Today's Story Line:

The British discovery of Scud missile parts bound for Libya is a setback for better relations between the two nations. It also highlights the divergence between European and American treatment of international pariahs.

Likewise in the skies, two corporate behemoths - one European, one American - are taking different strategies to dominate sales of commercial jets. In 1999, for the first time, Airbus outsold Boeing.

The air is cleaner in Mexico City. But the atmosphere is thick with the politics of pollution.

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*THE VOLCANO TEST: Correspondent Howard LaFranchi, who wrote today's story from Mexico City on official claims of improving air quality in a city known worldwide for bad air, says his family has its own unscientific barometer of their city's air conditions: a gaze eastward from the roof of their house. "If we can see the snow-capped volcanoes, we think it's a good-air day," says Howard, who adds that the family consensus is that volcano-sighting was a tad more common last year. But Sunday, when the Mexico City government ran big ads in newspapers touting improving air quality, the city failed the LaFranchis' test miserably. Says Howard, "We couldn't see a thing."

MILESTONE

* A BAN ON RACY ADS: Japan's largest newspaper last week refused to take any more ads from two weekly magazines, because the ads were too "sexually explicit." Yomiuri Shimbun, with a daily circulation of 10.2 million, said that delivering such material to readers' families, "where it could possibly be seen by children cannot be called normal." Its spokesman said readers had complained that the ads were degrading to women. Other newspapers say they are tightening their ad standards. Yomiuri said a law passed in April prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination prompted it to review its ad policy.

Let us hear from you.

Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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