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By , World Editor of The Christian Science Monitor

Like Buddhists in Tibet or women in Afghanistan, the Catholics of East Timor have been a cause clbre for global human rights activists. Now their long fight, benefited by political and economic turmoil in Indonesia, may result in some sort of freedom for the tiny half-island north of Australia. But a transition could be rough, requiring UN forces.

Whether US bombs hit or Serbian or American soldiers enter Kosovo in the next few weeks will depend on the peace talks outside of Paris. Our reporter reveals the inner struggles inside the talks.

As Northern Ireland's peace falters, calls for more American mediation are getting louder.

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On the 20th anniversary of Iran's takeover of the US Embassy, a former hostage taker reflects on the changes since then.

King Hussein's death opens all sorts of potential problems for the Mideast peace process.

- Clayton Jones World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *Digital diplomacy: With negotiators sequestered inside a 14th-century French chateau for peace talks on Kosovo, cellular telephones are one of their few ways of contacting the outside world. One source close to the talks recounts to writer Jon Landay that during a lunch with officials inside the Chateau de Rambouillet's ornate dining room, the lilting tones of a cellular phone rang out. "Everyone reaches for their cell phones. No one knows whose it is and everyone picks up theirs and says 'hello' in a bunch of different languages," he recalls. But cellular phones also provide the means for dozens of journalists covering the conference to breach a news blackout imposed to prevent the sides from making disclosures that might imperil the delicate negotiations. Fortunately for Jon, he was able to rent a European cellular telephone at the airport in the United States just before he boarded a flight to France. Commenting on the use of the omnipresent devices, US Ambassador to Macedonia Christopher Hill, one of the lead mediators, said diplomacy will never be the same. "This is the era of the cell phone," he observed, "and that has changed the world of sequestered conferences."

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