Today's Story Line

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

The media is the principal battleground in Iran's power struggle between conservatives and reformists. The right to free speech is at risk in one of the most vibrant democracies in the Middle East.

Rape is increasingly used as a weapon of war. But the trial of Bosnian Serbs accused of running camps that brutalized women may signal a change in global tolerance of this crime in wartime.

Do we have a deal or not? African leaders are trying to persuade Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to stop the violent invasions of white-owned farms.

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Burma's leaders see nothing humorous about political comics.

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

DISAPPEARING SOURCES: As the Monitor's Middle East correspondent, Scott Peterson has traveled to Iran perhaps a dozen times during the past four years. In the process, he's developed a long list of contacts in politics and in the media. But while running down his list for today's story, he noticed that "quite a few had tick marks next to their names." In other words, many were unavailable because they'd been jailed or imprisoned for political reasons.

PRESS CLIPPING

CYBERSEWING: An Internet sewing machine? Yes, Jaguar International, a Japanese firm, announced yesterday that it will start selling sewing machines that can log on to a Web site and download stitching patterns, including motifs for Pokmon characters. The Independent of London reports that the machine will also be able to connect to Nintendo's Game Boy terminal to download the patterns from popular games. The company plans to introduce the first model next month in Japan and expects to sell about 10,000 units in a month. It also plans to export the machines to the United States and Europe later this year.

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT: ZEN FOOTIE: Young Korean monks take a break from preparing for a celebration of Buddha's 2,544th birthday on May 11.

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