Citigroup, Franklin Raines, and the Catholic Church try to cut their losses.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
April 19 2008 6:06 AM

Stop Loss

The New York Times leads with news that the Catholic Church may change some rules governing its approach to sexual abuse cases. The Los Angeles Times lead says the worst of the credit crisis may be over--then warns that actually it probably isn't. The Washington Post lead says Franklin Raines, a former Fannie Mae exec accused of earnings manipulation, has reached a $24.7 million settlement with the government. The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with the Pope's human rights speech at the UN.

Cardinal William Levada, who handles sex abuse cases for the Vatican, surprised reporters at a Time luncheon when he casually mentioned that the Church may alter relevant canon law. The Church will likely tweak the statute of limitations, which is now so short that it discourages victims abused at a young age from coming forward.


The Dow is at a 3 month high after Citigroup posted less-than-feared quarterly losses--having shed a reassuring amount of bad debt and excess junior analysts. (The NYT fronts a piece on the human cost of these layoffs--hundreds of Ivy League grads lost their new jobs at Bear Stearns; and many are being asked to sign contracts saying they won't sue.) However, the LAT warns, the rally might be a mirage presaging more economic misery.

Details of the case against Franklin D. Raines are scarce, and this settlement will ensure they stay that way. But the WP does have a detailed breakdown on how Raines will pay, including a return of $15.6 million in currently-worthless stock options, and $2 million covered by a Fannie Mae insurance policy.

There are three other Pope stories today and the papers all deal with them differently, splitting and recombining elements like Lego blocks:

First, the Pope held a surprise private meeting with a handful of abuse victims--the first such meeting in history. The NYT stuffs this meeting, preferring to focus on its unexpected scoop, while the WP fronts its moving account of the event as part of a piece on Catholic ambivalence about the Pope's approach to abuse.

Second, the ambivalence. Catholics are glad the Pope is taking the Church sex scandals seriously. But some fear there won't be real change until he disciplines the bishops who covered for abusive priests. The WP fronts this piece, as discussed above; while the NYT stuffs it inside its canon law lead.

Third, the Pope spoke on human rights and science ethics at the UN, and visited a synagogue on the Upper East Side (why not drop by the Strand or catch a show while he's at it?)--a story the WSJ reefers and the other papers stuff.

The NYT fronts an "uproar" caused by a Chinese arms shipment to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. The freighter docked in South Africa, prompting moral outrage, protests, and legal challenges--further calling into question China and South Africa's role in Zimbabwe's election.

The LAT fronts, the WSJ reefers, and the WP and NYT stuff the release of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.'s tax returns, yet the McCain campaign refused to release his wife's. Take away: "The disclosures from 2006 and 2007 indicate that he spent most of his own income, suggesting that Cindy McCain funds their lifestyle."

The LAT fronts a look at how the immigration battle transformed Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff from the nation's anti-terrorism boss into America's "border czar," where his duties include managing construction of the border fence.

A WP front says the U.S. Olympic Team won't aim for a certain amount of medals this year, citing previous doping scandals. The U.S. team doing all it can just to ensure the Americans come off as clean and well-behaved.

An LAT front says China is also trying to be on good behavior. Having fanned nationalism to redirect questions about Tibet, China's internet police are now deleting all references to protests against the West.

The WP goes up top with a look inside U.S.-trained Afghan special ops teams, a bright spot in NATO's Afghanistan operation. The Afghans are now standing in for U.S. soldiers in many of situations, and sometimes doing a better job.

The NYT fronts a look at Brazil's crackdown on illegal logging, dubbed Operation Arc of Fire. Not surprisingly, local officials are pushing back, decrying the "militaristic approach to saving trees."

The NYT fronts news that American Airlines is blaming the FAA for its recent troubles--saying the FAA has been erratic and unclear about airworthiness guidelines. The FAA disagrees.

All the papers go inside with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Chicago and Cincinnati.

The WSJ reefers, and the other papers stuff Obama endorsements from former Senators Sam Nunn and David Boren, as well as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

The NYT goes inside with a GAO ruling that the Bush administration violated federal law when it tried to stop states from expanding the popular S-CHIP program, which provides health care to children.

Is the fairy tale over? Inside, the NYT reports on rumors that President Putin is divorcing his loyal wife, Ludmyla, for a 24-year old Olympic gymnast. When asked about the rumor, Putin replied tartly. Moskovsky Korrespondent, the paper that originally reported on the issue, was immediately "suspended for financial reasons."


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.


It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Politico Wonders Why Gabby Giffords Is So “Ruthless” on Gun Control

Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?