Today's Story Line
Three weeks into the bombing over Kosovo, many sides are searching for the endgame.
NATO allies, buoyed by public support and unified in the hope that bombs will save Kosovo, are nonetheless talking about a negotiated end to the war. Russia, despite its threats, is on standby to mediate a deal with Serbia. International aid workers are asking whether the world's compassion for some 500,000 ethnic Albanian refugees will cool. And hundreds of ethnic Albanians are heading to Albania from their homes in Europe to either join the war or find families. Quote of note: "There is now an unwritten law: All the men in good health between 18 and 50 must go. If they refuse, they are in trouble. I have seen thousands of them in the past week alone." - an ethnic Albanian heading to Albania from Italy.
Surprisingly, many Serbs are fleeing to countries such as Hungary, and even seeking American visas. Those Serbs who remain in Belgrade and have been opposed to Slobodan Milosevic are in hiding or, in one case, killed. Quote of note: "This is one big game between America and my government and one side will have to give up. But I know that in the end, America will come and help us rebuild." - Jelena, a Serb psychologist fleeing Belgrade into Hungary.
All these developments, however, may mean the endgame to this war is still a way off.
- Clayton Jones, World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *You can take them out of the city: Monitor writer Robert Marquand, who reported from the Kosovo capital of Pristina in the early 1990s, had a surreal experience visiting the Stankovic refugee camp in Macedonia. Most of the refugees are from Pristina, a city of wide boulevards, high buildings, and until two weeks ago, such amenities as Internet cafes. An entire people from a metropolitan city had been forced out with 10-minutes' notice and forced into a giant campsite with acres upon acres of tents lined up in a beautiful valley.
The refugees behaved as if they were still in a city. Women dressed in nice clothes and families greeted Bob as if he were entering their homes. They wanted to keep their dignity and composure. In response, many reporters and aid workers have let the refugees use cell phones to call their relatives in Europe or America. Children flocked around the NATO soldiers, who responded warmly by letting them drive in the stakes for the tents. Aid workers gave the children hundreds of colorful balls to play soccer. Often, the children would group together and throw the balls up in the air, creating a rainbow of color over the camps.
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