A Deadly Month In Iraq

The Skinny is Joel Roberts' take on the top news of the day and the best of the Internet.

The latest U.S. combat deaths in Iraq – including 10 American troops killed on Memorial Day – made May one of the deadliest months of the war, a fact highlighted on the front pages of most of the major U.S. newspapers.

The Washington Post, citing figures from icasualties.org, a Web site that tracks Iraq casualties, said 116 American soldiers had been killed so far in May, making it the "deadliest month for U.S. troops in 2 1/2 years.

The Wall Street Journal said May was "the third-deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces," while The New York Times said it was the "deadliest month for American troops since November 2004."

The Los Angeles Times called May "the deadliest month for American forces this year, and the bloodiest since the battles for Fallouja in April and November 2004."

And USA Today notes that 219 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since April, the "highest level for any two-month period of the war."

Meanwhile, despite the rising U.S. death toll, Iraq's prime minister says the recent U.S. troop buildup has been effective. In his first television interview since the troop surge began in February, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told CBS News' Lara Logan that the additional forces have stopped an even greater catastrophe.

"If the Baghdad security plan had not been implemented, we would have a true civil war in Iraq," al-Maliki said.

Moving On At The World Bank

In what should be the last time a personnel move at the World Bank is front page news for a while, The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal all feature prominent page-one items on President Bush's decision to tap former U.S. trade envoy Robert Zoellick to replace Paul D. Wolfowitz as the beleaguered institution's president.

The Times said Zoellick, now a top executive at Goldman Sachs, takes over a bank "riven not only by the travails of Mr. Wolfowitz, who resigned this month amid charges of favoritism, but also by major disagreements among donor nations over the bank's mission."

Zoellick's selection will be formally announced today and the bank's board is expected to vote on his nomination shortly afterward.

The Unknown $53 Billion Man

He's the world's second richest man – wealthier than Warren Buffett and closing in on Bill Gates – but most Americans have probably never heard of him.

Meet Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican business tycoon with a fortune worth an estimated $53 billion. Slim owns controlling interest in at least 222 companies, including major stakes in CompUSA and Saks Fifth Avenue, and while he has a low profile in the U.S., he's an omnipresent figure in Mexico.

In a front-page profile, USA Today says Mexicans begin putting money in Slim's pocket as soon as they are born – often in one of the hospitals he owns. They use electricity carried by his cables, drive on roads he's paved, burn fuel pumped from his drilling platforms, communicate through his phone lines and smoke his tobacco.

"Even the ground under their feet has been touched by Slim" – his ceramics company makes 40 percent of Mexico's floor tiles.

But Slim's wealth has caused some resentment "in a country where 40% of the population lives in poverty and thousands emigrate each year" to seek opportunity across the border, says USA Today.

"It's hard to live a day without buying one of his products," said one woman eating lunch in a shopping center Slim owns. "He's so rich and powerful, and in a country where there are so many poor."

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