BOSTON — In a move sure to get the attention of American lawmakers, always balancing tough-on-crime stances with civil rights imperatives, Britain's Home Secretary Jack Straw floated a measure this week that would allow for the detention of individuals whose mental state, he says, makes them a "lethal danger" to others. Just who qualifies to make the case-by-case call is up for discussion.
All across Europe, fallout from the Monday night arrest of Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, now in custody in Turkey, continues to be felt. In Greece, a NATO partner of Turkey's but also a longtime rival (and so, a sometimes fan of the Kurds), top goverment ministers stepped down yesterday over questions about Greece's role in protecting Mr. Ocalan.
Kurds, who number 20 million and want a state, may have lingering issues with America. (The US encouraged them to rise up against Saddam Hussein in 1991, but backed away from support.) So might Cambodians, once carpet-bombed by US B-52s. Yet pro-Americanism is in the air there, coupled with high expectations.
With Mideast peace mired and a deal in the Balkans in danger of first requiring the use of international military force, a look at peacemakers' progress in two other long contentious places - Europe's Basque region and the Mediterranean island of Cyprus - may offer some reason for hope.
- Clayton Collins Deputy World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *TOO MUCH TOGETHERNESS? Just imagine if US politicians had this setup: Cambodia-based correspondent Chris Seper went to the office of one opposition lawmaker for an interview for today's story. Instead of having private offices, Cambodia's National Assembly members are grouped by committees, meaning different parties' politicians work arms' lengths apart. At the end of the 20-minute interview, Chris was walked to the door. Surprisingly, his host asked whether he might like to meet again. A lawmaker from the ruling Cambodian People's Party, one desk away, had apparently taped the entire conversation.
UPDATE ON A MONITOR STORY *DRUG-WAR DRAMA: The red carpets that awaited President Clinton when he came to Mexico this week had been rolled up when a US congressional delegation arrived in Mexico City Thursday, reports Latin America correspondent Howard LaFranchi. Delegation members had said before leaving Washington that they intended to go straight to Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo to hear about Mexico's drug war. But, in a possible snub, neither Mr. Zedillo nor Foreign Minister Rosario Green was on the agenda by the time the members of Congress arrived.
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