Friday's must-reads

By Geraldine Sealey
Published October 29, 2004 1:33PM (EDT)

New York Times: Paul Krugman scoffs at the notion that the al Qaqaa story is the work of the "liberal media," and points out that the missing explosives report is not the only recent news pointing to the incompetence of this administration.

CNN: And yet, if you are focusing on the al Qaqaa story, former chief weapons inspector David Kay appeared on CNN last night and agreed that the KSTP video released yesterday appeared to show explosives intact and under IAEA seal at al Qaqaa after the fall of Baghdad. (Here's the New York Times version of the story.) And Kay puts it in context: "Iraq is awash with tens of thousands of tons of explosives right now in the hands of insurgents because we did not provide the security when we took over the country ... Iraq had, and it's a frightening number, two-thirds of the total conventional explosives that the US has in its entire inventory. The country was an armed camp."

Bloomberg: "About 100,000 civilians have died as a result of the war in Iraq, according to research from Johns Hopkins University. The findings are the first scientific study of the effects of war on Iraqi citizens ... The majority of the civilian deaths were women and children, said the study, led by Hopkins' Les Roberts."

Los Angeles Times: The last thing Bush-Cheney needs right now is a Halliburton story picking up steam. But the LATimes reports this morning that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanders extended a lucrative no-bid contract for work in Iraq to Halliburton Co. this month over the objections of a chief contracting officer. The FBI is investigating.

Newsday: Aloha! Hawaii really is a battleground state, and befitting a battleground state will get a visit from Dick Cheney before too long. (Al Gore, who won Hawaii by nearly 20 points four years ago, will be there today, and Alexandra Kerry will also fly to the islands to stump for her dad.)

New York Times: Right-wing OK senate candidate Tom Coburn claims during a televised debate that black males have a "genetic predisposition'' for a lower life expectancy.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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