Today's Story Line

First, Fiji. Now a copycat coup in the Solomon Islands. What's up with the surge in conflicts amid the South Pacific coconut palms (page 1)?

No bear hugs but more substance to the relationship. That's one assessment of President Clinton's trip to Russia

The popularity ratings of Japan's Prime Minister Yoshio Mori are plummeting. So, why isn't the ruling LDP worried about the June 25 elections?

No lead in these zeppelins. Germany brings back floating behemoths.

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

*TAKE MY DAUGHTER, PLEASE: Today's story by Shawn Donnan on the coups in the Solomon and Fiji islands reminded the Monitor's David Clark Scott of his first trip to Fiji in 1987. He arrived shortly after a military coup. Just as they are today, ethnic Indians were desperately trying to leave the islands. Then, as now, the coup leaders blamed successful Indian business owners for the poverty of ethnic Fijians. One afternoon, David stopped at a small roadside stand for a soft drink. The Indian owner asked him where he lived and if he was married. David told him he was en route to Australia, and yes, he was married. No matter. He was ushered inside, behind the counter, to a tiny living room. After tea, the owner got down to business. "Would you like to marry my daughter?" David politely declined. "Are you certain? You haven't seen her yet." Later, the store owner invited David's wife and infant daughter over for tea. The 16-year-old daughter was brought out for review. "She has no future here," said the store owner. The Scotts gracefully declined the polygamous arrangement. But they left a contact number in Sydney should the girl find an outward-bound suitor and needed any help getting settled. They never heard from the family.

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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