Today's Papers


All the papers have a different lead. The Washington Post goes with the Republicans’ decision to toss aside their effort to overturn dozens of federal regulations that former President Clinton had pushed through during the twilight of his administration. As it turns out, many of the rules focused on the environment, and voters tend to like the environment. Even some moderate Republicans have come out in support of the Clinton-era rules. The abandoned fight is a loss for the White House, which had been pushing to overturn the regulations. The Los Angeles Times leads with news that many states are forging out ahead of Congress to cut the cost of prescription drugs. Twenty-nine states have already passed laws that reduce the price of medications for seniors. USA Today leads with China’s decision to stop trailing American spy planes. It was this kind of aerial tailgating that caused a Chinese and American plane to collide in April. The New York Times leads with news that police nationwide are finding it hard to recruit and keep officers.

The Times says that there are various reasons for the decline in interest, including a good economy and years of “criticism about police brutality and racial profiling.” Though there are no national statistics on the lack of new cops, the paper does give some evidence of a trend. In 1991 in Chicago, 36,211 people signed up to take the police exam. Last year, 5,263 did.  “If this was a business, we’d be in a panic mode,” notes one observer.

All the papers (except the Post) front the latest violence in the Middle East, where Palestinian and Israelis clashed in Jerusalem near the disputed holy site alternatively known as the Temple Mount (Jews) and the Noble Sanctuary (Muslims). The fighting occurred when a group of Jews tried to enter the area–the same place where a visit last year by now Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s resulted in massive protests and violence. While the NYT’s headline says the groups “collided” and USAT refers to it as a “melee,” the WP (which reefers the story) takes a more sedate approach and notes in its headline that nobody was killed.

The papers also report that an explosion yesterday killed six members of Yasser Arafat’s PLO group. Nobody is sure who did it. But the NYT has a guess. It headlines, “Israelis Reportedly Kill Six in West Bank.” 

All the papers celebrate Lance Armstrong’s third consecutive win at the Tour de France. Only four other racers have had more wins. The feat, impressive in and of itself, is all the more spectacular since just a few years ago, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer–which later spread to his brain and liver–and was given a 50 percent chance of survival.

The WP, apparently desperate to get its Chandra fix, but without any news on the case, treats its readers to a brilliant front-page news analysis.  If somebody has been missing for a while, the paper reports, they may never be found. Thank you for that insight, WP.

USAT’s little graphic do-dad on the bottom left of the front page is generally a bit of eye candy, a sort of mascot for the multihued paper. Today, however, it’s something else: a missed opportunity for a good story. According to the graphic, deaths from motorcycle accidents have increased in each of the last three years. Why?

Finally, for those reading the papers online, visitors to the Times Web site will notice a new pop-up ad. In bold letters, it warns, “Account Over-charge.” Today’s Papers wonders whether such a misleading ad would be accepted by the print edition.