Today's Story Line:

One sideshow worth watching in the Iraq-US crisis is the verbal attack and counterattack between Saddam Hussein and two Arab nations, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Both sides are playing to Arab public opinion, which may influence events in the region. Quote of note: "The whole Arab world is really changing now, especially after the last military hits by the American and British. Now a lot of Arabs are seeing that the Iraqi regime doesn't want peace." - a Kuwaiti analyst. Militant Hinduism helped push India to test nuclear bombs last year, but that same militancy has erupted in religious intolerance against minority Christians. With America now watching for such attacks worldwide, India's right-wing Hindu government may come under fire. - Clayton Jones World editor REPORTERS ON THE JOB NAVEL NUANCES: Monique Stauder got a taste of Indian humor while reporting her story on the maharajah. When she wasn't feeling well, palace aides asked if her paychuti (belly button) was breathing correctly, an indicator of well-being Monique wasn't familiar with. Everyone laughed when someone suggested that as an icebreaker she ask the maharajah how his paychuti was doing. She found other ways to get him talking. ON REFLECTION GANDHI AND KING: A comment by a member of India's princely clan seems appropriate for Martin Luther King Day. "We [the royal class] have outlived our utility. Perhaps the meek shall inherit the earth in the 21st century," he said. The late Dr. King toured India 40 years ago to increase his understanding of Gandhian nonviolence. Both King and Gandhi were remembered last year by a number of international groups in what was called a Season for Nonviolence. The purpose: "We are demonstrating that every person can move the world in the direction of peace through their daily nonviolent choice and action." MILESTONES THEY'VE GOT MAIL: More than 50 percent of those wired to the Internet in Britain keep in contact with friends via e-mail, according to the London-based Independent, compared with the European average of 34 percent. Britain's overall Internet use at home, at 14 percent, is about half the level in America - and trails Sweden, where 21 percent are online at home. But a poll done for The Guardian newspaper showed the pace of expansion this year in Britain is set to be more than double last year's rate of 1 percent every two months, meaning 43 percent could be wired to the Web by 2000. Let us hear from you. Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail:

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