Today's Papers

Genoa Genocide

Everybody leads with reports from the G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy, where a protester was killed by riot police. The New York Times reefers its coverage of summit business, devoting its entire lead to the protests, in which about a hundred people were injured and 70 arrested. The shooting occurred after several protesters with rocks, metal rods, and other weapons attacked a police Land Rover, according to a Reuters photographer who’s quoted in both the NYT and the Washington Post, and whose photos of the incident make all the papers. A man brandishing a fire extinguisher was shot by police and then run over. “It is not clear why the riot police were armed with live ammunition,” observes the NYT, noting that police in Seattle and Quebec, battling similar protests, were equipped with powerful but non-lethal rubber pellets

The protesters were a varied lot, mostly nonviolent, united in their “opposition to the increasingly worldwide reach of major corporations,” according to the WP. The NYT says the protesters expressed their “appetite for confrontation” by the color of their clothing: pink for gays, white for the “civil disobedience” types, and black for “anarchists and other fringe rebel groups that have no patience for organized marching.” The shooting victim was a member of the latter group. All of the papers expressed the fear that today’s protests would be larger and more violent in the wake of the shooting.

The WP fronts the political hay both parties hope to make with the mailing of those tax-refund checks yesterday. “I told the American people that our federal government was overcharging them, and on your behalf I was demanding a refund,” George W. crowed via satellite from G-8. The Dems have been arguing that the tax cut endangers the budget surplus and military spending, among other things. Now, they have something new: the 32 million who will be getting squat. “There are tens of millions of Americans who may think they’re going to get a check and who are going to be bitterly disappointed,” says Tom Daschle. Bitter enough to become Democrats? “Wishful thinking,” says the GOP. $34 million was spent on the notices telling people whether or not they were in the chips.

The NYT off-leads a supposedly critical advance in the way eyewitnesses identify suspects. The new method, too mind-numbing to delve into here, will “cut down on the number of false identifications,” says New Jersey’s attorney general. The change, based on years of psychological research, has elicited “howls of protest” from New Jersey prosecutors and police, who fear that fewer suspects will be identified. “Every time you see something coming along that makes your job a little harder, you kind of cringe a little,” says the Linden, N.J., chief.

The Los Angeles Times fronts’s continued freefall. The company will report its 17th consecutive unprofitable quarter on Monday, while still maintaining that it will achieve “a very loosely defined version of profitability” by the end of the year. Loose, indeed. “I see a real risk of outright bankruptcy,” says one analyst. “If you look at their financial statements, it’s obvious.” Amazon has accumulated $2.7 billion in debt. And to think it was just two years ago that founder Jeff Bezos was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” (“If I had a nickel for every time a potential investor told me this wouldn’t work.” he says in the gushy Time tribute.)

The WP’s metro section warns that D.C. will be overrun with ex-cons over the next 12 months, as felons convicted under the tough sentencing guidelines of the ‘80s and early ‘90s are released from prison. The District already has unusually high rates of recidivism, with up to two-thirds of released prisoners being rearrested within three years. The solution: build halfway houses, and quick, according to the parade of experts the Post quotes. “In areas of increasing access to housing and securing employment … we have more work to do,” says one.

Finally, the LAT buries (but not deep enough) a report issued by Washington police listing the Web sites missing intern Chandra Levy visited on May 1. “Last Sign of Levy Is List of Web Sites,” the Times’ headline reads. So where’d she go? No place very interesting. No porn. No There’s altavista, msn, yahoo. She allowed herself baskinrobbins and hollywoodreporter. There’s also something called modbee, which turns out to be the Web site for the Modesto Bee, which today leads with the ongoing Chandra Levy investigation.