Today's Story Line

Political coattails are catapults for many Asian women. From the Philippines to Pakistan, women have gained positions of authority by using the legends of their once-powerful husbands or fathers. The latest example: the party of Megawati, the daughter of former Indonesia president Sukarno, is winning the June 7 election.

If the June 8 peace pact in Yugoslavia holds, the Albanian refugees are ready to return - but not to live near their former Serb neighbors. A poll of refugees finds they don't even want to let Serbs have access to their holy sites in Kosovo.

NAFTA's success on US-Mexican trade has led some experts to ask if Mexican workers can be allowed to move freely cross the border.

One example of Britain trying to reinvent itself in a new image has backfired. British Airways is returning the Union Jack to its tail fins after painting them with multiethnic logos.

In Japan, which is dealing with a rise in youth violence, an inventor has come up with a game to reward kids for good deeds. Quote of note: "If you're doing something good, I don't think you should expect something in return." - a student.

- Clayton Jones, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *AN EAR IS JUST AN EAR: Visiting the El Paso-Ciudad Jurez metropolis, Latin America correspondent Howard LaFranchi found himself with other drivers waiting at least an hour to enter Texas from the Mexican side. "Most of the drivers ignore the trinket vendors and windshield washers that besiege you," Howard says. But he couldn't ignore the ad that an El Paso radio station played while he was waiting. "The Border Patrol calls them illegal aliens," intoned a male voice, "but we prefer to think of them as new listeners."

*YANKEE GO HOME, WITH ME: Richard Mertens, an American reporter in Macedonia, finds he must straddle two worlds, neither of which makes him feel comfortable. In the capital, the bombing of Yugoslavia has soured people on America. "Aren't you ashamed of what your country is doing?" demanded a man on the street. But in the refugee camps, Albanians treat him and other Americans like a race of demigods. Children grin and pipe "Hello! hello!" like cheeping sparrows. This week one refugee family insisted that he sit for something to eat. Not wanting to offend, he sat. The woman of the house - or tent - laid out on a blanket a tasty meal of humanitarian fare: bread, tomato, cheese, and a tin of unidentifiable meat. There, in the shade of a canvas awning, he ate more than he decently should have. "If you can make Kosovo one of the United States," said the husband, "we'll do whatever America wants!"

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