Today's Story Line
BOSTON — Five days of NATO bombing have yet to buckle the Yugoslav regime of Slobodan Milosevic. The Serb military and people are proving tough, while public support of the war in Europe and the United States may weaken as the bombing takes longer. Even Mr. Milosevic's domestic foes are backing him. But the horrid details of the slaughter of Kosovo Albanians by Serbs have triggered some official cries of genocide. If President Clinton uses that word, then under an international convention on genocide, he would need to send in ground troops . Quote of note: "I'm leaving today." - an ethnic Albanian who saw Serbs throwing bombs in her neighborhood in the Kosovo capital.
Russia's reaction to the war will reshape both its domestic politics and its ties to the West. Nationalists and Communists see NATO's attacks as the first step to an eventual attack on Russia. But Moscow's reaction is muted by a need for $4.8 billion from the West.
Perhaps of more long-range significance than Kosovo is China's official embrace of the Internet (page 8). Imagine the slow-downs on the Web when 1.2 billion Chinese sign on. Quote of note: "If the current government is to lead China into the 21st century and not be dragged into it, it must be ready to let go of its grip on discourse and expression, at least within the realm of cyberspace." - Ken Farrall, publisher of a Web site on Internet use in China.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *ANYONE GOT A SEARCH ENGINE? The Communist Chinese bureaucracy has a long history of treating even the most mundane official statistics as state secrets, and there are few signs that officialdom here is rushing to embrace the notion of freedom of information. Beijing-based reporter Kevin Platt says the Ministry of Information Industry, one of the main backers of the new government project to widen the use of the Internet, refused numerous requests for information about the program, as did spokesmen at the State Economic and Trade Commission, another co-sponsor. "Many officials still think their power depends in part on limiting access to information, and it's going to be difficult to change that mindset with the Government Online program," said one ministry official.
MILESTONES *A GERMAN-JAPANESE AXIS: Little noticed in last week's news was a historic coincidence: On Wednesday, both Germany and Japan used military force against a foe for the first time since World War II. Japanese warships shot at two North Korean ships near its shores, and German pilots took part in the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia. Both nations are now in a lively debate.
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