BOSTON — The division between mosque and state long has been an uncomfortable one in Turkey. Last month's quake is prompting some Turks to reconsider where they stand on this earthly divide.
The gap between Arabs and Israelis may be gradually narrowing. Beyond the current peace talks, there is an Arab public desire to put war behind.
The war in Dagestan has come roaring back, creating new political tensions in Russia.
- David Clark Scott
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
*IT SMELLS LIKE HOME: To find out what working-class Arabs in Qatar think of the peace process with Israel, reporter Ned Parker went to Old Electricity Street. "Most of Doha feels more like suburban southern Florida - fast-food restaurants, modern buildings - than the Arabian Peninsula," says Ned. Lonely Arab workers - itinerant labor from elsewhere in the Middle East - often spend evenings there in Doha's Shisha bars and cafes (Shisha means flavored tobacco).
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*POLITICAL AFTERSHOCKS: The Monitor reported last week that the Aug. 17 earthquake was producing a new civic activism in Turkey. On Sept. 6, the country's top judge said the 1982 Constitution, devised by the military, was undemocratic. The Constitution long has been criticized as having too many restrictions on freedom of expression, labor rights, and academic autonomy."Turkey cannot enter a new century with this Constitution," Appeals Court Chief Sami Selcuk said. The next day, Turkey's prime minister agreed.*
*TO WED OR PROTEST? In Malaysia hundreds of couples are trying to get hitched on 9/9/1999 at 9:09 a.m. Many Chinese believe that the number 9 symbolizes longevity. In Thailand, Burmese students are calling for all Burmese citizens to demonstrate against the military dictatorship on the day.
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