The American Society of Newspaper Editors is trying to find out what people want in a newspaper. It is worried about declines in readership—78 percent of adults read newspapers in 1970, compared to 55 percent last year. So far, it appears people want better service, more local news, reader-friendly presentations (graphics and narrative-style articles), and advertising.
The landmark Medicare drug bill passed by Congress last month has something in it for almost everyone to complain about. Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), who led the Democratic opposition to the bill, thinks it moves too much toward privatization.
Backed by conservative Christians, the Florida legislature and Florida Governor Jeb Bush jumped into the case of Terri Schiavo, the 39-year-old women in a vegetative state since 1990. Her husband and legal guardian, Michael, claims Terri had expressed the desire not to have unusual measures used to keep her alive, and so he asked for her feeding tube to be removed.
Did a politically shrewd and theologically sophisticated Polish pope trigger the collapse of communism? Did an energetic and telegenic southern evangelist foster the resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the post–World War II era? These are extreme claims to make for any person.
Many Democrats in Congress and plenty of other Americans find it hard to stomach President Bush’s $87 billion request for military and reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. About $20 billion of that total is slated for rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure—its highways, schools, houses, hospitals, electricity system, water supply and communications.
The Military Advisory Board, representing all branches of the military, has issued a study about the national security implications of global warming. The report says that “climate change impacts are already accelerating instability in vulnerable areas of the world and are serving as catalysts for conflict.” The board calls for “coordinated and well-executed actions to limit heat-trapping gases and increase resilience to help prevent and protect against the worst projected climate change impacts” (Forbes, November 14).