Today's Story Line

It's eight times more expensive to go online in Africa than in the US. At tomorrow's G-8 summit, world leaders will discuss ways to close the digital divide between rich and poor nations.

Is it still democracy if an election is held but a whole ethnic group doesn't vote? Why Serbs in Kosovo say they'll boycott the coming elections.

Iran is catching Iraqi oil smugglers - sometimes. The on-again, off-again policing has more to do with Iran's internal power struggle than its foreign policy.

Vive le franais! A proposal to, gasp, simplify French in order to make the language easier to learn was resoundingly defeated.

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

*PERSONAl DIGITAL DIVIDE: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher recently experienced the digital gap she writes about today at the G-8 summit. A month or two ago, she was interviewing a Filipina maid in Kuwait about working conditions. The maid asked to see the finished story. "I said, 'Sure, I'll give you the Monitor's Web site, and you can read it there. Or, I could e-mail you a copy,' " Ilene recalls. "She looked at me like I was from another planet and had no concept of her life. I felt embarrassed." It also made Ilene realize that it wasn't that long ago that she entered the Web world - and how integral it has become to her life.

MILESTONE..

*1,500 YEARS BETWEEN SHOWS: Spectators bustled into the Roman Colosseum last night for the first time in 1,500 years. But there were no howling Roman mobs, no snarling wild beasts. The National Theater of Greece's striking production of "Oedipus Rex" capped an eight-year restoration of the Colosseum. It will be followed by performances of "Antigone" and the opera, "Oedipus." The new stage makes it possible for the first time since 523 to stand where gladiators stood in the ancient amphitheater. A symbol of the Roman Empire's magnificence and might, the Colosseum was inaugurated in AD 80.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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