The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox, and Los Angeles Timesall lead with the withdrawal from Gaza, where Israeli soldiers yesterday made their last pitch for settlers to leave voluntarily. The deadline was at midnight. Early this morning, soldiers moved into some of the settlements. The army said about half the settlers in Gaza have stuck around. USA Todayfronts Gaza but leads, interestingly, with a poll concluding that nearly half of all Mexicans said they would move to the U.S. given the opportunity. About a third of Mexican college graduates said they would do the same.
USATsays the Israeli army estimates that 5,000 activists have made it into the settlements. "Some of the infiltrators are okay," said one young Israeli woman whose family lived in Gaza. "On the other hand, many feel like they are in a summer camp. They come to meet boys and girls."
According to early morning reports, at least 37 Iraqis were killed by three car bombings in central Baghdad. Two blasts hit a bus station, and a third exploded a few minutes later at a nearby hospital where the wounded were being taken.
The NYT's off-lead argues that high oil prices are finally "pinching the American economy." As the LAT fronts, Wal-Mart blamed fuel prices for cramping its profits. But in terms of oil prices hurting the overall economy, the evidence is not unambiguous. "There seems to be a greater tolerance in the economy in terms of what can be withstood," one analyst told the NYT. The Times doesn't exactly seal the deal with its people-on-the-street interviews. But the NYT does earn bonus points for offering links to related outside reports (see the left-side column). That's the first time TP has noticed that in the NYT.
The WP fronts two key Senate Democrats talking tough about Judge John Roberts after they got an earful from liberal activists angry that senators shrugged their shoulders at Roberts' Reagan-era memos.
The WP and NYT go inside with a British report saying a government inquiry concluded that the London police seem to have lied through their teeth about last month's shooting of a Brazilian man in the Underground. According to the report, which the government apparently doesn't dispute, the man was not wearing a heavy jacket, did not jump a turnstile, and did not ignore an order to halt. A police officer said he was holding the man when another cop killed him.
The NYT teases a newly released State Department memo from 1996 that warned that Osama Bin Laden's move from Sudan to Afghanistan would give him an "ideal haven" and might create an "emboldened" man capable of "increased terrorism." The document was given to the Times by a conservative watchdog organization, which FOIA'd it and charges that the Clinton administration dillydallied in the face of the threat.
The Journal says a study by a Federal Reserve Bank found that federally subsidized housing companies, such Fannie Mae, "primarily benefit wealthier consumers, drive up U.S. housing supply, increase rental prices and lead to higher default rates."
The LAT mentions inside that police in California are "investigating the possibility" that Muslim men radicalized in a California prison planned to attack synagogues and National Guard recruiting centers.
The NYT interviews the now-willing-to-be named military officer who says he worked on the data-mining project known as Able Danger that, again, he says, fingered Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers before9/11. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said he tried to alert the FBI, but military lawyers put the kibosh on that. Shaffer is not an ideal source. He says he was just a liaison officer—as opposed to an intel analyst—and thus doesn't know the details of the Able Danger program. Meanwhile, his security clearance was revoked last year over what his lawyer said were "petty allegations." (Did the NYT check that with the Pentagon?) In any case, it's a single source story, which, to the Times' credit, the paper stuffs.
Writing a Post op-ed, amilitary historian says Americans should accept that "Iraqis will be dependent on significant levels of U.S. military support for years to come." That's because the Iraqi army isn't a real army. It's basically just foot soldiers. It has no command and control, artillery, air support, or transportation to speak of: "For as long as these conditions hold, the U.S. military will remain an essential part of the struggle against insurgency in Iraq."