Today's Story Line

Japan's recent nuclear safety mistakes are a wake-up call to Asia. While splitting atoms for energy isn't in vogue in many Western nations, Asia's pace of growth and lack of fossil fuels make more nuke plants a necessity.

Born and raised on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the next generation of young Israeli activists is resolutely blocking the path to Mideast peace.

Five years and a $40-billion relief package later, the Mexican economy looks ready to withstand any election-year turmoil.

You won't see "Melrose Place" or "ER" on German TV. Or will you?. - David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *A BOY NAMED BARAK: "Barak! What are you doing now? Barak, stop that!" shouted Shira Drori. Correspondent Ilene Prusher found herself a bit confused during an interview with a right-wing Israeli settler who seemed to be yelling things at the prime minister, Ehud Barak - who wasn't in the room. But it turns out she was scolding her toddler son, also named Barak. The name means lightning in Hebrew. It was the surname the prime minister adopted while in the Army, at a time when Israelis thought it was better to have Hebrew names than Diaspora names like "Brog," his original family name.

*THE LATE SHOW WITH SCHMIDT: Reporter Omar Sacirbey in Dresden, Germany, normally doesn't watch much TV beyond news programs. For his research on German TV shows (page 1), he sat through a few of the soaps. But there's one show that Omar does enjoy each night at 11:15 p.m.: "The Harold Schmidt Show." "It's a German version of David Letterman," he says. Like many German shows, the similarity with its US counterpart is striking: "The same desk, cityscape, a monologue with cynical biting humor, two or three guests, and a musical group," says Omar. But, alas, no Top Ten List.

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