Today's Story Line

The bid to restore order and help the refugees in East Timor is about to enter a delicate phase. The UN peacekeeping force now has a green light. Australian troops are ready and have had a working relationship with the Indonesian military. But some elements of the anti-independence militia vow to challenge the Aussies.

The cold-war past is now catching up with KGB spies - and triggering a political firestorm in Britain. Six trunk loads of KGB secrets - the biggest leak in espionage history - are exposing former agents, including a British great-grandmother. Quote of note: "Nobody who spied for the Soviet Union until Mikhail Gorbachev took power can be certain that their secrets will remain secure." - Christopher Andrew, co-author of a book about the case.

Some readers may find the second of a four-part series on Sierra Leone's brutal war disturbing. But the story also reveals an enormous capacity for forgiveness among the young victims.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *MEXICAN-AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD: The Monitor's Howard LaFranchi has a family that reflects some of the nationalist tensions he talks about in today's story about sales of ever-bigger Mexican flags. His youngest son, four-year-old Gabriel, is his only child born in Mexico. Returning from interviewing flag vendors, Howard was met by Gabriel, who asked eagerly, "Did you buy us a flag?" He wanted a big one to fly out in front of the house, like the rest of their Mexico City neighbors. But Gabriel's older siblings don't feel the same allegiance. "If we did fly one out front," they chided, "it would be just for you. You're the Mexican in the family."

*THE HARDEST INTERVIEWS: Today's story on victims recovering from Sierra Leone's civil war gave reporter Corinna Schuler many sleepless nights. "When I approached the village where many amputees live, a two-year-old girl came up and wrapped her arm around my leg," says Corinna. "It broke my heart." She adds that after almost every interview, she was asked: "Is there something you can do for us?" In Part 4 of the series, a list of aid organizations will be published.

CORRECTION: *In an article about India on page 1, Sept. 14, the owner of Sundram Fasteners Ltd. was misidentified. The owner's name is Suresh Krishna. Also, Chandrababu Naidu is not the first Indian leader to emerge from the South. There have been several, including P.V. Narasimha Rao, who was prime minister of India from 1991 to 1996.

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