Today's Story Line:

A number of young Japanese are rejecting the corporate ladder for a "freeter" life, and helping break down the rigidity of Japanese society .

The US debate over immigrants is taking a new turn with economists and government calling for more immigration to ease the tight job market .

Quote of note: "Unless we increase immigration quotas, we run the risk that growing demand will end our prosperity." - Alan Greenspan.

A year after the Columbine tragedy, Germans find themselves confronting similar issues .

Hungary, on the fast track to join the European Union, is facing increasing criticism for its center-right government's meddling in the media .

- Faye Bowers, Deputy world editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

DIFFERENT LENS: Lucian Kim says he's often been disappointed by the unoriginality of youth in Germany - that they seem to adopt everything American, from Coca-Cola and McDonald's to Levis and MTV.

But he was surprised when hanging out with teens in Berlin for today's story. Many, he found, don't blindly believe everything they see on TV.

One who had been in America before, said he was shocked that ethnic groups generally live in separate neighborhoods. "Look at us, here you got Germans and Turks playing basketball together," he said. Another said he thought the high price of education in America was a barrier to social mobility and one cause of violence. They just shook their heads in disbelief when Lucian told them that many US schools have metal detectors.

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT.

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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