Today's Story Line:

Home is where ... the government rebuilds. In this case, Venezuelan authorities are moving homeless flood victims to inland settlements.

The war in Chechnya goes to Lebanon. Muslim sympathizers attacked the Russian embassy yesterday.

The interdependence of Palestinian and Israeli businesses is clearly embodied in a West Bank stonecutting business. Locals wonder how things will change if a peace deal is struck.

Will the US pay millions of more dollars to the Marshall Islands to clean up the radiation from nuclear weapons tests?


*INHOSPITABLE? While reporter Ilene Prusher was visiting the Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar, famous for its stonecutting factories, she started to grow concerned that her interview subjects didn't want to talk to her. She's accustomed to being offered a chair and a hot cup of tea upon arrival in most Arab villages. The absence of such hospitable offerings usually means that the interviewees are not interested in talking to a reporter, but are too polite to say so. But then "It finally occurred to me that it was Ramadan," says Ilene. The Islamic holy month is marked by dawn-to-dusk fasting. That includes a prohibition against drinking water (and thus no tea).

*ON (AND OFF) THE ROAD: Several days after the Venezuelan floods, reporter Phil Gunson set off for the affected area. Only one side of the four-lane highway from Caracas to the coast was passable. At one point, it took three hours to travel one kilometer. Upon reaching the port of La Guaira, Phil found that 90 percent of the road along the coast washed away or buried under mud and debris. So, he hitched a ride on a tug boat bound for the nearest affected town, and hiked inland to talk to refugees of the floods. The road to the airport is still restricted, he notes. Departing passengers must check in at airline offices in Caracas and take a designated bus to the airport.

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