Today's Story Line:

A weak central government. Guerrillas moving illicit drugs through the mountains. Tough enforcement in neighboring states. No, this isn't Colombia. It's Kyrgyzstan. UN experts say 70 percent of the world's illicit opium - the raw material for heroin - now comes from Afghanistan. To get it to European users, traffickers are using the Ancient Silk Road.

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

MUST-SEE TV: The fight over control of Czech Channel 1 television news is being played out mostly in the streets of Prague. But every once in a while, viewers catch a glimpse of the struggle, says reporter Chris Johnstone. "I was watching a hockey game, and they suddenly cut away to the demonstration in front of the station, then abruptly back to the hockey game," says Chris. Some of the Channel 1 staff are sympathetic to the striking workers. So, they'll slip things in. "During a weather forecast last week, a little script snuck in along the bottom of the screen urging people to join the protest."

YOUNG GUN LAWS: Some 400,000 Canadian gun owners became "criminals" this week when they failed to meet a deadline to apply for licenses to own their firearms, The Washington Post reported this weekend. About 1.8 million of the country's estimated 2.2 million gun owners met the Dec. 31 deadline, government officials said. Those who did not could face stiff penalties, including a $2,000 fine and up to five years in prison, although it is not clear whether they'll be prosecuted.

Canada already has tough controls on handguns. The new law (see June 30 Monitor) requires the registration of rifles and shotguns, with the aim of keeping them out of the hands of criminals. It was passed after the 1989 murder of 14 women at a Montreal college.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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