The Los Angeles Times and Washington Postlead with the official results in Mexico showing conservative Felipe Calderón eking out a win by half a percent. Lefty Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he's thewinner and that he's going to court to get a full recount. The New York Timesleads with New York's top court ruling that there is no right to gay marriage. The court said the state's definition of marriage is indeed limited to the union of a man and a woman, and what's more, having a mommy and a daddy is good for children. Also yesterday, Georgia's Supreme Court reinstated a ban on gay marriage. The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with China and now South Korea saying they're not interested in getting tough with Pyongyang, thank you. USA Todayleads with a heart-warmer noting that applications to service organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps have gone way up the past few years. (Not mentioned: The White House has proposed to close down part of AmeriCorps.)
Citing "witnesses and news reports," the LAT says recounts at some polling stations have indeed found "significant discrepancies between the polling sheet reports and the ballots inside." On the other hand, Mexico's independent elections agency is well-regarded. López Obrador is going to take his beefs to a special elections court, which has the power to order a recount or even a revote. López Obrador, who was demonized by his opponent as a firebrand lefty, has also called for a big public protest tomorrow in the capital.
The WP and NYT front heavy fighting in northern Gaza as Israeli armor and troops pushed into populated areas. One Israeli soldier and about 20 Palestinians—mostly militants—were killed. Israel said it's creating a buffer zone to try to stop rocket attacks.
The Palestinian Interior Minister—a Hamas guy—called on security forces to counter Israel's offensive. The Post calls it "effectively ... a declaration of war."
The NYT fronts an interview with a man—a fundamentalist Muslim—who was taken off the streets of Tanzania three years ago and "rendered" to a secret U.S. jail in Afghanistan where he says guards "suspended me by my arms and attached my feet to the floor. They beat me and threw cold water on me, spat at me and sometimes gave me dirty water to drink." He was held at a "dark prison" and his recollections jibe with what of others who've been held there. "The American man told me I would die there," he said. Sixteen months after he was taken he was released without charges or an explanation.
The WP fronts Russia pushing domestic radio stations to dump U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Liberty, which happen to offer a bit of independent journalism.
In a NYT op-ed, former Clinton State Department flack Jamie Rubin says Democrats should stop talking about sending the troops home and instead "should call for transferring forces and resources from Iraq to Afghanistan." That way "Democrats can avoid the trap of allowing Republicans to claim they are weak." Plus, it's actually good policy: "American forces are no longer the crucial factor in stabilizing Iraq. That will come only through politics, when Shiites and Sunnis commit to sharing power. But in Afghanistan, our efforts could still be decisive."
The NYT reviews President Bush's tetchy interview with the "least contentious journalist in the land."
The LAT fronts, Journal flags, and NYT briefly mentions a study concluding toastier temperatures in the Western U.S. are fueling a big uptick in forest fires. "I see this as one of the first big indicators of climate change impacts in the continental United States," said one of the researchers.
Thankfully, President Bush is on the case: "I think we have a problem on global warming," he boldly told People. "I think there is a debate about whether it's caused by mankind or whether it's caused naturally, but it's a worthy debate. It's a debate, actually, that I'm in the process of solving by advancing new technologies."