Today's Story Line

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

A US global-security alert and two arrests on the Canadian border have prompted officials in both countries to suggest that Canada needs a tighter immigration policy. They cite the large number of so-called terrorist groups operating in the country.

The resignation of a Japanese governor after being convicted for sexual harassment is being hailed as a social and legal milestone.

Russia's war against Chechnya has been popular with voters, and the government doesn't want the foreign media to undermine that support.

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South Africa is dealing with image management on a more personal level. Black women are going to extremes to achieve a Western look.

David Clark Scott, World editor

Reporters on the job.

*A FOREIGN IMPORT: Tokyo-based Monitor correspondent Cameron Barr's story on a sexual-harassment case shows how women are successfully using new laws to challenge the misbehavior of men. But the concept of harassment is not indigenous, Cameron notes. Even the Japanese words for sexual harassment indicate that this is a US import. Adapted for the Japanese tongue, it becomes "seku hara." By whatever name, "It's certainly gaining more ground than some US imports," observes Cameron.

*A WESTERN STANDARD: Johannesburg-based Corinna Schuler was prompted to write today's story about South Africans redefining beauty after a recent raid on a company selling illegal skin-lightening creams. But in her own experience, she has heard comments indicating that black women are trying to reshape their bodies to meet a Western ideal. Twice a week Corinna participates in a running club in her middle-class neighborhood. She's noticed that lately more black women have joined. And several have told her they are there to "run off their behinds."

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT.

LITTLE STAR OF BETHLEHEM: A model of baby Jesus lies at the spot considered his birthplace in Church of the Nativity.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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