Today's Story Line

Bombs and bullets fired in Yugoslavia will ricochet far beyond that small corner of Europe. The world's balance of power will tilt toward the West now that the US and its NATO allies have ignored Russia, China, the UN, and others in exercising power outside of NATO's borders. The war is about far more than saving Kosovo's Albanians, although the West may now have to accept their goal of independence from Serbia. Quote of note: "You can't get independence only with NATO bombs." - KLA leader Hashim Thaci, calling on residents of Kosovo to organize. One chunk of real estate to watch is Central Asia. The reaction of the former Soviet states to NATO's military foray may reveal a desire to join the alliance - or to stay within Moscow's sphere of influence.

Speaking of ricochets, a Western-style economic reform - shareholders' rights - is showing up in South Korea, post-crisis.

- Clayton Jones World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB * QUESTION AUTHORITY: As our Belgrade-based correspondent, Justin Brown, hurriedly left his apartment yesterday for safer lodging in a city hotel, a security officer approached Justin's car at the end of his driveway. Justin nervously eyed the officer's holstered gun as the man ordered him to stop. Justin replied that he urgently needed to get elsewhere. "No, you must wait here," repeated the officer, "for 10 minutes." Then he walked through a doorway and out of sight. Appreciating the special rules of work during wartime, Justin sped away to the Hyatt to join the many foreign journalists camped out there. But his stay - in a great room, Justin says - may be shortlived: Yesterday, Yugoslavia ordered the expulsion of all foreign journalists from warring NATO countries. At time of writing, he wasn't sure when he would strike out for the border.

* SWORD MIGHTER THAN THE PEN: At least 118 journalists were in prison in 25 countries at the end of 1998 and 24 journalists in 17 countries were murdered during the year in reprisal for their reporting, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

* STOCK THEATER: Seoul-based reporter Michael Baker spent nine hours at Samsung's shareholder meeting last Saturday, and amazingly he didn't fall asleep, even though the chairs were really comfy. He was kept awake by the amusing spectacle of watching what must have been hired Samsung men standing up and telling anti-management activist Jang Ha Sung to shut up. In fact, one of them was so incensed that he call the Samsung chairman "incompetent" for not making Jang shut up.

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