Return of the Benchmarks
The NYT fronts news from Democrats' and Republicans' first big electoral test since the 2008 election—the race for former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand's upstate New York congressional seat. Going into the vote Tuesday, Republicans are trying to associate Democratic candidate Scott Murphy, a venture capitalist, with AIG executives' bonuses. Democrats are firing back by tarring GOP Assemblyman James Tedisco as an obstructionist who opposes Obama's agenda. It'll be an early test of which party's message resonates.
An NYT front delves into a controversy over abortion in Brazil, where a Catholic archbishop excommunicated the doctors and the mother of a 9-year-old rape victim who aborted twins because they endangered her life. * The Vatican subsequently reversed the decision, saying it appeared "insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking mercy," but the girl's saga has focused attention on northern Brazil's widespread sexual abuse problems.
The WP goes inside with news that Obama's new North Korea envoy will be doing his job part-time—he'll continue to act as the Dean of Tufts' Fletcher School while trying to end North Korea's nuclear program on the side. Meanwhile, Japan is preparing to shoot down North Korea's upcoming missile test if it looks like it might hit Japanese territory.
The NYT also fronts a piece about how environmentally friendly compact fluorescent lightbulbs often have manufacturing defects—which is "irritating" to at least one family interviewed by the Times.
Correction, March 30, 2009: This article originally stated that temperatures in Fargo were subzero. There were subfreezing but not below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. (Return to the corrected sentence.) This article also originally stated that the 9-year-old rape victim was excommunicated for have an abortion. The girl's mother and the doctors who performed the abortion were excommunicated, but the New York Times article does not specify whether the girl was. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)
Barron YoungSmith is the former online editor of the New Republic.