Today's Story Line

Like the casualties in a small foreign war, hundreds of Mexicans and others are dying each year while trying to slip across the US border in the Southwest. Officially, the US doesn't want the migrants and has beefed up its border watch, which only increases the toll. What to do? The US and Mexico are working together to implement solutions. Critics say the United States should loosen its border security.

These are critical days for Germany under a new center-left leader with bold plans that could reshape Germany's identity and its role. But after 100 days in office, Chancellor Gerhard Schrder has stumbled.

Our sources at the Kosovo talks reveal a hardening of positions that doesn't bode well for a diplomatic solution .

- Clayton Jones, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *LOOK, A FOREIGNER LIKES JAPAN! When Tokyo correspondent Nicole Gaouette arrived at a school for novice geisha (or furisode) to watch a dance lesson (page 10), a Japanese TV crew was there filming a short segment. They stared, frowning, as she began taking photos. Were they feeling territorial? Their producer came over and asked if they could do an interview with her. Suddenly their furisode story had become a "foreigner interested in furisode!" story. And Nicole was under the hot glare of camera lights, being grilled. At the end of the day, after they had filmed her taking photos, rewinding film, snacking on crackers, even putting on her coat, she was grateful that her job keeps her on the other side of the journalistic coin.

*FUNERAL IN JORDAN: From Mideast bureau chief Scott Peterson's vantage point for King Hussein's funeral yesterday, he could see world leaders, princes, and notables walking the final stages of the king's journey in total silence. But inside the palace grounds, where a private ceremony took place, the most subtle tribute was a white horse. Its saddle burnished with use, the horse pranced riderless, with two polished black boots facing backward in the stirrups. It symbolized that Hussein was a warrior.

*YEARNING TO CROSS: In reporting today's story on the US-Mexico border, correspondent Howard LaFranchi found that even increased information about the dangers of crossing the border is not stopping Mexicans from seeking work in the US. "Our campesino population is aware of how difficult it is to cross, but with all the risks they face they are still going, and in growing numbers," says Jos Guadalupe Carrasco, head of a group of campesinos and migrants in Michoacan, one of Mexico's top exporting states of migrants.

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