September 6, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

‘Terror’ returns to headlines with breakup of German plot

German authorities thwarted a terror plot targeting Americans, and the news was carried across the United States.

“Germany arrests three suspects it says had ties to an Al Qaeda ally,” the Los Angeles Times said. “Police pulled fast one on plot suspects,” The Seattle Times said, noting: “German officials switched bomb materials.” Photos showed German officers with masks escorting a suspect to and from court. Some German newspapers, including Sächsische Zeitung in Dresden, also covered the face of the suspect.

In advance of next week’s progress report from the Bush administration, news about Iraq played on the big three in the East: The New York Times and The Washington Post said an independent report concluded Iraq’s army is not ready to take over security for the country, at least for another year. USA Today’s editorial board interviewed White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, printing on Page One his comments that “a sizeable presence of U.S. troops would remain in Iraq” after President Bush leaves office.

A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads flew for more than three hours over the central U.S., and newspapers near the path -- including The Des Moines (Iowa) Register, The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle and the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald -- told the story on Page One. The flight originated Aug. 30 from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, where The Forum of Fargo said in a six-column headline: “Nuke slipup shakes officials.” The destination was Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, where The Times of Shreveport led with the story and reported that a weapons squadron commander had been fired.  

A voice known around the world fell silent late Wednesday. “Star tenor’s golden voice brought opera to millions,” The Dallas Morning News said in reporting the death of the Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Its story began: “He was the opera singer every taxi driver and waitress could name.” “Ciao,” said Excelsior from Mexico City.

Kate Kennedy is front pages editor at the Newseum.

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