Today's Papers

Plane Outsider

The New York Timesand USA Todaylead, and the Wall Street Journal tops its business box, with the surprise resignation of William Clay Ford Jr. as Ford’s chief executive and president. The Washington Postleads with President Bush warning the country that it is not safe from terrorism. Bush also emphasized that the Iraq war is part of this larger battle against terrorists, describing it as the “central battlefield where this war will be decided.” The Los Angeles Timesleads with a Mexican court unanimously declaring that Felipe Calderón is the country’s president-elect. Calderón called for national unity but his opponent, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has said he will not concede the election. If López Obrador remains defiant, many fear Mexico could fall into political chaos before Calderón is sworn in as the country’s president in December.

In what is being hailed as an unusual step, Alan R. Mulally, a former top executive at Boeing who has no experience in the auto industry, will replace the great-grandson of Ford’s founder, who will remain as the company’s chairman. Everybody notes Mulally’s appointment of is a sign that Ford wants to bring in new ideas and shake up the way things are done in a company that has been going through a difficult period and is having troubles adapting to a changing industry.

President Bush’s speech, which the LAT also fronts and USAT reefers, came on the same day that the White House released an update on its plan to fight terrorism. The plan says  there must be “both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas.” The document concludes by stating that “America is safer, but we are not yet safe.” Democrats immediately jumped in and countered Bush’s statements by saying that during his presidency the country has, in fact, become less safe.

The LAT fronts news that a new Army field manual set to be released today will include Geneva Convention protections for all prisoners and will also eliminate some controversial tactics that have been used during interrogations. Although at first there was some discussion about whether some of these methods should be allowed for certain detainees, the new rules will ban some of the more controversial methods such as intimidation through the use of military dogs and simulated drowning.

The NYT fronts and the LAT goes inside with the results of a study that reveals the health problems of those who worked at Ground Zero are greater than first thought. The biggest study ever done on the topic details that of those who had no previous breathing problems, 61 percent developed symptoms after they worked at Ground Zero. The study also shows that many still suffered from various ailments years after Sept. 11, 2001. Yesterday, the NYT published a story about the government’s slow pace in caring for the more than 40,000 people who became ill after working at the World Trade Center site.

The LAT fronts, and the other papers reefer, the announcement by Chevron and two partners that they have found a potentially large new source of oil deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Initial test results reveal that anywhere between 3 billion to 15 billion barrels of oil could be extracted, which lead some to believe it could be the biggest discovery in the United States in almost 40 years. 

The WSJ notes that the Justice Department is investigating whether former House Majority Tom DeLay’s wife actually did any work to receive her $3,200 monthly salary from a lobbying firm. FBI agents have been interviewing former and current employees at the firm to find out if Christine DeLay ever actually came to work and what exactly her role was  in the company. The Journal says this latest round of questioning shows the investigation is continuing and that the Justice Department may be trying to force DeLay to plead guilty by investigating his wife.

The papersmention inside that the Iraqi parliament voted to extend the country’s state of emergency by one month. This grants officials certain powers such as the ability to set curfews and arrest people without warrants. Inside their state-of-emergency stories, thepapersalso mention that two Marines and one sailor were killed on Monday in Iraq.

The NYT fronts a look at the growing trend of Iraqis changing their names to avoid being killed because of what it says on their identification cards. A name can reveal whether a person is Sunni or Shiite, which is why many of the gunmen who kill civilians often ask to see identification cards first. 

The LAT, NYT, and WP mention that Japan’s Princess Kiko gave birth to a boy Wednesday morning, thus adverting a possible succession crisis in a family that has not had a male baby in 41 years. Everybody says the birth will most likely postpone any kind of debate on whether women should be allowed to take over the throne.

The papers go inside with news that Pakistan’s government has signed a peace agreement with pro-Taliban forces operating on the border with Afghanistan. To prevent any more violence, the government agreed to withdraw from the area if the militants agreed to stop attacks inside the country and across the border. Some are worried that despite any promises, the withdrawal of government troops will make it easier for the forces to organize and move into Afghanistan.  

The NYT says the approaching elections are turning Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld into one of the most criticized members of the Bush administration. And it’s not just Democrats. Some Republicans are criticizing Rumsfeld because they want to be able to say they support the war but do not agree with how it has been carried out.

The LAT fronts, and the rest of the papers mention, Viacom’s Chairman Sumner Redstone firing Chief Executive Tom Freston.

Not quite live … Amid all the reviews of Katie Couric’s debut as the first female anchor of a network news show (Tom Shales didn’t like her outfit), the LAT notices that the much-touted live simulcast on the Web was not really live. Only those in the Eastern Time zone can watch the CBS Evening News live on the Internet, everyone else has to wait until the news program airs on their local station.