Today's Story Line
BOSTON — Five weeks into the NATO-Yugoslavia war, here's one big unanswered question: If NATO wins, who will rule Kosovo? The Kosovo Liberation Army, whose drive for an independent homeland sparked the Serb crackdown two years ago, expects to take power - with NATO's help. But who runs the KLA? It's an odd mix of guerrilla fighters with no central authority. Quote of note: "I love those guys. But believe me, I don't want them in power." - a young refugee woman from Pristina who has frequent contact with the KLA. From Albania, the outgunned KLA has fought for a corridor into Kosovo where they hope to attack Serb forces. Quote of note: "These [Serbs] are good fighters, have good equipment, but low morale. We have taken a lot of prisoners." - a KLA commander.
Did China's Communist leaders learn from the 1989 Tiananmen massacre? In an amazing display of tolerance rather than force, the government let 10,000 followers of a meditation sect hold a peaceful protest in Beijing on Sunday. Police even handed out bread (instead of shooting bullets) so protesters would not leave hungry. The sect itself has millions of followers in China.
The unseen heroes in new or restored democracies are the people who actually run elections. They are getting help in the mechanics of conducting a fair vote independent of government.
- Clayton Jones, World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *IT'S WHO YOU KNOW: To reach the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) units pushing into Kosovo from Albania, long-time Balkans writer Jonathan Landay had to go through Bajram Curri, a decrepit town awash in guns and full of thugs. Even the waiter in the only hotel packs a .45 and a walkie-talkie. Only two hours after his arrival, his KLA escort's Jeep was heisted, the driver forced out by pistol-wielding thieves. As the Jeep roared away, his escort hopped into a passing ambulance and sped off after it, while the driver jumped into a cruising police car, which broadcast the alarm. The police, run by a clan chieftain with whom Jonathan's escort is friends, blocked all of the town's exits. Three hours later, the Jeep was returned, arriving at the front of the hotel in a dust-spewing cavalcade of SUVs piloted by the police commander's underlings. While his friend was grateful, nothing was said about the fact that two of the vehicles driven by the commander's underlings had been stolen a week earlier from Western news organizations. And nothing was said about what happened to the thieves of the Jeep. Jonathan stored his own Jeep in the town's central parking lot, a fenced-in enclosure over which sits a watchtower with powerful lights and a 24-hour armed guard.
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