Friday, July 10, 2009

Honey, we don't have the money... Swine Flu coming... Banning Smokes for Combat Service(wo)men... What next NO BEER?

today's papers
Iraqi Kurds Go Their Own Way
By Daniel Politi
Posted Friday, July 10, 2009, at 6:31 AM ET
The Los Angeles Times leads with the bloodiest day in Iraq since most U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas last week. Bombings in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed at least 54 people yesterday. The worst attack was in the northern town of Tal Afar, where two suicide bombers killed 34 civilians. There are continuing worries that Sunnis who fought against al-Qaida will begin to make deals with militants if the Iraqi government doesn't give them jobs. The New York Times also leads with Iraq, but focuses on how the country's Kurdish leaders are moving forward with a new constitution for their semiautonomous region. It's another sign that the tensions between Kurdistan and the central government in Baghdad aren't going away anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal leads its online world-wide newsbox with the Group of Eight summit, which will close with a disappointing note today as the world's leading nations couldn't agree on much. Yesterday, the world leaders agreed to commit $12 billion to a "food security initiative" for the poorest countries, which is less than the $15 billion President Obama had promised. At the end of the day, the leaders "largely punted on big decisions or promised future action," declares the paper.

The Washington Post leads with a look at how local governments may run mass vaccination campaigns against pandemic flu at schools for the first time since the polio epidemics of the 1950s. The government expects to get around 100 million doses of vaccine by mid-October, which would cover more than 80 percent of the people considered especially vulnerable to the new strain of the influenza virus. Obama told health officials yesterday they should be preparing for a "significant outbreak" of what most people still refer to as swine flu within the next few months. More than 1 million Americans have contracted the disease already and 47 have died. Around the world, the virus has killed at least 420 people. USA Today leads with a look at how some in the Pentagon want troops to be banned from smoking and the military to stop selling cigarettes at its facilities. One study says tobacco use is costing the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs too much money and should be banned over a period of several years. A ban would involve a huge change of culture among servicemembers, one in three of whom use tobacco. Those who have seen combat are 50 percent more likely to use tobacco.

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Daniel Politi writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at

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