DOWnfall

DOWnfall

DOWnfall

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 31 2001 7:34 AM

DOWnfall

The New York Times leads with the U.N. tribunal chief prosecutor's decision to charge former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic with genocide in Bosnia and war crimes in Croatia, in addition to the war crimes charges he faces for Kosovo. Milosevic tops the Wall Street Journal's worldwide news box. The top nonlocal story at the Washington Post is a statement that European Union antitrust watchdogs sent to Microsoft expressing their objection to the company tying its media player into its operating system. The Los Angeles Times lead, which the WP fronts and others cover, is the news that Sacramento police have arrested Nikolay Soltys, a fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list who is accused of murdering six family members. The Ukranian had likely been camping out in Sacramento's greenery for the last 10 days before he sneaked into his mother's backyard and hid under a desk where his brother noticed him and alerted police. USA Today's lead (online) previews President Bush's plan for fixing immigration policy, which he will announce next week. He'd like to create a guest-worker program and also make some illegal immigrants who work and pay taxes in the U.S. permanent legal residents.

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Milosevic had a second hearing on the status of preparations for his trial at the U.N. tribunal, just before the chief prosecutor announced the new charges against him. The court's presiding judge wants the trial to begin as early as January 2002. The WP, which covers Milosevic inside, is the most interested in how poorly he behaved during his second appearance before the court.  Unlike the other papers', the WP headline notes that Milosevic fought with the U.N. judge.  The paper quotes extensively his complaints that the U.N. is discriminating against him. The WSJ and NYT briefly assess Milosevic's antics but come to opposite conclusions. The WSJ found him "more respectful" than he was at his first appearance at the court several weeks ago, but the NYT thought that Milosevic was in "an even more defiant mood" at this hearing.

The E.U.'s allegation that it is illegal for Microsoft to bundle its media player in its operating system is the latest development in the E.U.'s ongoing investigation of the company. The E.U.'s missive to Microsoft also restated an existing concern, backed by new evidence, that Microsoft is using its monopoly power to conquer the market for low-end servers (which, among other functions, host Web sites). The NYT, which business-fronts the story, says that Microsoft will ask for a hearing with the E.U.  The Post reminds readers that this E.U. commission is "an aggressive force in addressing [the] antitrust concerns" it has about non-European companies--these regulators are the ones who recently stopped a GE-Honeywell merger. But neither the WP nor the NYT explains what sort of punishment the E.U. can mete out against Microsoft. An AP story inside the LAT informs that the E.U. has no power to break up a U.S. company but can fine it up to 10 percent of its annual global sales.

The WP front, NYT business front, and top story in the WSJ business news box report that investor malaise helped cause the Dow's foray into sub-10,000 territory for the first time since April yesterday. Investors are gloomy (WP) and fearful (NYT) because corporate profit forecasts don't look good. The WSJ points to what it believes were the immediate causes of yesterday's drop: a Commerce Department finding that consumer spending rose less than expected in July and the news that Sun Microsystems will not meet sales forecasts for this quarter. The NYT and WP report that yesterday's losses are part of the recent downturn caused by declining technology stocks and worsening economic conditions in Europe and Japan. The papers fill their stories with gloomy and fearful quotes from morose investors and relegate comments from cheerful investors, about how interest rate cuts will turn the economy around and the like, to a few lines at the ends of the pieces.

The WP and NYT go inside with a federal court's verdict that gays cannot adopt children in Florida. The federal ruling on the issue, the first of its kind, upheld the state's ban on gay adoption because the court believes children are most likely to thrive when adopted by a married father and mother. The NYT notes that several other states have provisions that keep gay couples from raising children. According to the Post's reporting, about 20 states allow gay parents to adopt.

The WP and LAT front the killing of a retired Israeli gentleman who befriended a Palestinian village, bringing treats to its children and produce to its adults and offering rides to the beach. As the LAT headline laments, he paid "with his life for a faith in coexistence."

President Bush is back from his Texas ranch, the papers report inside. They review his fall schedule, which starts off with a visit from Mexican President Vicente Fox next week. 

The LAT front and a WP "Style" piece announce that the editor of Variety, an entertainment industry paper, will return to his post following a 21-day suspension. According to the LAT, Peter Bart was suspended after Los Angeles magazine reported this month that the editor engaged in "unethical journalistic behavior," such as changing facts and "frequently used racist, sexist and anti-gay language." Bart will receive sensitivity training and will donate money to groups that promote diversity.