The Supreme Court rules on pay discrimination; a grim record in Iraq.

The Supreme Court rules on pay discrimination; a grim record in Iraq.

The Supreme Court rules on pay discrimination; a grim record in Iraq.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
May 30 2007 5:54 AM

Chronicle of a Record Foretold

The New York Timesleads with Tuesday's Supreme Court decision that determined workers have a small time frame in which to sue their employers for pay discrimination. In a 5-4 vote that was split along ideological lines, the court determined that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employees file a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was determined. The ruling once again illustrated how the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is affecting the court's decisions. USA Todayleads with a look at how the last two-month period has been the deadliest for U.S. troops in Iraq since the beginning of the war. The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with the kidnapping of five Britons in an Iraqi Finance Ministry office by gunmen who were wearing police uniforms. 

The Washington Postfronts, and everyone else mentions, word that President Bush will name Robert Zoellick as the new head of the World BankZoellick was the U.S. trade representative from 2001-05, and then became the deputy secretary of state until he resigned last year to join Goldman Sachs. * Although some board members expressed trepidation that Bush chose someone else from his inner circle, Zoellick is likely to be approved. The Los Angeles Timesleads with a look at how the retirement age is slowly increasing as older Americans are facing the prospect of growing old with few benefits. Of course, some still work because they want to, but, as life expectancy continues to rise many feel they can't give up a regular paycheck. The trend "could potentially have a big effect on society," says the paper.

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By determining that each paycheck doesn't signify a new violation, the court's majority ruled that it doesn't matter if the pay discrimination only becomes obvious over time. The dissenters said the requirement doesn't recognize the realities of the workplace because employees may not know what their colleagues earn, they could be reluctant to cause trouble, and pay discrimination that may seem minor at first can compound over the years. Legal experts say the decision fundamentally changes the options that employees have to sue companies for pay discrimination. This is particularly true of discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin because women could still bring pay bias claims under the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The Post also fronts the decision and focuses on how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg decided to read her dissent from the bench. Ginsburg did the same thing when the court recently upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which she also characterized as an attack on women's rights. In her opinion, Ginsburg invited Congress to overturn the decision. A few hours later, Sen. Hillary Clinton said she would introduce a bill to deal with the issue.

The military announced yesterday that 10 U.S. troops were killed Monday in Iraq, which, as the WP and LAT front, means May was the third deadliest month of the war. But USAT takes the data one step further and says the 219 deaths recorded in April and May is larger than the previous two-month record set in 2004 when troops were fighting in Fallujah. U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that the recent increase in troops, and its accompanying strategy, would lead to an increase in casualties.

The NYT fronts word that experts who are advising intelligence agencies say the interrogation techniques used since 2001 are outdated and inefficient. In a study commissioned by the Intelligence Science Board, the experts said the government has not taken the time to perfect interrogation techniques and is frequently relying on harsh tactics that are ineffective. Some are urging intelligence agencies to pick up new techniques from sources such as law enforcement and marketing. "We have a whole science literature on persuasion," one of the experts said. "It's mostly on how to get a person to buy a certain brand of toothpaste. But it certainly could be useful in improving interrogation."

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The Post fronts word that Bush will ask Congress to double the money for the global fight against AIDS for the first five years after he steps down. The current five-year plan, which is set to expire in September 2008, set aside $15 billion in U.S. funding. The paper notes that Bush wants to make the announcement before next week's Group of Eight meeting in Germany, where he is likely to receive criticism for his positions on global warming.

The LAT fronts an interesting look at what happens to a couple's frozen embryos when they decide to separate and an ex-spouse still wants to use them. There are no federal laws on the issue, so state courts "have been left to make Solomonic decisions on embryo custody."  So far, courts have tended to side with the person who doesn't want the embryos to be used, but many think it's only a matter of time before the issue reaches the Supreme Court. Whenever that happens, the court could seize the opportunity to redefine the rights of the unborn.

When 20-year-old Lindsay Lohan was arrested over the weekend, it once again pointed to the way that doormen at the trendiest bars and clubs in Hollywood routinely look the other way as underage stars drink alcohol. It all amounts to "one of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood," says the LAT. Authorities in Los Angeles say they've had enough and recently targeted one popular club, where paparazzi have photographed many underage stars, for an undercover investigation and are seeking to close it down for 15 days. "There's no way they didn't know what was going on at those clubs," TMZ.com's managing editor said. "There was a lot of conduct that crossed the legal line in this town. The difference today is everybody's watching."

Correction, May 31, 2007: This article originally misidentified Robert Zoellick's position from 2001-05. (Return  to the corrected sentence.)