Arkansas on the basis of his statements under oath during the Monica Lewinsky scandal yesterday released a Clinton legal document filed in the matter in which the president persists in saying that the answers about Lewinsky that he gave during his Paula Jones case deposition were misleading and evasive at times, but nevertheless not legally false.

The WP reports that at a Pentagon news conference yesterday, the Air Force general in charge of post-war bomb damage assessment inside Kosovo said that the total heavy equipment kill list was: 14 Serb tanks, 18 armored personnel carriers, and 20 artillery and mortar pieces. This is, notes the paper, far fewer than the previous official Air Force claims of 93 tanks and 153 armored personnel carriers, or NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark’s estimates of 110 and 210. And those claims ran on or near Page One, while today’s correction runs on… Page 17.