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By , World Editor of The Christian Science Monitor

Anyone familiar with American history will appreciate the fits-and-starts attempt to create a United States of Europe. After 45 years, the European Union has been better at creating economic, rather than political, unity. Resentment at rules set by EU bureaucrats runs high. Now a scandal has brought the issue to a boil. The missing ingredient: more democracy . Quote of note: "[The EU] parliament is caught in a vicious circle. It has no powers so it doesn't have an electorate, and if it has no electorate, why should it be given more power?" - A lecturer in European politics at Oxford University. Will the troubled Balkans, like the poor, always be with us? The latest diplomatic patch-up job in Kosovo is unraveling in tit-for-tat battles. Terrorism's tentacles may be reaching into a Muslim mosque in England. Police suspect a local group has ties to Saudi terrorist, Osama bin Laden. One outpost of true democracy in Asia is the Philippines, but after decades of being ruled by either elitist or dictatorial leaders, Filipinos are happy with their new president, Joseph Estrada, a little-educated former film star who keeps the poor happy with promises. - Clayton Jones World editor REPORTERS ON THE JOB NEXT STEP, DICTATION: Filing today's story on Kosovo was harder than reporting it for Monitor contributor Justin Brown. He recently signed up for the Internet provider EUnet, the one and only server in Kosovo. But he didn't bargain that it would be down much of the time. Even when he went to the Serb-run government Media Center in Pristina, which has the best phone lines in town, he couldn't get through. The best computer store in town doesn't have a connection at all. An Internet connection isn't cheap in Kosovo: $24 an hour. He ended up making a long-distance connection via Belgrade. FOOTNOTE TO A MONITOR STORY WITNESS TO EUROSCOLDING: Chief European correspondent Peter Ford notes that European Parliament sessions in Strasbourg are generally short on drama. But with the 626 deputies eager to shake off their image as paper tigers, they clearly relished their opportunity on the night of Jan. 11 to threaten their political masters. Accused of covering up fraud, mismanagement of funds, and cronyism, the 20 members of the European Commission were in the dock, obliged to sit in a sheepish row in front of Parliament and take their verbal punishment. Only Edith Cresson, the former French prime minister, answered back. She did not even stand as she responded to charges. Her impudence could cost her her job when Parliament votes on censure Jan. 14. Let us hear from you. Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

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