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Clinton Scandal A World Wonder

A day after President Clinton's address to the nation admitting his affair with Monica Lewinsky, major newspapers around the world have reported the startling chain of events.

"The overview is that the broad sheets, the big papers, cover the story fairly straight," Frank Partridge of the British daily Sky News told CBS 'This Morning.'

Partridge said that the tabloids, such as The Sun of London, had seized the "dramatic angle," the sex scandal itself.

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Many papers use the word "sorry," although Mr. Clinton never actually apologized in his speech Monday night.
However, BBC Washington correspondent Tom Carver headlined his editorial for the British news organization, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."

In his mock letter to Mr. Clinton, Carver said "the presidency was always designed to be on human scaleÂ…It may be humiliating to see the highest office of state brought down by this sort of scandal but I suspect that the Founding Fathers would have been delighted to find that no president was above the law."

Still, Carver was incredulous at the amount of attention the scandal was getting.

"How can the world's superpower be hijacked by something so tawdry?" Carver asked.

The Evening Standard refers to Mr. Clinton as "The White Louse" - "a good British pun to sum up his position," Partridge said.

In the London paper's editorial, Mr. Clinton is sharply criticized for his actions.

"Having himself protracted this expensive investigation with his interminable stonewalling and evasion, Mr. Clinton has contrived to insult the intelligence of the American people with a shifty, mealy-mouthed and legalistic ramble..." the editorial said.

Partridge said that Sky News was doing an email and phone-in review of the public's reaction. After reviewing the first 200 emails, Partridge said the response of readers was similar to the results of the CBS News-New York Times Poll.

Two-thirds of the emails reflect that people think the investigation should be stopped, and that Mr. Clinton should be allowed to carry on his term.

In Israel, President Clinton's speech had a familiar ring to it, reports CBS News Correspondent Jesse Schulman.

Five years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu confessed to having an affair that the Israeli public didn't know he had. The admission didn't hurt his approval rating, and he went on to be elected prime minister of the country.

The confession has been big news in Israel; actually, the scandal has been big news all along. The fact that Lewinsky is Jewish has dded to the popular fascination.

President Clinton remains, though, very personally popular among Israelis, many of whom do not see the point of the investigation.

While many Americans are fixated on how the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been able to accept her husband's infidelity, one foreign newspaper, The Irish Times, has looked at the political angle. In Monday's issue, the daily mused over how the president's right-hand man, Al Gore, has been faring.

Calling Gore a "devoted understudy who hopes one day to take over the stage" from Mr. Clinton, The Irish Times said the vice president has shown "unstinting loyalty throughout the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a personal choice that also appears to be his best - indeed, his only - political opinion."

The next question political observers in the U.S. and abroad ponder is whether Gore will be sworn in as president before Mr. Clinton's term ends.