Today's Story Line
BOSTON — Don't look now, but the US could be fighting two low-level wars this week. As American fighter jets continue to hit Iraqi air-defense sites, US-led NATO may be hitting Serbia's military targets as soon as Wednesday. The air battles will not be easy. Quote of note: "The more you learn about their integrated defense system, the more you realize you don't know about it." -Western official.
The first balloon flight around the world won't have the historic impact of the Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, but the endurance and expertise of the crew come close to other 20th-century aerial feats.
America stands nearly alone in isolating Cuba. But now some nations trying to "engage" Cuba are rethinking their stance in light of last week's sentencing of four dissidents .
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *MOOD OF BELGRADE: As airstrike threats loom over Yugoslavia, correspondent Justin Brown says people in Belgrade are calmer than when a similar situation arose last October. Although many are continuing about their usual business, one reminder of the possible danger is in the graffiti on the city's white concrete buildings. Graffiti was one of the few ways people could express dissent when Yugoslavia was under communism. Now it's directed at the West, showing a jumbled mixture of humor and anger. "Clinton: Either bomb or I will paint my house," reads one spray-painted statement. Another is "Columbus: You made a huge mistake."
BEHIND THE SCENES *(VERY) HIGH DRAMA: Much of the developed world had an opportunity to fly along with the Breitling Orbiter 3 as it circumnavigated the globe: Portions of the crew's in-flight journal, annotated by its ground crew, were posted on the Internet (www.breitling-orbiter.ch). The log recorded light moments - the making of pointy hats out of flight maps, the grumbling about dehydrated food - as well as moments of high drama. Over the Pacific on March 12, midway through their flight, the crew made some "minor" repairs. One episode recalls the scene in the film "Star Wars" where Han Solo pounds an instrument panel aboard his decrepit starship, the Millennium Falcon, to force it to make the "jump to hyperspace." On Breitling, crewman Brian Jones tackled a jammed fuel valve by hitting it with a hammer. "Laying along the outriggers to get to tank valve 14, with Bertrand [Piccard] holding my foot, was not much fun," Jones observes in the entry. He also notes it was the first time the pilots had opened the hatch in more than a week - an event that served to improve the smell inside the gondola.
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