CIA hired private contractors to take part in its al-Qaida assassination program.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 20 2009 6:35 AM

Assassination Inc.

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The LAT fronts, and everyone covers, the death of Don Hewitt, who, as creator of 60 Minutes, changed the face of television journalism. In 1960, he made the medium an essential part of politics when he produced and directed the first debate between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. He spent his career at CBS News and will be most remembered as creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes, the show that launched the TV newsmagazine genre, using a formula that combined journalism and show business that would later be copied numerous times. It became a top-rated TV program and showed that news could make money at a fraction of the cost of scripted programming. Later, that would become the formula for programs that would skew heavily toward entertainment news and prized sensationalism above all else. He was 86.

The WP catches up with the child stars of the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, which "has been a roller coaster of personal tragedy and red-carpet glamour." Azhar Mohammed Ismaill, 11, recently moved into a two-room apartment bought by the film's director. But his co-star, Rubina Ali, 9, still lives in a shack next to an open sewer. The two may be "experiencing at warp speed the masala of euphoria and turmoil that India's vast poor feel as they emerge from the iron bonds of caste and class," writes Emily Wax. But at the same time, their diverging fortunes also tell "the story of an India where some are forging ahead while others struggle and worry they will be left behind."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.