Today's Story Line:

israelis and palestinians are slowly laying the ground rules for peaceful coexistence. The latest way mark: the opening of a safe passage route bisecting Israel that allows Palestinians to travel freely between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Are the pro-Indonesia militias that have terrorized East Timor preparing for a counterattack? Eurico Guterres, the leader of one group, won't talk strategy. But in a rare interview, he does express his determination to fight on.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *FLYING WITH SERENDIPITY: Waiting in the airport lounge for a flight out of Kupang, West Timor, Oct. 5, the Monitor's Cameron Barr saw a familiar face. It was Eurico Guterres, the leader of East Timor's reviled Aitarak militia. Seizing the moment, he and another journalist approached Mr. Guterres but were rebuffed. Still, an interview with Guterres was a rare opportunity, and Cameron wasn't going to settle for just one "no." Guterres was on the same flight. During the plane ride to Bali, a note was passed to Guterres again requesting an interview. He agreed. They spoke for 20 minutes at the Bali airport.

FOLLOW-UP ON A MONITOR STORY * JUSTICE IS PATIENT: In January, the Monitor reported on the start of the trial of Dinko Sakic, commander of one of Croatia's infamous World War II concentration camps. On Oct. 4, Mr. Sakic was found guilty of torturing and killing inmates in 1944. He received the maximum sentence possible, 20 years in prison. During the war, Croatia was a Nazi puppet state. Tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Gypsies, and dissident Croats were killed in the concentration camps. The case was seen as an important test of the young nation's ability to face up to its past. "We hope that the sentence - made 55 years after the events - will be a warning that all those who committed crimes in the near or distant past will not escape justice," said chief judge Drazen Tripalo.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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