Today's Story Line

Walk the beat with a US cop in Kosovo, and the scope of the challenge becomes clear - no courts, few interpreters or forensic equipment.

Quote of note: "I don't know what it was. I knew enough to know they needed help. And I wanted to help." - a policewoman from Tampa, Fla.

A long-term casualty of the graves found in Ciudad Jurez, Mexico, may be US-Mexico antidrug cooperation.

Until now, Russian troops have met with little resistance in Chechnya. But that may be changing.

David Clark Scott, World editor


SORBS, NOT SERBS: Correspondent Omar Sacirbey found that when interviewing Germany's ethnic Sorbs, it helped to have grown up sharing some parallel experiences. His family emigrated to the US from what is now Bosnia and strove to preserve its language, traditions, and Islamic faith with his generation. Omar says some people who were initially reserved opened up when they heard about his background: "I explained what it was like trying to preserve these things while growing up in the States, and people would respond with knowing smiles."

BIG STORY, LONG QUEUE: The Monitor's Howard LaFranchi in Mexico and Scott Baldauf in Texas double-teamed today's story on the finding of 100 or more graves near Ciudad Jurez. For his part, Scott worked the phones on the US side, but one key source proved particularly elusive: Jaime Hervella, the head of the International Association of Relatives and Friends of Disappeared Persons. At 8:40 a.m., Scott called directory assistance in El Paso, Texas, got the number for the only Hervella listed. It was Mr. Hervella's son, who passed along his father's work number. The line was busy. Then, Scott was told, "Mr. Hervella should be back in five minutes." Followed by a busy signal. "He's doing an interview with Canadian TV." Then, it was Swedish TV, and Univision, a Spanish-language TV network. "It was like that all day," says Scott, who finally spoke to Hervella at 8 p.m.


ANOTHER WALL FALLS: A controversial wall separating Gypsies (also known as Roma) from other residents in a Czech Republic town was torn down last week. As the Monitor reported on Nov. 8, the seven-foot-high wooden fence between two neighborhoods in Usti nad Labem had become a symbol for continuing discrimination against Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech government says it will buy three small houses to allow residents to move elsewhere.

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