Today's Story Line

Unlike most prime ministers' spouses in Britain, Cherie Blair has been outspoken on political issues. Seems she has lots in common with Hillary Rodham Clinton in the United States. Mrs. Blair is a successful lawyer, who makes twice as much money as her husband championing social issues .

Faye Bowers Deputy world editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

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*THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Just back from a two-week vacation in the States, Mexico City correspondent Howard LaFranchi says his children couldn't wait to get back to their favorite raspadas, or snow cones.

"We needed some school supplies but a detour past our friend the snow-cone man became unavoidable," Howard says. He adds, however, that even though the snow-cone cart offers dozens of flavors, including some tropical fruits little or unknown in the States, his kids go for the American "root beer," "bubble gum," and "muy muy [very very] cherry."

PRESS CLIPPING..

*QADDAFI TO THE RESCUE: Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is reportedly taking the lead in negotiating the release of hostages being held by the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines. According to the Sunday Times, published in Johannesburg, South Africa, he sent a "mysterious emissary known only as Scorpio" to meet the rebel leaders on Tuesday. And yesterday, a former Libyan ambassador to the Philippines met with local Muslim leaders, including some of the rebels, in Manila. According to the Sunday Times, Qaddafi offered $25 million for the immediate release of the hostages.

The Abu Sayyaf group kidnapped 21 people from a Malaysian diving resort on April 23. Six Malaysians and a German woman have been released, but the rebels still hold three Malaysians, seven Europeans, two South Africans, and two Filipinos.

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