Today's Story Line:

Peace is built on trust. Be it in the Middle East or Northern Ireland. And the process is incremental. Ask former Sen. George Mitchell. His few weeks as a peacemaker in Belfast dragged into four years. But this week marks a major step forward and will likely yield many more years of trust building.

In Chechnya, trust isn't on the Russian agenda yet, despite efforts by Chechen groups worldwide.

David Clark Scott, World editor


FIRST CONTACT: Mideast correspondent Scott Peterson was wondering how to get in touch with the Chechen community in Jordan. "Who do I know that may know a Chechen," he pondered. By calling around he found a professor who told him about a meeting of the Chechen-Ingush Friendship Society. The next night, Scott went to its offices above a local gas station in Amman. He found 15 to 20 men plotting a rally and family members painting protest signs. The society president quickly broke into English and said, "Mr. Peterson, the floor is yours. Ask whatever you like." Talk about one-stop journalism.


DUELING CLERICS: Abdollah Nouri, director of a popular Iranian newspaper and cleric, was sentenced to five years in prison Saturday, fined $5,000, and ordered to close his newspaper. As the Monitor reported Nov. 10, Mr. Nouri was a threat to conservative clerics. His jailing is a blow to reformers, including President Mohamad Khatami. Nouri was charged with publishing sacrilegious articles and opposing the teachings of Iran's revolutionary leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and advocating better ties with the United States and Israel.


MONKEY FEAST: Considered disciples of a Buddhist god, monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand, are gioven a banquet each year.

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