Today's Papers

Will Cease Mean Peace?

The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Timeslead with Hezbollah’s leader and the Lebanese government agreeing to a U.N.-negotiated cease-fire. But, as everybody notes, this doesn’t mean an immediate end to fighting. On Sunday Israel will likely accept the agreement as well, but yesterday, in the words of the New York Timeslead, Israel “poured troops” into Lebanon. The day’s fighting included dozens of Israeli airstrikes, and Hezbollah shot down an Israeli helicopter.

Israel’s top military commander said his forces will likely fight Hezbollah for at least another week. (A front-page NYT analysis suggests that Israel’s huge increase in troops a day before they’re expected to accept a cease-fire is meant to damage Hezbollah as much as possible and leave Israel with “a hint of victory.”) In a televised address, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah said: “We in Lebanon should be vigilant and not think that the war is over.” U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said late Saturday that the cease-fire would take effect at 8 a.m. Lebanese time Monday.

Somewhere between seven and 19 Israeli soldiers were killed Saturday; both the NYT and the Post say the Israelis suffered their highest daily losses since the start of the conflict. Israelis told the LAT they killed 40 Hezbollah fighters (the NYT says 50), but Hezbollah denied that. According to the WP, 19 civilians in Lebanon were killed.

But if the papers can’t quite agree on statistics, the Post and the NYT find common ground on the day’s art: They run near-identical lead photos on their front pages.

Authorities in Britain said Saturday that they are prolonging the incarceration of the terror suspects arrested last week without charging them. One suspect was released without being charged. The Post has a long, front-page piece exploring how and why Britain has become “an incubator for violent Islamic extremism.” Meanwhile, prominent British Muslims—including members of Parliament—sent an open letter to Tony Blair Saturday saying that Britain’s involvement in Iraq and the inability to secure a speedy cease-fire in Lebanon were providing “ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.”

Fifty people died in Iraq Saturday, among them two American soldiers. Also yesterday, Iraqi officials formally accused other current and former Iraqi government leaders of accepting kickbacks and bilking the government out of millions of dollars.

In Afghanistan, three U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded during a fight with insurgents in the northeastern part of the country, officials said Saturday.

Though the ballots are far from fully tallied, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila is taking an early lead in the country’s election. His share has surpassed 50 percent, but only three million ballots have been counted—with more than 16 million to go.

According to an NYT A1 story, a federal panel has suggested that the government ease restrictions on testing pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that pretty much ceased in the early 1970s after revelations that inmates were exposed to carcinogenic and radioactive materials. Some doctors think they can avoid the abuses that occurred in the past, but others are skeptical: “What started as scientific research became pure business, and no amount of regulations can prevent that from happening again,” said a doctor involved in drug trials on prisoners in the 1960s.

Foul-Up, Not Foul Mouthed: In an editor’s note, the NYTBook Review apologizes for a mischaracterization in a recent review. The reviewer of “Sex Collectors: The Secret World of Consumers, Connoisseurs, Curators, Creators, Dealers, Bibliographers, and Accumulators of ‘Erotica’ ” called one collector “foul mouthed” when the book itself did not call her that. Upon further reflection, the Review concludes she “did not merit the adjective.”