Today's Story Line

A profile of one Kosovo town, just days after NATO liberated the province, reveals what the future may hold: no Serb residents, KLA fighters, mass graves, and happy refugees returning home while NATO forces settle in for a long stay.

Russia's poke-NATO-in-the-eye move to take the Kosovo airport may bring short-term advantages. But it erodes years of trust-building with the West. President Boris Yeltsin appears to have given a nod to the mini-blitz to boost his near-zero popularity at home. Quote of note: "President Clinton phoned me. Imagine that! It turns out that I am a good chap, I am a diplomat and lots of other nice things." - Mr. Yeltsin, speaking mockingly on TV.

While the US tries to cool off Russian nationalism in Kosovo, it's also trying to cool violence in Asia. A mini-war between India and Pakistan, and a high-seas clash between the two Koreas have American diplomacy in overdrive to prevent an escalation. In both cases, a desire to gain an advantage in negotiations may be behind the confrontations.

- Clayton Jones, World editor

NEWS YOU CAN USE *KEEPING YOUR HEAD: As airlines and governments try new ways to deal with unruly passengers, experts offer this advice for what passengers can do: (1) alert a flight attendant discreetly rather than interfere directly; (2) ask to be moved to another seat; (3) write down details of an encounter that might be useful to a law-enforcement officer later; (4) contact the airline to ask it to find ways to bar disruptive passengers.

PRESS CLIPPING *WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: Malaysia is withholding from the public an air-pollution index that was used as a warning signal during a smog crisis two years ago. The Air Pollution Index (API), widely consulted in 1997 when smoke from forest fires largely in neighboring Indonesia blanketed much of Southeast Asia, has not been updated on its Web site since May 22. The smoke from forest fires during the region's annual dry spell in 1997 frightened away many tourists. In recent weeks, new fires have been spotted in Indonesia and hazy skies have returned to parts of Malaysia and Singapore.

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

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