Two nations at historic crossroads continue to dominate our coverage.
In Yugoslavia, support for the anti-Milosevic demonstrations is spreading through civil society. Even the state-paid meteorologists are refusing to do their jobs. Opposition leaders are sticking to democratic principles. An election was held, the results must be respected. But President Milosevic has begun to test their tenacity, unleashing police and the military (page 1). Among international players, Russia is the only mediator Milosevic trusts to provide a face- and peace-saving exit (page 8).
In Israel, street fighting has ebbed. But the Arabs living in Israel have shaken the Jewish state. Israeli-Arabs, nearly 20 percent of the population, participated in the demonstrations on an unprecedented scale (this page). Today Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will meet in Paris to try to put the peace process back on track (page 2).
- David Clark Scott World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
FRIENDSHIPS ON THE LINE: Sitting with Serbian student demonstrators while facing 200 special police troops is an ominous feeling, says Belgrade-based reporter Alex Todorovic. "I know from previous demonstrations what a police baton on your back feels like, and know they don't hesitate to use them," he says. But yesterday was different.
An artist known as "Maki" suddenly charged the police cordon. He was tackled by friends who wanted to prevent his suicide mission. Alex and the crowd, several thousand strong, stood up and prepared for what they thought would follow; a fight with police. But the police let the students continue on their way. Students chanted friendly songs to police like, "Let's go blue."
By the end of the day, some students were hugging one cop, and many officers were smiling and chatting with students. Such scenes left Alex pondering whether the Milosevic regime might fall amid smiles and hugs instead of bullets.
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