Today's Story Line:

Few issues generate as much depth of controversy as the price of anti-AIDS drugs in the developing world. US and European drugmakers say they have a legal right to recoup their investment. But millions of people in Africa diagnosed with AIDS cannot afford these medicines. The drugmakers face moral and financial pressure to cut prices to save lives. Generic versions, made in India and Brazil, are selling for 1/20th of developed world prices. This legal and moral morass will go before a judge in South Africa next week (page 1).

David Clark Scott World Editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

APOLOGIES REQUESTED: Today's story about apologies in Japan wasn't a new topic for the Monitor's Ilene Prusher. In fact, she found herself in the position of issuing an apology even before she moved to Tokyo. "I got a letter saying that if I had sent some unaccompanied goods to Japan and hadn't filled out the proper forms warning customs in advance, then I should write to a certain customs official and apologize. Of course, this is exactly what happened," says Ilene. Not wishing to start off on the wrong foot in her new host country, particularly not a Customs official, Ilene wrote a letter of apology.

NEWSMAKER BRIEFING: Twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, China's foreign ministry holds a press briefing. Normally, most of the bucket seats in the ministry's great hall are empty. The wire services send reporters, but most foreign journalists in Beijing know from experience that the briefings tend to be, well, predictable. Not yesterday, says the Monitor's Bob Marquand. With the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a new US report on human rights, and a Beijing report on human rights all debuting in the prior 24 hours, yesterday's press briefing became a must-see event (this page).

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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