The Washington Postand New York Timeslead with word that the Bush administration will add Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps to the list of foreign terrorist organizations. It would be the first time that a branch of a country's military has been added to the list, a move administration officials said is a response to the Revolutionary Guard's increasing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Los Angeles Timesleads with administration officials saying they expect that Gen. David Petraeus will suggest U.S. troops should be moved out of several areas in Iraq where security has improved when he gives his much-awaited progress report in September.
The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with a look at how the director of national intelligence has given domestic security officials access to images from spy satellites. USA Todayleads with the record number of cases that were brought last month against people accused of corruption relating to reconstruction work in Iraq. In total, 29 people have been charged or convicted and officials expect the numbers to increase as the Justice Department steps up its investigations.
The move to add Iran's Revolutionary Guard, an elite force that is thought to have 125,000 members, to the list of terrorist organizations is certain to increase tensions between Tehran and Washington at a time when much has been made about how both sides are talking about Iraq. The designation would allow the Bush administration to target the group's "vast business network" (WP) as well as increase pressure on other countries to stop doing business with Iran. And pressure seems to be what this well-timed leak is at least partly about, although both papers also mention that the inclusion is also meant to appease hawks in Washington who are calling for a tougher stance on Iran.
The NYT says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been the one pushing for the inclusion, at least partly to send the message that the United States is prepared to act alone if the United Nations Security Council doesn't impose more stringent sanctions on Iran. Officials said the plan is to announce the designation later this month, but the NYT notes some say it could be put off if the Security Council decides to act.
The LAT points out that even if Petraeus proposes removing troops from certain areas, this wouldn't necessarily mean that he will suggest any kind of withdrawal from Iraq since they could simply be moved to "another hot spot." Some say Petraeus will call for maintaining the current number of troops for an additional six months. But still, officials hope that by stating that progress has been made in certain areas, including the once volatile Anbar province, it could persuade lawmakers to delay calls for a major troop withdrawal. Despite the predictions, it's clear that officials really don't know what Petraeus will recommend, and some have warned that pulling back from areas too quickly could result in a resurgence of violence.
The WSJ notes that the wide use of images from spy satellites inside the United States is "largely uncharted territory." Until recently, the images could only be used by a few agencies and solely for the purpose of scientific studies. A separate branch of Homeland Security will be set up to control who gets access, but "even the architects of the current move are unclear about the legal boundaries." Officials say their first priority will be to use the satellites to improve the nation's borders, as well as to study how to protect important infrastructure, and help in responding to a disaster. Next year, the use of satellites will be expanded to aid the work of federal and local law-enforcement officials.
Everyone fronts the four truck bombs that exploded in northern Iraq and killed at least 175 people (the NYT says 190). "It looks like a nuclear bomb hit the villages," an Iraqi officer said. Everyone mentions the bombs targeted members of a small religious sect, the Yazidis, who have become targets of Sunni attacks after a Yazidi woman was stoned to death for eloping with a Sunni man and converting to Islam. It amounted to the deadliest attack in almost a year and, once again, raised concerns that the recent buildup of U.S. troops has simply moved insurgents to more remote areas.
The U.S. military announced the deaths of nine American service members, including five who were killed in a helicopter crash. Also yesterday, gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms and using official government vehicles kidnapped five senior Oil Ministry officials.
The NYT and WP front Mattel recalling more than 18 million toys worldwide that were made in China. Most of the toys were recalled because they have small magnets that could be harmful if swallowed, which the company attributed to a design flaw. But about half a million toys from the movie Cars were recalled because of lead paint. Mattel's CEO apologized and warned there could be more recalls in the future.
Parents may be reeling, but the NYT goes inside with a look at how companies that make toys in the United States are benefitting from the numerous recalls of Chinese-made products. The few places that still make toys inside the country used to have to tout quality in order to get customers to buy their more expensive products, but now they have devised a new marketing strategy that involves reassuring parents there is no lead in any of their products.
All the papers report Don Imus and CBS have come to an agreement. No one knows how much CBS paid, though the NYT says some speculate it was at least $20 million. But just in case they thought the whole controversy was behind them, one of the players on the Rutgers women's basketball team sued both Imus and CBS (along with others) for slander, libel, and defamation.