Today's Story Line

The door to peace, in the short term, appears to be closing in the Middle East. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are losing trust in one another and are losing the trust of their mainstream supporters. Instead, the leaders are turning to extremists to shore up support.

In Asia, another door to peace appears to be opening. And yesterday, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright walked through it to take a look around. If she likes what she sees and hears in North Korea, expect President Clinton to follow.

David Clark Scott World editor

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REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

THE MANY TONGUES OF AFRICA: Reporter Rena Singer can speak Mandarin Chinese reasonably well. But there aren't many places in South Africa that call for a facility in Chinese. On a recent Sunday afternoon, however, she was able to listen in as monks at South Africa's first and only Buddhist monastery discussed the Buddhist concepts of "emptiness" and "illusion" with a Taiwanese Buddhist immigrant. "It was quite strange," she says. "The monks were from villages across Southern andCentral Africa. A year or so ago, many didn't know who Buddha was. Now they can not only explain his teachings, but can do it in Chinese with a native Chinese speaker."

HAVE CONGRESSMAN, WILL TRAVEL: By coincidence, reporter Rachel Hays found herself traveling to the same destination as a Peruvian congressman. He offered her a ride in his car. If he hadn't, Rachel says, she might not have been able to do today's story on logging. "The entire province of Madre de Dios was on strike. There were no taxis, no buses, and the streets were deserted." As they traveled on the highway toward the Brazilian border, every community had set up its own roadblock in support of the strike. "To get past, the congressman had to get out and give a little solidarity speech at each roadblock. At 3 a.m., we were still running into roadblocks," says Rachel.

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