Today's Story Line

communist china wants nothing to mar its 50th-anniversary bash. No cell-phone calls, no pollution, and certainly no dissidents. But what will the next 50 years bring?

Quote of note: "[The government will move ahead with] cautious steps toward political reform if the 50th anniversary passes without any significant disruptions." - a senior party official

Japan faces yet another nuclear-power mishap. But the energy-poor nation shows no signs of slowing its plans to build more nuclear plants.

Mexico's opposition parties have abandoned a joint-candidacy plan, all but clearing the way for another victory for the world's longest-ruling party.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *INDOOR CAMPING IN DILI: With little food or clean water, and few structures left in Dili, living conditions are primitive at best. But the Monitor's Cameron Barr hasn't had to break out the canned chili or Vienna sausages yet. He's staying, with several other journalists and aid workers, at a former Roman Catholic retreat center. The facility's caretaker family makes meals from rice and packets of dried noodles. "Protein is in short supply. There seem to be bits of chicken or pork, perhaps, and cassava leaves chopped into the noodle soup," says Cameron. "But like everyone here, we basically fill up on rice." The bottled water he carried in is almost gone. "We're going to have to purify the brown stuff coming out of the tap or see if the Australian troops can spare some," he says. To avoid having to swat mosquitoes all night, Cameron sets up a tent in his room. "I'm sure it seems odd to the locals - using a tent inside a perfectly good room," he laughs.

*CANDIDATE HIDE-AND-SEEK: The Monitor's Robert Marquand learned the hard way that few Indian parliamentary candidates stick to their campaign schedules. "After several days of racing around to different villages and never spotting a candidate, I decided to park and wait," says Bob. But even that strategy required some patience. The shortest wait was 90 minutes. The longest wait: four hours for the arrival of Priyanka Gandhi, who campaigned for her mother, Sonia Gandhi.

FOLLOW UP ON A MONITOR STORY. *EATON'S ON THE WEB? The Monitor reported on Sept. 2 that Eaton's, the 130-year-old Canadian store chain, was folding. Last week, Sears announced it was buying eight Eaton's outlets (and the Eaton's name), and has an option to purchase another five. There is speculation that Sears will use the Eaton's name for a new Web shopping site in Canada.

Let us hear from you. Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail:

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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