Today's Story Line

Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov announced he is joining forces with ambitious Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and All Russia, an alliance of powerful regional governors. This is likely to increase stability in Russia, but may further strain relations with the West. Quote of note: "Primakov is a compromiser. But the compromise is usually at the expense of the US," - Harvard University's Russia expert, Marshall Goldman.

Meanwhile, South Korea is trying to speed up reforms to its vulnerable economy. The government announced it is deconstructing one of its largest conglomerates - Daewoo.

During NATO airstrikes, many Serbs tried to maintain a normal existence. But as the bombing stopped, many have been forced to confront their country's devastated economy. It is leaving many disillusioned, depressed, and apathetic - especially young Serbs.

In India, a burgeoning middle class can afford more cars. But that is spawning much more traffic in the already crowded streets of Delhi. If you think driving in Manhattan is tough, take a ride on a rickshaw in Delhi.

- Faye Bowers, Deputy world editor


*ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Monitor correspondent Bob Marquand says he finds the traffic in Delhi is the subject of lively dinner debates that provide enlightening insights into the nature of India. One school has it that there is an underlying harmony to the traffic, like jazz, that drivers intuitively feel. Another school says no, the streets are chaos, there's no order. Others say the streets are anarchy - a different principle entirely. Then there are those permutations of those debates: the "functioning anarchy" vs. "functioning chaos" debate. Bob concludes that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays one school holds true; on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the other does. But he has no idea which.


*COPING: Lucian Kim, the Monitor's contributor from Yugoslavia, learned quickly in Belgrade that it was unwise to call any young people before noon - "Almost all were inevitably sleeping. I met few people who work jobs with regular hours, and that's certainly not because they're slackers." Lucian says that as the Aug. 19 anti-Milosevic rally date approaches, most young people are filled with skepticism and doubt. But they have learned to survive. "One friend (a very, very bright guy) told me he can survive on the $50 a month he gets from his mother as long as he goes shopping at the produce market," Lucian says.

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