They're cheap and they pierce tank armor like no other ammo devised. On today's battlefield, depleted uranium (DU) bullets are the closest thing the US military has to a "magic bullet." There's just one caveat: the risks associated with exposure to radiation. In a follow-up to a series published last April on DU debris left after the Gulf War, the Monitor looks at the controversial use of these tank busters in populated areas of Kosovo . Quote of note: "You can't say it's everywhere, but you don't have to go far to find it." - a British demining expert in Kosovo.
A new witness to the killing of Monitor contributor Sander Thoenes says that he saw Indonesian Army soldiers shoot the Dutch journalist in East Timor. The investigation into Mr. Thoenes's death continues.
Anti-Milosevic leader Vuk Draskovic says the car crash he survived Sunday in Belgrade was an assassination attempt. True or not, the perception may be enough to unite the opposition (this page).
- David Clark Scott, World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *WATCH YOUR STEP: For today's story on depleted-uranium bullets, the Monitor's Scott Peterson was scouring a mountain top near the city of Vranje, in southern Serbia last month. He scrambled up the slope toward the remains of a radio tower destroyed by US planes. As he stepped from the dirt path into shin-high scrub grass, he looked down. "Less than 12 inches from my foot was one of the thousands of shiny cluster bomblets dropped by US and British pilots. There were no soldiers on the hill," says Scott. "Just an old man and his horse, and further down a woman herding her goats." Scott set up a makeshift flag with a yellow rag as a warning. He told the UN to add the spot to their cluster-bomb map.
*DE PLANE, DE PLANE! The Monitor's Cameron Barr was running late yesterday. As he arrived at the Dili airport, his plane was starting to taxi toward the runway. He pulled onto the tarmac in a truck accompanied by another reporter and his translator. The reporter jumped out and raced toward the small charter plane waving his arms. But a US military transport plane, props turning, was also on the tarmac and was surrounded by US Marines. As this "screaming and waving man ran toward them, the Marines tensed, not know what was happening" says Cameron. The reporter managed to evade the marines and signaled to the pilot of the charter plane. The pilot braked, a hatch opened, stairs were lowered, and Cameron and his two colleagues climbed aboard. The incident, says Cameron, gives fuller meaning to the phrase "catching a flight."
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