Today's Story Line

Was there a hint of autumn in the Moscow air? Russian leader Boris Yeltsin sacks his prime ministers almost as often as the season changes. Now on No. 5 , Mr. Yeltsin may be maneuvering to protect his supporters as the elections approach .

Welcome back, Libya? Why the US and Europe are rekindling diplomatic and commercial ties to several nations in northern Africa .

A ban on civilian gun ownership is part of Brazil's effort to reduce one of the worst rates of violent crime in the world .

- David Clark Scott, World editor


*POLITICAL CLOUDBURSTS: When Moscow reporter Fred Weir heard that President Boris Yeltsin had picked his fourth prime minister in 18 months, he called his Russian wife. "Congratulations, you have a new prime minister," Fred said. "Here we go again," she replied. Her response, says Fred, is typical. "Russians view Yeltsin's political capriciousness like bad weather; they now feel that there's nothing they can do about it."

*DUCK IS ON THE MENU: Reporter Jack Epstein says that during his seven years of living in Rio de Janeiro, he's seldom seen the violent crime that's common in poorer sections of the city - except once. Relatives were visiting from the US and they went out to eat at an Italian restaurant in Leme, a fashionable beachfront spot. During the meal, a lady dove under their table. "What are you doing?" Jack asked. "The bandits and police are shooting at each other," she replied. Puzzled, Jack looked around. Suddenly they heard gunfire. "Then everyone in the restaurant ducked under their tables," he says.


*WEST BANK BEEF: US-based Muslim and Arab organizations are telling folks to forgo Whoppers and other Burger King fare to protest the opening of an outlet in the West Bank, an area contested by Israelis and Palestinians. The land, seized by Israel in 1967, will be part of expected peace talks. Burger King has 10,000 outlets worldwide.

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