Today's Story Line

Nato started its war against Yugoslavia for humanitarian reasons, but one example of collateral damage may be the economies of nearby nations. In particular, the bombing of bridges on the Danube has reduced key river traffic. Quote of note: "Investors' risk tolerance has collapsed for Southern and Central Europe." - Eric Kraus, a Moscow-based debt analyst with investment services firm Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

Are cracks showing in the Yugoslavia regime? Comments by an erstwhile Milosevic ally that Yugoslavia should compromise with NATO may be the beginning of a public dialogue on the war.

Ever since Japan sat out the Gulf War in 1991, it has agonized over how its military can expand its role in the world. On April 27, the lower house of parliament approved steps to let Japan support the US during war and to let its own forces attack "areas" (read China or North Korea) that may "bring about direct armed attack against Japan." This is a bold step for a nation with a pacifist Constitution.

Ever since India's founding party, Congress, lost its long hold on power, the world's largest democracy has seen unsteady politics. Radical Hindus have helped set the nation's agenda. Now, the nation is adrift as it must wait months for a new election sometime after the hot days of summer. But that time may give voters a chance to study more closely the two very different visions of India's future embodied in the leading political parties.

- Clayton Jones, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *WAKE-UP CALL: Our correspondent in Belgrade, Justin Brown, is normally quite calm in talking with his editors. But a cruise missile struck a TV transmitter April 27 near the Hyatt Hotel, where he and many foreign journalists are staying. Justin seemed slightly alarmed that the war had come so close. Many of the hotel's windows were shattered by the blast. But his stoic and professional calm prevailed when he revealed this news: "I've never been this close to a Tomahawk missile."

Let us hear from you. Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

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