Today's Story Line:

On either end of Europe - Kosovo and Northern Ireland - peace diplomacy is getting down to hard reality: ruling out the option of violence. Yesterday's decision by Kosovo rebels to sign a peace deal means the West will try to force Serbia to stop the killing of ethnic Albanians . And tomorrow, President Clinton will try to arm-twist Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams into persuading the IRA to surrender weapons. Quote of note: "What they're looking for is for the IRA to surrender. Unfortunately, that isn't within anybody's gift to deliver because the IRA wasn't defeated." - Mr. Adams.

Lessons from Asia's economic crisis abound, but one that stings is that schools failed to educate workers for international commerce. Quote of note: "You don't have a learning society here. If you go into a coffee shop in Thailand, you won't see people reading. They're just eating and drinking." - Chira Hongladarom, a professor at Thammasat University.

First communism, then militant Islam ripped through poor Afghanistan. Now a peace deal and the return of UN aid may help end 20 years of war.

- Clayton Jones World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *NEVER WEAR ORANGE: The Monitor's London-based correspondent, Alex MacLeod, was in Belfast recently to report on enduring strife there. He says that while he's always met with civil treatment from parties on both sides of the struggle, there are special challenges associated with being English (he speaks perfect BBC) and interviewing, say, republican paramilitaries. There are obvious things, like sensitivity to semantics. Don't use the word "terrorist" around republicans, but never refer to the IRA as "freedom fighters," around Protestant paramilitaries. Dress is also important. Never wear a black beret (worn by republicans) in a Protestant area.

*ARAB CHIVALRY: Living in Jordan, Middle East correspondent Scott Peterson occasionally sees young Muslim women wearing revealing Western clothes. But many others are covered head-to-toe with Islamic dress. Such traditions reflect the dominant role that men still play in a conservative Arab society. A woman's signature means little without a husband's endorsement. Women learning to drive must be chaperoned, so training cars are often packed with people. Scott's wife, Alex, has struggled alone through the Amman airport, burdened with bags and kids - often with no help from men who would not contemplate contact with a woman on her own. But in government offices with long lines, women are still a rare enough sight that Alex is often welcomed to the front - while officials play with the children. "It cuts both ways," Alex says.

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