Today's Story Line:

It all seems so easy now - sending American troops "over there" (Europe). First, they went for World War I, then WWII, then the cold war, then Bosnia. Now, the Clinton administration wants to commit up to 4,000 troops to another Balkans hot spot, Kosovo - assuming the peace talks outside of Paris go well in coming days. Our story deals with what's at stake for both the Serbs and the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo - and the Americans.

How the disenchanted young people of Iran celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Islamic revolution is a key indicator of where that country is heading.

As Britain decides whether to release former dictator Augusto Pinochet, Chile itself looks less likely to try him.

The Central Asian state of Kazakhstan is slowly awakening to its Soviet-era environmental disaster.

- Clayton Jones World editor


Trust the French to raise the art of street demonstration to new heights of sophistication, reports Paris correspondent Peter Ford. The last time that protesters against a new law benefiting homosexual couples went marching, their leaders said they had rallied 100,000 people but the police counted only 7,000. Last Sunday, there was no room for doubt. Organizers of a second demonstration set up electronic turnstiles at a bridge across the Seine, equipped with photoelectric cells. They counted 98,403 demonstrators. The police estimate: 100,000.

*IRAN AND AMERICANS: "Where are you from?" asked the Tehran taxi driver of correspondent Scott Peterson. In Iran, where the "Great Satan" is official policy, the usual answer-for an American is an artful dodge. Still, it is sometimes worth taking a chance: "America," Scott said, expecting a grimace. But the driver's face lit up: "Yes, yes, we Iranians LOVE Americans. It's just the government we don't like."

FUTURE NEWS *POST-MITCH: Central American leaders are mapping out an agenda for President Clinton's visit to the region in mid-March. Among their requests: a free-trade agreement to help the region recover from November's Hurricane Mitch. On Wednesday, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and other senators introduced a $834 million bill for further humanitarian assistance and rebuilding of infrastructure. It also calls for substantial debt relief and trade facilities to extend to Central America "the same treatment currently given to Mexico under NAFTA," Senator Graham told correspondent Howard LaFranchi in Mexico City.

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