Today's Story Line:
An eruption of violent protests by Kurds swept Europe Feb. 16 in response to news that Abdullah Ocalan, who led a guerrilla campaign for a Kurdish state, had been captured by Turkish officials in Nairobi, Kenya. It's a big moment for Ankara. And for the near term, it may remove one source of friction in relations between NATO-member Turkey and Europe.
A United Nations-led effort to stem conflict by pegging aid to disarmament is just one approach to the $3 billion world trade in small arms. Less attention-grabbing than nuclear warheads, light-caliber weapons like the AK-47 rifle - the silhouette of which even made it onto the national flag of Mozambique - play a key role in conflicts worldwide. UN correspondent Minh Vo offers a survey of solutions.
From small arms to long legs: However you feel about Barbie, there's no denying that the doll is in full global-proliferation mode, as well. Toymaker Mattel has worked to modify the product for world markets. But can this particular version of ultrafemininity crack the Mideast market by way of Islamic Iran?
- Clayton Collins Deputy World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *EXHAUSTIVE COVERAGE: Latin America correspondent Howard LaFranchi, who reports on a complicated bid to ease air pollution in Mexico City, says he has run up against local pollution-control driving restrictions only once - the day he drove into town in August 1994 to start his new assignment. Howard says he had been assured by various officials that Friday was his day to stay parked. Driving down from Texas, he entered Mexico City on a Wednesday - actually the day cars with plates ending in 3 or 4, like his, must stay home. No sooner had he crossed the city line when two motorcycle cops pulled him over, demanding the traditional mordida on the spot. Howard respectfully declined to pay the bribe - but he's never made the mistake of driving on a Wednesday since.
PRESS CLIPPING *FORGET 'FAMILY FEUD': In an event that illustrates both the pervasive nature of American culture and a diversity of opinion about the morals of easy money, Turkey's state media watchdog on Feb. 11 ordered a one-day ban on two television stations whose game shows it said were "humiliating" and violated laws on competition, says the Associated Press. Kanal D station, which airs the Turkish version of the "Wheel of Fortune," and another station were ordered shut for failing to get permission from the authorities. The state also said the games "encouraged people to make a fortune without any effort." The stations were told to review the games' formats to avoid harsher punishment.
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