Today's Story Line

On the Kosovo front, Slobodan Milosevic's firing of Vuk Draskovic, his moderate vice premier, seems to illustrate the Yugoslav president's unwavering anti-NATO stance - and hints at hard times for those hoping he might compromise.

NATO's air war is drawing criticism, even as talk of ground troops builds. The alliance may be reaching for more weapons, including, say some reports, cluster bombs. Might it next reach for depleted uranium, the dense substance used in armor-piercing bullets in the Gulf War? The second part of a Monitor series explores Pentagon policy regarding the controversial ordnance. Quote of note: 'This [DU] is the Agent Orange of the 1990s - absolutely.' - Doug Rokke, a former Army health physicist who was part of the DU assessment team in the Gulf War.

Russia, despite its economic trouble, is attracting poorer Chinese for its better pay. Chinese, in fact, may soon become Russia's biggest non-Russian ethnic group. Footnote: After seven years, a Russian-Chinese commission wrapped up work this week on an effort to resolve old, and tense, border disputes. Some 100 pounds of treaties, maps, and support documents emerged for approval.

Send the paperwork to India? That nation, with its many educated English speakers and high-speed data technology may soon become secretary to the world. Critics worry about worker exploitation in low-tech sweatshops.

- Clayton Collins, Deputy World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *ETIQUETTE HELPS: Zeljko "Arkan" Raznjatovic, a well-known paramilitary commander, seems to instill fear in many in Belgrade. Undeterred, Balkans correspondent Justin Brown decided to try to get an interview with him. Calling him Wednesday evening, Justin hoped to set something up for the coming days. But to his surprise, Arkan was willing to hop over to the Belgrade Hyatt - where Justin is staying - for an interview that evening. Maybe it helped that he addressed Arkan as "komandir," as a colleague of Justin's had suggested. Arkan arrived at the Hyatt with his wife (the popular musician Ceca), as well as other friends for a lengthy chat.

PRESS CLIPPING *GRASS IS GREENER: While Neela Banerjee describes Chinese migrants who go to Russia for jobs, this week's Far Eastern Economic Review reveals North Koreans sneaking into China - for food. "When [North Korea's] famine began in 1995, mainly peasants and factory workers foraged for food in China. Now they are joined by party members and other elites...." The article says about 100,000 North Korean migrants have settled in China, whose border region is thriving.

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