Today's Story Line:

Ever since President Woodrow Wilson uttered the words "self-determination," America has tried to help many oppressed peoples to form new nations. Is Palestine next? President Clinton's trip to Gaza yesterday was an American nod to at least consider the possibility.

Environmentalists have curbed the world's appetite for ivory, but a need to reduce the overcrowding of southern African elephants may revive sales of tusks.

Where does justice end and forgiveness begin? That may be the issue for Chile in whether the Pinochet case unleashes a legal assault on all military leaders involved in human rights atrocities.

- Clayton Jones

World Editor


* APARTHEID'S AFTEREFFECTS: Writer Kate Dunn in Cape Town had an encounter with illegal ivory sales that is a window on today's South Africa. A charming, intelligent young African named Lazarus had worked for her husband, Leon Slabbert, on construction projects for two years. Lazarus was always involved in get-rich-quick schemes ranging from diamond smuggling to selling marijuana. Leon didn't blame him, as apartheid had long denied Lazarus any legitimate avenues of advancement, particularly basic schooling. The hope was that learning a legitimate trade - welding - would persuade Lazarus to go straight.

Then one day Lazarus made off with Leon's power tools. Several weeks later he called to say he would make good on what he stole if Leon would help him dispose of an elephant tusk. Leon declined, lamenting the criminal path that Lazarus and so many other capable young South African blacks are on. A while later, Lazarus's aunt said he had been killed in a fight. Kate says every black family she knows has lost at least one member to murder. Meanwhile, the two-year-old son that Lazarus never cared about is somewhere in a slum, growing up in similar conditions to his father's.

* THORNS OR FLOWERS FOR PINOCHET: The Pinochet case polarizes Chilean society in odd ways, finds Latin America writer Howard LaFranchi . When a British judge decided the former military leader could walk in a garden while under house confinement, well-to-do women in the Pinochet Foundation were appalled that the former president they consider their country's savior could be treated like a common criminal. But the families of the detained and disappeared said a garden was too good for the man they hold responsible for their loved ones' fate.

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