Black Hawk Down

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Jan. 9 2006 5:17 AM

Black Hawk Down

The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times,   USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox lead with the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter in northern Iraq late Saturday that killed all 12 Americans on board. Military officials are blaming the crash on inclement weather, but, as one officer noted, "nothing has been ruled out at this very early stage." The New York Times reefers the Black Hawk story but leads with New York city health officials calling diabetes an epidemic. More than one in eight adult New Yorkers now have the disease, and experts worry that the city's many high-risk residents—namely, the poor and obese—will continue to develop diabetes at alarming and costly rates.

It's not yet known how many among the dead in the copter crash were U.S. service members, but USAT notes that, at the very minimum, the four members of the crew were. (And the WP suspects that some of the others were civilians since the military, which "usually identifies the armed forces branch of fallen service members," declined to do so this time.) The crash is the deadliest since a transport helicopter went down about a year ago, killing 31 troops.

Elsewhere in Iraq, five Marines were killed over the weekend. "Combined with the deaths of 11 American servicemen on Thursday," the NYT tallies, "the fatalities marked one of the deadliest four-day stretches for the military since the fall of Baghdad."

Everybody previews today's long-awaited hearings of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr. The Post has the smartest piece, focusing on how Alito earned his conservative bona fides in the Reagan Justice Department. (Hint: That Yale Law degree was not a huge help.) The NYT predicts that Chief Justice John Roberts' September grilling will provide "a fresh road map" for Alito, helping him anticipate the questions and concerns of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And the Times op-ed page does a little anticipating of its own: The paper invited "six legal minds"—including Scott Turow—to suggest five questions for Alito.

The papers all note that doctors plan on bringing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who suffered a major stroke last Wednesday, out of his medically induced coma today. (According to the NYT, this could take up to eight hours.) Sharon's chief surgeon gave reporters an upbeat prognosis on the P.M.'s survival but told one paper that his political career is over: "He will not continue to be prime minister, but maybe he will be able to understand and to speak." Once Sharon is revived, doctors will perform tests to assess the extent of his brain damage.

Meanwhile, Ehud Olmert, Sharon's deputy and presumed replacement as the leader of the newly formed Kadima party, continued to act as prime minister, running a Cabinet meeting on Sunday. Olmert has been widely knocked as a poor substitute for "the Bulldozer," but he has at least one fan: Shimon Peres announced that he would support Olmert to lead Kadima during the March elections. (The Israeli paper Haaretz quotes officials predicting that Peres would get "a senior, central and influential post" if Olmert succeeds in forming the next government.)

The NYT fronts how über law firm Greenberg Traurig is faring in the wake of former employee Jack Abramoff's guilty plea on conspiracy and fraud charges. So far, damage control has gone pretty well. The firm has launched an internal investigation, returned fees to former Abramoff clients, and cooperated with the federal government. Sen. John McCain even lauded Greenberg Traurig for its "dignity and professionalism in these trying circumstances."

It's not just lobby shops that are reeling in the post-Abramoff era. House Speaker Dennis Hastert announced plans for new rules to clamp down on relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers, the Post teases on Page One. Hastert's new reform-mindedness comes just as House Republicans are preparing to select a replacement for scandal-marred former Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Below the fold, the LAT takes a look at the man Hastert has chosen to spearhead the new ethics rules: California Rep. David Dreier.

Funerals were held on Sunday for six of the 12 victims of last week's mining accident in West Virginia, the papers report.

The WP goes inside with Iraq's Debaathification Committee removing Saddam-era monuments that it deems offensive. The committee has drawn up a list of all the memorials scheduled to be nixed, but that list has remained secret. Many Iraqis worry that razing these statues may obliterate an important, if painful, part of the country's history.

Smoked out … The Christian Science Monitor reports that Turkey may soon pass a bill that imposes serious limits on smoking in public places. It's a major change for the notoriously cigarette-loving Turks, who are trying to conform to EU health standards. Turkey, the CSM says, is after all a "country of 71 million, where some 60 percent of men, 20 percent of women, and 11.7 percent of schoolchildren smoke."

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Never Remember Anything
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 2:44 PM Where Do I Start With Mystery Science Theater 3000?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.