Today's Story Line

Sierra Leoneans struck a peace pact this summer bringing to an end eight years of civil war. A laudable achievement. But the deal gave high government posts to rebel leaders and a blanket amnesty for combatants who committed gruesome acts of cruelty against civilians. It's a peace agreement that brings to mind the biblical passage: "Peace, peace; when there is no peace."

The challenge of conducting peace is also evident in Kosovo, where Serbian civilians face almost daily revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians. NATO commanders admit order won't be established until a civilian police force is created. Meanwhile, Serbian generals are fueling nationalist sentiment in Yugoslavia and Serbian paramilitary forces are already slipping back into Kosovo. Quote of note: "The violence in Kosovo serves Milosevic." - a Yugoslav historian.

The 148-day student strike over tuition hikes at Mexico's biggest public university is emblematic of fundamental shifts in how Latin Americans value higher education.

Young Americans - 30,000 by one tally - are flocking to Prague, the city of medieval spires, for fun and fortune.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *MASH UNIT FOR THE MEDIA: Reporter Shawn Donnan visited the Olympic village under construction in the Sydney suburbs. His impression: living quarters will be tight. A house where 16 athletes will be living in eight bedrooms will become a four-bedroom home with a double garage after the Olympics. How? "They're putting the athletes everywhere - even in the garages," says Shawn. Still, he adds, it looks a lot better than where organizers are planning to put the media horde. The media "village" is at an old hospital and the rooms "look like army barracks."

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