Today's Story Line:

Pakistan's military coup leader outlined his plans yesterday for a gradual transition back to democratic rule

Africa is a higher priority for this US administration than any other in recent memory. Today, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright begins her third tour of a continent that will display distinctly different faces: war and poverty as well as newfound democracy and economic growth .

As long as Afghanistan hosts Osama bin Laden, sanctions will be leveled .

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB.. *TIMING IS EVERYTHING: At the start of Nigeria's landmark presidential elections last February, there was a rush to interview Olusegun Obasanjo, the leading candidate. Most journalists converged on his party's headquarters in Lagos, where he was scheduled to hold a morning speech.Reporter Lara Santoro joined a smaller group that set their watches on "Africa time," meaning guaranteed delay. Then they drove three hours west of Lagos to Mr. Obasanjo's chicken farm. Sure enough, they found Nigeria's soon-to-be-president out in the yard with his chickens - at about the time he was supposed to be making his speech in Lagos.

PRESS CLIPPING.. *FOX-HUNT FINANCIER: One of China's richest men is a secret benefactor behind the protest movement challenging the British government over plans to ban fox hunting, reports The Sunday Times in London. Larry Yung, son of a former vice president of China, has given up to 650,000 (US$1.1 million) to the Countryside Alliance. Mr. Yung lives in Hong Kong but owns an English estate. The Countryside Alliance, which includes hunters, farmers, and landowners, has refused to name its benefactors. Last year the alliance rallied 280,000 supporters to a London protest. In its two years, the Countryside Alliance has become one of Britain's most powerful pressure groups.

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