Today's story on vigilante journalism in Kosovo is about a life-and-death clash of principles. What limits should be put on free speech? UN officials in Kosovo say that if an article effectively paints a bulls-eye on someone, it goes too far. The "right to life" is greater than the right to free speech. But some Kosovo publications say that in the absence of an effective justice system, it's their duty - and right - to identify "known" war criminals who may be a threat to society. They would be remiss, journalists argue, not to publish the "truth" about these individuals. Variations on this debate are heard in the United States today when newspapers publish - or withhold - the names of convicted sex offenders who move to a community.
The "right to life" is also being debated in a totally different context in France. But again, parts of the discussion will sound familiar to US readers. Last year, the House of Representatives passed a federal law that would stop teens from going to other states to get an abortion without parental permission. The Senate version is still awaiting a vote. In France, they're going in the other direction: A proposed law would give teens as young as 16 the right to an abortion without parental consent.
Quote of note: "We are no longer living in an age when parents can tell a young girl what she can do with her life." - a young woman at a French abortion clinic.
David Clark Scott World editor
FOLLOW-UP ON A MONITOR STORY..
*WHO WANTS A TECH JOB IN GERMANY? So far, few in India seem interested. As reported March 1, Germany wants to tap the talents of India's high-tech industry. But the Deutsche Press Agency reports no qualified workers in New Delhi, Madras, or Bombay applied this week for the new "Green Card" visa that permits an Indian and his or her family to stay in Germany for five years. As one Indian official told the Monitor: "It's about lifestyle and opportunity. Why go to Germany if you can get the same job and live in the US?"
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