Today's Story Line

Forget the nationalist chest-thumping. The latest achievement in space is based on cooperation. With three astronauts expected to take up residence in the International Space Station on Thursday, there's talk about a sense of community. True, it's not cheap. And there's been friction between the global participants. But there's still something inspiring about mankind pulling together to achieve something that might otherwise be out of reach (page 1).

Quote of note: 'The time has come to do these things together. It's the right thing. We all live on one planet.'

-- Sergei Gorbunov, Russian space agency

David Clark Scott World editor

STREET CRIME INDICATOR: Reporter Kate Dunn last visited Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, in July 1998. "Times were already tough," she said, "and the Zimbabwean dollar lost half its value in one week." But crime wasn't a big issue. "I live in South Africa, which is better off economically than Zimbabwe, but where one learns not to wear jewelry or carry much cash on the streets. On my first trip to Zim, I asked a friend whether I should remove my gold earrings before heading into the city. She seemed insulted by the question. That's how safe Harare was."

This trip, however, Kate has noticed warnings are posted throughout tourist zones about car break-ins, pickpocketing, and purse- and camera-snatching. She stopped to take a picture of a gasoline queue in a township in which there were recent food riots. "Some women selling peanuts along the roadside warned me that 'eyes are already on your camera and you must leave.' " That concern for a stranger is typical of Zimbabweans, Kate says. "Zimbabweans are still unfailingly courteous and friendly. It is unfortunate that hunger seems to be driving some of them to crime."

ROCKET MAN: There's an odd blend of old world and new at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, our Moscow correspondent, Scott Peterson, is finding. The 1,300 mile charter flight from Moscow is run by Kosmos Airlines. The Sputnik Hotel is a new four-star facility run by a French firm. But the best part for a space buff (and journalist) like Scott was the ability to explore a facility that during the cold war would have been entirely off limits to journalists, particularly one with an American passport.

"They didn't care where we went," enthuses Scott. "We went all over the building where the Soyuz rocket is assembled. To get a photo, I climbed up four or five flights of emergency stairs and out onto a suspended capsule."

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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