Today's Story Line

A new peacemaker? israel's Prime Minster Ehud Barak just announced a government that is crafted to jump start the Middle East peace process. Quote of note: "[Barak] may not be the Messiah, but he's the best thing that Israel's got." - the editor of the Jerusalem Post.

Once a bit player, Kosovo has moved the Balkans onto center stage as European leaders debate just how big the cast of Europe should be.

Latvia's first female president, a retired Canadian professor, will take office this week and play a key role in the selection of a new prime minister.

How media magnate Ted Turner's $1 billion donation is being doled out.

Could they be the forerunners of the land speeders favored by Luke Skywalker? Hovercraft, now made in all sizes, are finding new uses as vehicles for transport and recreation.

-David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*BUY, BUT DON'T LOOK: In researching his story on air-cushion vehicles, London-based Alexander MacLeod went to a government-sponsored press conference intended to promote the sale of the craft. But when he asked for photos, he was sent to the Ministry of Defense. Officials there, after some back and forth, decided that providing photos for publication might be a security threat.

MILESTONES

*GENDER EQUITY ELECTIONS: Women appear to be on the verge of getting the right to vote in Kuwait. Parliamentary elections this past weekend saw liberal-leaning candidates pick up enough seats to approve the change when the legislature convenes on July 17. The only Arab Gulf State with an elected parliament, Kuwait will more than double its electorate beginning in 2003. In fact, based on current figures, there would be 9,000 more eligible women voters than men.

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT

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

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