Today's Papers

Heart at Work

The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal’s worldwide news box all lead with a federal judge’s rejection of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh’s bid for a stay of execution, currently set for Monday. The New York Times leads with results of a scientific panel review–undertaken at the request of President Bush–which confirmed the existence of global warming. The Washington Post (at least online) leads with President Bush’s decision to open unconditional talks with North Korea on issues ranging easing tensions with South Korea to limiting missile development. The paper points out that the decision is a victory for Secretary of State Colin Powell, who called for talks in March but was shot down by the president.

The judge in McVeigh’s case ruled that the thousands of found FBI documents don’t call into question the central facts of the case, namely McVeigh’s guilt. McVeigh’s lawyers say they plan to appeal, but legal experts doubt it will be successful. Though the ruling is obviously a victory for the government, the judge did say he was astounded that the documents appeared only days before McVeigh was scheduled to be executed. “It’s a good thing I was in quiet chambers because my judicial temperament escaped me,” he said. “It was shocking.”

The Bush-inspired global-warming report, also the off-lead in USAT, warned that the effect is already resulting in “retreating glaciers, thinning Arctic ice, rising sea levels, lengthening of the growing season in many areas, and earlier arrival of migratory birds.” The report comes at an inopportune time for the president: He is heading to Europe next week, and leaders there are still angry he ordered the U.S. to back away from the anti-global-warming Kyoto Treaty a few months ago.

The administration used yesterday’s publication of the report as an opportunity to basically apologize for not giving allies a heads up that it was going to ditch the treaty. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice did the honors: “It might have been better to let people know again, in advance, including our allies, that we were not going to support the protocol.”

The papers all give slightly different glosses on the report. The NYT headlines: “Panel Tells Bush Global Warming Is Getting Worse” and quotes from the committee’s report, “Temperatures are, in fact, rising.” The WP, which stuffs the story, focuses on scientists’ confirmation of the existence of global warming and doesn’t say anything about it getting worse. The USAT headline, meanwhile, emphasizes the angry ally angle: “Report Puts Bush On Spot, Week Before EU Meeting Global Warming Indicated.”

Everybody fronts a new study saying that contrary to conventional wisdom, the heart has the potential to regenerate itself. The research, by a team of American and Italian researchers, could have huge effects on the treatment of heart attacks and heart disease. It will immediately jump-start development of drugs to turn the heart’s potential for self-healing into a reality. 

The LAT fronts the Department of Justice’s conclusion that there is no evidence of racism in the federal death penalty system and thus said it will continue with plans to execute the federal government’s 20 death row inmates–17 of whom are either African-American or Latino. While those numbers seem to suggest racial bias, the DOJ counters that of potential capital cases, the federal government has only called for the death penalty in the cases of  9 percent of the eligible Latinos and 17 percent of the blacks versus 27 percent of the eligible whites.

The NYT goes inside with news that Berlin is on the edge of bankruptcy, due to bad real estate deals the city made. The city is still fun to visit. It just has a more fiscally aware flavor. Be sure to visit the Brandenburg Gate, the historic East West border crossing–now sponsored by telecom giant Deutsche Telekom and draped with its pink logo.