Today's Story Line

The politics of economics may ultimately be what saves the people of East Timor from further tragedy. Indonesia's scorched-earth policy on the island has been scaring off foreign investors. Of course, the risk of losing billions of dollars in international loans is playing a role, too.

Global economics is also behind the rise of India's southern states. Traditionally poor and ignored, this region is attracting gobs of foreign money and tipping the nation's power structure.

NATO is getting a new chief who wants a cheaper, more agile European fighting machine.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *MOSCOW BOMBSHELL: Muscovites saw tanks in the streets during the fall of communism. But those events didn't shake most people the way recent bombings have, says reporter Fred Weir. "For the first time, there's fear in people's eyes," says Fred. "Moscow is an extraordinarily peaceful place. It's safer to walk down a street here than in almost any city in America. Violent crime was between mafiosos, not aimed at residents. Muggings are rare. But these apparent terrorist bombings, randomly killing Muscovites, introduced an element of violence that residents have never seen before."

*PAJAMA JOURNALISM: Where do reporters get their leads? Sander Thoenes in Indonesia says that they can come from anywhere, at anytime. With the advent of the Internet, rumors spread rapidly around the world. Last week, a source in the International Monetary Fund in Washington woke him at 4 a.m. in Jakarta to check on a coup rumor. Sander immediately called an aide to Indonesia's president, who was awake because he had just got off the phone with a Hong Kong businessman calling about the same rumor. Sander was assured there was no military coup, but he went to the presidential palace to see for himself if there were any tanks in the street.

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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