Today's Story Line
A big lesson from NATO's victory: While it forced a Serb retreat, it set a precedent for air war in the 21st century. But such high-tech warfare also resulted in the increased Serb violence against the very people NATO was trying to save, the ethnic Albanians. Hundreds or more died after the US and other NATO nations refused to endure casualties in a land invasion for the world's first war fought for human rights rather than national self-interest.
Resettling 1.36 million Albanians back to their homes in Kosovo will be one of the 20th century's biggest humanitarian tasks. Half of their homes were destroyed and they won't have a harvest this year. And their reentry may force some 100,000 Serb residents who remained in Kosovo to flee. Quote of note: "It's important that the return of the refugees does not create a new refugee exodus." - Dennis McNamara, UNHCR's Balkans envoy.
Another kind of US invasion - of the Hollywood type - has hit one Balkan state particularly hard. Slovenia was shorn of much of its old culture by decades of communist and Yugoslav rule. Now, with the massive import of American culture, children know more about "Melrose Place" and Madonna than Slovenian literature. Quote of note: "We want to develop Slovenian citizens who would care for Slovenian citizens, and not just sell their souls to Beverly Hills." - Zala Volcic, a social researcher.
And in the European Union, officials are worried about a possible invasion of organized gangs from Macau, the Portuguese colony near Hong Kong that reverts to Chinese rule in December. These gangs could smuggle illegal workers into Portugal, and then into other EU nations.
Germany's handling of illegal aliens has come under scrutiny after one of them died resisting deportation.
Vote counting has gone so slow in Indonesia's historic June 7 election that many fear the ruling party may be altering the results.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
*WHO'S AMERICAN? In reporting about the forced deportation of aliens in Europe, our Berlin-based reporter Lucian Kim couldn't help but think of his own situation. He's experienced no difficulties with officials in Europe, who tend to treat Americans quite well. But once, when he went to get his residence permit renewed, two policemen directed him to a run-down wing of the foreigners office reserved for citizens not from the EU, Canada, Japan, or the US. "Probably because of my half-slanted eyes and dark hair," he says. When they caught sight of his blue US passport, they said, "Oh, but you're American," and sent him to a different section, where he was greeted by a friendly receptionist.
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