Today's Story Line

Tomorrow's Panama Canal hand-over ceremony illustrates how far US foreign policy has evolved in this century - from imperialism to partnerships.

The passing of Croatia's Franjo Tudjman may mark the start of a new era for this nascent democracy.

The UN Security Council will vote tomorrow on requirements for lifting nine years of sanctions on Iraq.

David Clark Scott, World editor


IS SHE OR ISN'T SHE? The biggest news story in Japan this weekend was the possible pregnancy of the Crown Princess Masako. But there's been no official confirmation yet. The Asahi newspaper broke the story saying sources in the Imperial household had dropped hints. A media blitz followed. Should the Monitor's Tokyo correspondent Cameron Barr wait for confirmation? "We could wait until it was confirmed, but the issues raised in our story - the pressure on Masako to produce an heir and the debate over the suitability of women to occupy the throne - are valid topics whether she's pregnant or not," says Cameron. Coincidentally, Cameron and his wife, Nicole, had an obstetrician's appointment Friday. Later, Cameron was flagellating himself for failing to get a quote from their obstetrician for the Masako story. Cameron's parental instincts probably took precedence over his journalistic ones - and rightly so.

CAN'T FIGHT MOTHER'S DAY: In planning a trip to Panama, Latin America correspondent Howard LaFranchi thought he had four days available for reporting, but he got only three. Panama celebrates Mother's Day Dec. 8. "Latin Americans are pretty serious about Mother's Day, so I wasn't surprised when just about everything but restaurants was closed for the day," he says. "The Mother's Day displays in store windows next to Christmas decorations left me feeling sympathetic for the average family's budget."


A DOMINICAN IN JAPAN: Baseball slugging star Sammy Sosa gives a clinic to youngsters in a Tokyo suburb on yesterday.

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