Indian Summer Deal

Indian Summer Deal

Indian Summer Deal

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
July 19 2005 3:44 AM

Indian Summer Deal

The Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox and Washington Postlead with the Indian prime minister's visit to the White House, where President Bush, in a big reversal of U.S. policy (and longtime international standards), agreed to allow civilian nuclear tech sales to India. In turn, India said it will allow inspectors and safeguards for its civilian program. The New York Timesleads with a British memo that prompted the government to lower its terror threat index a notch in June. The government's intel office had sent around a paper advising that "at present there is not a group with both the current intent and the capability to attack the U.K." The memo also said that the war in Iraq is "continuing to act as a motivation" for terrorists. As the NYT mentions, Britain's top think tank just reached that same conclusion. The Los Angeles Timesleads with a California Supreme Court ruling effectively expanding the state's sexual harassment law: Employees who lose promotions to coworkers who are shagging the boss can now sue. USA Todayleads with a Hurricane Emily update: After hitting Mexican's Yucatán peninsula, where minor damage was reported but no deaths, the storm is expected hit with renewed force tonight or early Wednesday somewhere along the Gulf Coast, most likely northern Mexico.

The Journal says the Indian nukes deal "rocks the decades-old" nonproliferation system in which countries were allowed to buy nuclear technology only if they forswore trying to develop nukes. "If you open the door for India, a lot of other countries are likely to step through it," said one nonproliferation expert, in what seems be a widely held opinion.

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Congress still has to approve the deal, as does an international oversight group made up of nukes technology-selling countries. As the WP mentions, the latter might not dig the idea of creating exceptions for the U.S.'s buddies. The Post also notices another player who reportedly opposes the deal: John Bolton.

The LAT, WP, and NYT all front President Bush saying that any White House official "convicted of a crime" in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame would be fired. Previously, the president had said that he would fire anyone who was simply involved in the leak. The Post considers that and headlines, "BUSH RAISES THRESHOLD FOR FIRING AIDES IN LEAK PROBE." Butas the LAT and NYT—along with Slate's Tim Noah—emphasize, Bush once used the "criminal" standard back then too. Hence the two Timeses offer up no-news headlines. "BUSH AGAIN VOWS TO ACT IF AIDES ARE GUILTY OF LEAKS," says the LAT. In other words, the Timeses are unconvinced that Bush really changed tacks. But they must suspect something is going on, or like to hedge their bets. After all, why front Bush saying ... nothing new?

The Post also raises the issue of possible perjury by Rove, flagging the latest from Time reporter Matthew Cooper:

Cooper wrote in his Time account of his grand jury appearance that "a surprising line of questioning had to do with, of all things, welfare reform." But Cooper wrote that he "can't find any record of talking about it with [Rove] on July 11, and I don't recall doing so." Rove has maintained that the conversation was initially about welfare reform, according to a lawyer familiar with his side of the story.

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Everybody mentions inside that about two dozen Iraqi soldiers, police, and government workers were killed in assorted attacks.

Last month, the papers—particularly the Post—jumped when the Justice Department scaled back the penalty it was demanding from cigarette companies via the big tobacco lawsuit. The Justice Department insisted it was just following a judge's order barring the government from going after the fattest potential damages: past profits. Though some, including TP, suggested the DOJ's decision was reasonable, the administration faced front-page-fanned outrage for what many saw as a politically motivated flop.

Which brings us to the present: Justice has now appealed to the judge to reverse his decision. The government wants all the money. "This is a serious blow to the industry's efforts to have the case resolved quickly," said a Clinton-era DOJ lawyer. "This suggests the government is back on track." The NYT, WSJ, LAT, and WP all mention the government's new (not-so-floppy) move. Nobody fronts it.

The LAT, WP, and NYT all front the death of Gen. William Westmoreland, who long commanded U.S. troops in Vietnam. "They put me over there and they forgot about me," said Westmoreland, who held the command from 1964 to 1968. "He was a very decent man who got into a very difficult war and didn't understand it," said author David Halberstam. He was a "man you just want to look away from." Westmoreland was 91.

The Journal notices that a House-Senate conference is putting the final touches on a deal to—score!—extend daylight savings. According to the bipartisan plan, which would save the U.S. a bit of energy, daylight savings would begin the first Sunday in March and end the last Sunday in November. Of course, President Bush, an early riser, would need to sign it. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to mind being in the dark.