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Today's Story Line

February 9, 2001



The deadly quake in western India has rightly galvanized the nation. But like the Ganges itself, Hindu pilgrims continue to flow to Allahabad. The once-in-every-12 year-festival, Kumbh Mela, is considered the largest religious gathering on the planet (page 8).

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David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

BORDER CROSSINGS: Reporter Lucian Kim says that a new Swiss passport and his travels through remote, impoverished countries have increased his personal awareness of people's unstoppable desire to seek out a better life, whatever the price. The ease in crossing borders that his passport affords has made Lucian reflective of the global mobility that the West prizes - but tries to limit when it comes to citizens of poorer nations. For example, during a reporting trip in Afghanistan, Lucian met many young men who bombarded him with questions about life in the US. All of them voiced their wish to visit, study, or work in "the West" - even if that just meant Moscow.

ITALY'S INDICTMENT: The pilots of a US jet that sliced a ski gondola's cables in 1998, killing 20 people, acted as "criminals," and the US chain of command and control was co-responsible, an Italian parliamentary commission said yesterday. The Associated Press reports that the 25-member commission investigated the cause of the accident on Mt. Cermis, in northern Italy, for a year. Both Italian and American investigators had found before that the EA-6B Prowler jet was flying too low and too fast when it hit the cable.

A US military jury acquitted the pilot, Capt. Richard J. Ashby, of manslaughter. He was later sentenced to six months in prison and was dismissed from the Marines for helping to destroy a videotape of the flight. The jet's navigator, Capt. Joseph Schweitzer, was also dismissed from the Marines over the videotape.

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