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Front Page: Times Endorsements, US in Pakistan, and Italy

  • The New York Times Editorial Board has officially endorsed presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton and John McCain nabbed the coveted nods. In its endorsement, the Times praises Obama nearly as much as Clinton, but concludes that she is the one with the requisite experience and ability. In choosing McCain, they cite his character, his willingness to judge each issue on its face, and ability to build bipartisan support. Nothing complimentary was said about any of the other Republican candidates.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that American forces were "ready, willing, and able," to conduct joint operations with Pakistan against al-Qaeda strongholds. Suicide bombings have grown from five incidents in 2006 to 60 in 2007. Concentrating on the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the effort would aim to help the Pakistani troops stop al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters who have killed 700 Pakistani soldiers. A military assessment states, "insurgents are focusing more on gains and expansion opportunities in Pakistan."
  • Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has resigned following a no-confidence vote in the parliament. Italy's electoral laws, which favor larger parties, meant that when Prodi's small, centrist, Udeur party lost three seats, Prodi no longer had a majority of support. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi celebrated the vote, opening champagne on the parliament floor, and immediately announced a party where he said, "We will say what we want to do in the first 100 days of our government."
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