Today's Story Line

By , World Editor of The Christian Science Monitor

In the chaotic dance known as East Timor, it's hard to tell who's leading now. At press time, tensions seemed to have eased on the Indonesian island. US officials are no doubt holding their breathes as they squirm over the moral vagaries of playing the world's cop.

At the OAU summit in Muammar Qaddafi's hometown, the Libyan leader firmly closed the door on his Arab neighbors and is pushing his vision of a united Africa.

The ancient Tibetan city of Lhasa is succumbing to Chinese influences.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB.. *WHOSE TIME IS IT? When Jerusalem correspondent Ilene Prusher entered the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, it was 8 a.m. on the Israeli side of the border. But it was 9 a.m. on the Palestinian side. Israel has already ended daylight saving time for the year, but Palestinians have not. As a way of asserting independence, the Palestinian Authority maintains a different time zone for a few weeks out of the year. Some Jerusalem streets are in one time zone at one end of the road, and an hour later at the other. So Ilene double-checks when scheduling an interview: "Do you mean Israeli time or Palestinian time?"

*NOSTALGIA SUMMIT: The gathering of African heads of state in Libya this week was a walk down memory lane for Mideast correspondent Scott Peterson. Scott first interviewed Isaias Afeworki, the Eritrean president, in a front-line underground bunker in 1989, when his Eritrean rebels were fighting for independence from Ethiopia. Zambian leader Frederick Chiluba still has the same wide grin he did when he invited Scott to tea on his front lawn the day he was elected to power in 1991. Sudan's military leader Omar al-Bashir - who once took Scott on his small plane to western Sudan to inspect Islamic troops - has traded his uniform for a suit.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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