Today's Story Line:
BOSTON — In a clash of cultures, NATO and ethnic Albanians disagree over how to treat the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. NATO offers equal protection for all. But the Albanians want to retaliate. Quote of note: "It will only compound the horror." - President Clinton, in Cologne, Germany.
Caught between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo are some 97,000 Gypsies, or Roma, many of whom helped the Serb onslaught. They can't go to Serbia, and Albanians are attacking them.
If the archipelago-nation of Indonesia were ever to start splitting up, it would likely start in the northern Sumatran province of Aceh. A visit to this hotbed of rebellion reveals that Islamic women have taken up arms for independence. Quote of note: "It was hard, but good." - Zaitun, speaking of her guerrilla training by "Free Aceh," after the Army killed many of her family and friends.
Piece by piece, international groups are weaving a world consensus to end "the worst forms" of child labor. A new agreement may push the cause forward.
- Clayton Jones, World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *PASSENGER RIGHTS: Hooking up with the independence rebels on the Indonesian island of Sumatra can require a strong stomach. To reach a town named Sigli near Aceh, reporter Nicole Gaouette traveled 1,250 miles by air from Jakarta, then took a four-hour jeep ride to get in touch with the "Free Aceh" people. They checked her out, introduced her to another group, another check. Then it was all repeated again. They put her into a car, blindfolded her, and drove down a very bumpy road to a secret rebel camp. "As has happened ever since I was about four years old, I got carsick," Nicole says. Immediately, the car stopped, the water bottles came out, and the women tut-tut-tutted over her. Then someone said, "That's OK, you don't have to wear the blindfold. We believe in human rights too." She ended up having a very nice afternoon.
MILESTONES *RECORD WEIGHTLESSNESS: On June 21, reports the BBC, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev set a record as the human who has spent the most time in outer space - 681 days. His record is a result of three stays on the Mir space station. This latest one started Aug. 31, and was extended in February when his return seat was given to a guest-cosmonaut from Slovakia in February. The Slovakian cosmonaut was flown to Mir partly to help reduce Russia's debts to Slovakia. Mr. Avdeyev is due to return to Earth Aug. 23. By that time, he will gain a second record - the second-longest single flight. The longest is 14 months.
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