Today's Papers

A Conservative Man and His Plan for Iran

The New York Times leads with a follow-up on the Iranian presidential election won by conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The paper plays up the theory that Ahmadinejad’s victory represents a protest vote against corruption and was driven largely by economic issues. (The NYT also notes that the latest figures have turnout at around 60 percent; yesterday’s Los Angeles Times pegged participation at 48 percent.) Inside, a news analysis lays out what a conservative’s rise to the country’s highest elected position will mean for the United States, noting that a confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program now may be more likely. The Los Angeles Times leads with an analysis that argues a credibility gap may be opening on Iraq. The paper focuses on the vice president’s remark that the insurgency is in its “last throes,” which appears to have been a political blunder given the problems wracking the country. The Washington Post leads with the first story in a three-parter about the “mind and culture”; today’s installment looks at the debate within psychiatry between those who focus mainly on a biomedical explanation for mental illness and those who insist that ethnicity and national background must play a larger role in diagnosis and treatment.

The LAT pairs its lead with a report on the growing prison population in Iraq. The campaign against Iraqi insurgents has produced more prisoners than the current system can handle. U.S. plans now call for an expansion of current prisons and a delay in the schedule for transferring control of the notorious Abu Ghraib back to Iraqis.

The NYT explores the roots of Italy’s striking decision to issue arrest warrants for 13 CIA officers who kidnapped a suspected Muslim radical in Milan. The decision reflects a growing division between Europe, which is using the traditional means of law enforcement to fight terrorism, and the United States, which is using considerably more aggressive methods.

With Chief Justice Rehnquist’s retirement from the Supreme Court potentially coming as early as Monday, the LAT looks ahead to the fight over his replacement. The paper notes that there are several judges Bush could nominate who would likely win confirmation very easily, but that he may be inclined toward a confrontation with the Senate.

The NYT fronts an in-depth examination of the military’s attempt to armor its vehicles in Iraq. The article highlights an outdated, slow-moving procurement process as the central problem in a faltering effort that has left many soldiers riding in vehicles that still lack the best protection available.

The Post examines Karl Rove and the higher public profile he has taken in Bush’s second term. With the new title “deputy chief of staff,” Rove now officially has a role in policy making. But just as significant, Bush’s victory has made Rove a political celebrity in Republican circles. One White House official told the paper that the man who began as a direct mail specialist now can attract about as much money as the vice president at fund-raisers.

A Chinese company’s bid for UNOCAL is nothing but trouble for the White House, the NYT reports. In addition to the political issues the potential acquisition raises for a White House with close ties to the oil industry, the larger question of China’s global economic intentions remains unresolved.

The Post reports that even as Congress debates the appropriate role of women in combat, many are already engaged in frontline battles with the insurgency in Iraq. The paper describes a harrowing firefight in March in which female soldiers played a central role; one was awarded the Silver Star.

A piece in the Post examines the threat hackers and spammers pose to the Internet and discusses efforts to improve the global network’s security. The report doesn’t include much new or surprising information, however. Meanwhile, a tech story in the LAT notes that consumer electronics companies seem not to have learned their lesson in the Beta-VHS wars; a new battle is brewing over competing standards for the standard to replace DVDs.

The Post writes about colleges’ efforts to reduce their impact on the environment while the LAT fronts a story on the effort to replace oil with corn in many products that rely on a plastic base. The NYT reports on an initiative to help rehabilitate drug-abusing prisoners in Illinois, and examines the phenomenon of the “Polish plumber.” Originally a bogeyman imagined by French people worried about economic integration in Europe, he is now a real-life spokesman for Poland.