Today's Story Line:

How do you build a nation from scratch? East Timor won't be as "easy" as Kosovo, Cambodia, or even Haiti. The enormity of the task is now hitting United Nations' and East Timorese leaders. Quote of note: "The United Nations doesn't have a clue or a plan yet." - a UN official in East Timor.

It's being described as one of the worst cyclones to hit India in this century. Yet, four days later, relief is only beginning to trickle in. Why?

Call it revenge of the nerds. In Kerala, India, scientists are pop culture figures and slayers of superstition.

- David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*RATIONS FOR SALE: Returning to Dili, East Timor, after being away for several weeks, the Monitor's Cameron Barr could see the city coming back to life. The Hotel Dili, owned by an Australian, had reopened its restaurant, serving mainly UN workers and journalists. The local market now has a variety of fruits and vegetables for sale. One vendor, says Cameron, buried several boxes of clothes when the looting and burning started. Now, he's doing a brisk business in pants and girls' dresses. Cameron, preparing for an overnight excursion into the countryside, bought some Indonesian Army rations at the market: chicken, fish, rice, and veggies. But when the trip was canceled, Cameron didn't feel compelled to eat them. He gave them away to friends.

PRESS CLIPPINGS

*ANOTHER WORLD CUP FINAL: The French rugby team pulled off an upset victory over the New Zealand "All Blacks" Sunday in the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup. "One of the greatest exploits in the history of French sport," exclaimed the sports daily L'Equipe. The newspaper Le Parisien dedicated its first five pages to the match. In New Zealand, the loss was being cast as a national tragedy that could undermine the ruling government's reelection campaign. France and Australia will play in the finals on Saturday in France.

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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