Today's Story Line

Out of the ashes of war in Kosovo, the ethnic Albanians are quickly rebuilding a life, even before foreign aid pours in. One secret: They already had a shadow government under Serb rule before the war.

Before wars become distant memories, scholars are bringing the antagonists of conflicts together to share and reconcile their recollections. Quote of note: "If you don't show up, you're leaving your history to someone you may disagree with." - scholar James Hershberg.

Latin America, impatient with the US for not moving faster on a free-trade zone, finds Europe to be a better deal.

In Russia, political candidates put their name on consumer products. And in eastern Germany, love grows for the old communist-era car, Trabant.

- Clayton Jones, World editor

Reporters On The Job *OVERHEARD IN KOSOVO: While touring the town of Djakovica for a story on its ethnic Albanian provisional government, reporter Jonathan Landay was shown a basement room at the telephone exchange where Serbian police were able to monitor any telephone call. It was built originally for former Yugoslavia's communist secret police, who could listen to a call with an earphone, use a tape recorder, or patch it into police headquarters. All that was left of a Serbian presence was a gun holster with bullets and two reel-to-reel tapes.

*THE REAL RIO: Rio-based correspondent Jack Epstein, reporting on preparations for Monday's economic summit, says his tropical metropolis of 6 million inhabitants hasn't seen anything like it since the 1992 environmental summit, when 10,000 diplomats from 178 nations were in town. Workers are fixing potholes and street lamps, scrubbing off graffiti, and planting 7,000 trees. And beggars have disappeared from the conference area.

*POWER SNIFF: Our Moscow bureau did a sniff test on the cologne Mer, named for Moscow's mayor (page 7). They agreed with a spokeswoman's description that it had a "complicated, pulsing odor," with hints of grapefruit and bergamot, an ingredient of Earl Grey tea. This scent of power didn't wash off easily - it lingered for days.

*BUILT TRABI TOUGH: At a car meet for his story on Trabants in Germany, reporter Omar Sacirbey saw an example of easterners' solidarity and fondness for the little cars. The only vehicle that became mired in the muddy fields was a Mazda. Trabi drivers good-naturedly chided the driver as they pitched in to get him unstuck.

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