Washington Post Wins Six Pulitzers
The Washington Post won six Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, the second most that any newspaper has won in a year, including awards for reporting that helped define much of the national political dialogue in 2007.
The Post won the prestigious public service award for revealing the mistreatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in work by two reporters, Dana Priest and Anne Hull, and a photographer, Michel du Cille.
“Journalists show their patriotism in strange ways,” Hull said. “We felt that we could make a difference in the lives of these wounded soldiers.”
The national reporting prize went to The Post’s Jo Becker and Barton Gellman, for documenting the power wielded in secrecy by Vice President Dick Cheney. Steve Fainaru won the international reporting prize for his examination of private security contractors in Iraq.
A Post business columnist, Steve Pearlstein, won for commentary. Gene Weingarten won the feature-writing award for a long article in The Post’s Sunday magazine on a world-famous violinist, Joshua Bell, playing incognito for subway riders.
And the paper’s staff won the prize for breaking news for coverage of the mass killing at Virginia Tech.
Negligent Driving Killed Diana
After six months of hearings and testimony by 278 witnesses, a jury at a British inquest found Monday that Diana, Princess of Wales, and her lover, Dodi al-Fayed, were unlawfully killed by the negligent driving of their chauffeur and of the photographers who pursued the couple’s speeding Mercedes-Benz into a Paris underpass a decade ago.
The verdict of unlawful killing, by a vote of 9-2, represented the toughest judgment available to the jury, which needed only a majority to render a decision. The jury, which began to deliberate on Wednesday, had been told that a verdict of unlawful killing was tantamount to one of manslaughter.
The crash, in August 1997, seized attention in Britain and around the world, with rumors, conspiracy theories and allegations. Diana, who was 36 when she died, was described by Tony Blair, then the prime minister, as the “people’s princess.”
The verdict said the crash “was caused, or contributed to, by the speed and manner of the driver of the Mercedes and the speed and manner of the following vehicles.”
Baghdad Attacks Spiked in March
After an overall decline in attacks against civilians and U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad over the past several months, the number more than doubled in March from the previous month, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. military in Baghdad.
The sharp increase in overall attacks, to 631 in March from 239 in February, reflects new strikes against the Green Zone, the heavily fortified headquarters for Iraq’s central government and the U.S. embassy here, as well as renewed fighting in the Sadr City district of Baghdad between Shiite militias and Iraqi government and U.S. forces.
Violence in Sadr City first flared more than a week ago after Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki launched a poorly coordinated military campaign to retake the southern port city of Basra from Shiite militias. The fighting has had repercussions in other Shiite enclaves across the country, but nowhere is it as severe as in Sadr City.
Nearly all of the increase came in attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces, which rose to 562 in March from 177 in February. Attacks against civilians in the capital remained relatively unchanged: 69 in March from 62 in February.