Today's Story Line

In the Gulf War, the US military used a powerful antitank weapon: a dense bullet made of depleted uranium. Now the US is ready to use the controversial "penetrator" in Yugoslavia. A two-part report in the Monitor today and tomorrow looks at whether this weapon leaves behind radioactive dangers to humans long after its use. Quote of note: "The battlefield will remain a killing zone long after the cessation of hostilities." - Asaf Durakovic, former nuclear-medicine chief, Veterans Affairs.

The anguish of ethnic Albanians in the war can be felt among those waiting at the Kosovo-Albanian border, hoping their relatives might soon cross over.

Nelson Mandela steps down as president after South Africa's elections on June 2, and one of his legacies is the rise of wealthy "buppies" (black and upwardly mobile). But questions are being raised about how these nouveaux riches fit into the black and still-poor majority.

A delay in implementing the 1994 Mideast peace accord led to a threat by Yasser Arafat to declare a Palestinian state. But Israel's counterthreats and a US nudge have compelled him to back down.

- Clayton Jones World editor REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*ANTI-GLOW GOWN: For venturing onto the seldom-visited Gulf War battlefields of Iraq last year, Mideast bureau chief Scott Peterson took measures to prevent possible contamination by depleted-uranium particles. He already had a gas mask. For a protective suit, he used one sent to him months earlier by an editor during the US bombing of Baghdad. The editor had pulled it from an attic trunk full of what had become his children's dress-up clothes. It had been a gag gift from an in-law formerly with the US Army Corp of Engineers. The editor threw in gloves and duct tape bought at a hardware store.

*RECALL: Kosovo refugees are so terrorized and exhausted from their ordeals that you might think they'd be reluctant to talk to reporters. But, says the Monitor's Jon Landay, as the refugees munch cookies after arriving in Albania, many recall the precise time they were ordered out of their homes and the exact spot at which men were pulled from their families.

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