Today's Story Line
BOSTON — If NATO's war against Yugoslavia were chess, Slobodan Milosevic would have won most of the opening moves with a predictable strategy. At first his military was saved by cloud cover, then just by hiding. He's amassed more power among Serbs and, by one theory gaining credence, he may be willing to sacrifice some or all of Kosovo to consolidate his political power. Quote of note: "The Serbs have governed in a way that shows they are not interested in keeping [Kosovo]." - Christopher Hill, chief US negotiator.
Some 200,000 refugees from Kosovo have gone from ethnic cleansing by Serbs to ethnic bonding with fellow Albanians in Macedonia. Homes have been thrown open to welcome the refugees in an informal network that reacted quickly to the crisis.
A list of some international groups aiding the Kosovo refugees is on page 9.
In Rwanda and Somalia - two African nations plunged into violence and chaos in the early 1990s - there are signs of recovery and normal life.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *FIGHTING BUNKER MENTALITY: Balkans correspondent Justin Brown says a nightly ritual is developing at the Belgrade Hyatt, where many foreign journalists are staying. Around midnight, the noise of airstrikes sends reporters, photographers, and TV camera operators stampeding down three long corridors that lead from the central lobby near their rooms to the windowed areas offering the best vantage points. Those who pick the wrong hallway come panting back and try another. If a blast appears close by, some strike out to investigate. Those from NATO-member countries are faced with deciding whether the event measures up to the risk of venturing too far out in the dark.
*WORTH HIS WEIGHT IN KHAT: Getting into Somalia these days is not easy. The main Mogadishu airport is contested by warlords, and commercial flights are rare. But there is lots of traffic: Every morning at dawn, a fleet of small planes arrives from Kenya packed with fresh stems of khat, a mildly narcotic plant that is legal and widely chewed in Somalia and Yemen. To fly to Somalia, you must pay for your weight in khat and then some more. Scott Peterson's flight (story, this page) was so full of khat that there was only a foot-wide gap in the bundles of weed and the ceiling of the plane. The pilot had to wriggle through the cabin to get to the cockpit. Upon touchdown, dealers take over the load and drive it to market under armed guard. The dusty airstrip known as Kilometer 50 was custom-built for khat flights so that business could continue regardless of the state of fighting in the city.
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