Today's Story Line

india's government officials are warily eyeing the movement to stop the Narmada dam. Opposition rallies are plucking a societal chord and becoming so large that comparisons are being made to Gandhi's peaceful protests.

Quote of note: "This rally is not just about dams, it is about safeguarding the public against injustice." - an Indian economist.

In an usual attempt to break a judicial logjam, Rwanda is going to turn over more than 100,000 prisoners accused of genocide to their local communities to be judged under tribal law.

When push comes to shove, will Yugoslavia's Army side with opposition protesters or protect Slobodan Milosevic?

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*NO TRANSPORT, NO TRIAL: The wheels of justice turn slowly in most countries. But in Rwanda, where thousands of prisoners await trial on genocide charges, sometimes the problem is literally one of having no wheels. On a recent visit to a Rwanda court, reporter Lara Santoro witnessed a case that began with 45 minutes of formalities. The judge then asked where the defendant was. The defense lawyer said he expected the prosecutor's office to bring the accused. The prosecutor angrily pointed his finger at the judge and the defense lawyer, shouting that it was public knowledge that there were only two vehicles available to carry prisoners and that it wasn't his fault that they were being employed elsewhere.

*SHARING BEANS AND SPLITTING ATOMS: The Monitor's Bob Marquand spent several days with the Narmada valley rally. During a lunch stop, he was struck by India's incongruous extremes. He sat with a group of people in a mud-walled hut, eating a meal of beans cooked - as they have been for centuries - on an open fire. But the conversation, started by a young woman who had just earned a university degree in plasma physics, was about the use of nuclear weapons.

*IN THE LINE OF FIRE: "Interviewing Serbian soldiers who were pounded for 80 days by my country is not an easy task," says reporter Alex Todorovic. "They are confused about what their sacrifice meant and feel betrayed by their leaders." Alex met one soldier in a Belgrade restaurant who told him about serving in an antiaircraft unit for two months. He lost his nerve after weeks of bombardment, never knowing if he would survive the night. The conversation started pleasantly but turned bitter. "And you journalists just came here to make money from our misery! You're hoping that something awful will happen so you'll have more to write about."

Let us hear from you.

Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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