Today's Story Line

It would be hard to overstate the depth of change occurring in Germany's political power structure. For most of the past 50 years, the conservative Christian Democratic Union held sway. Now the CDU is in serious trouble.

News editors daily filter events and photos "unfit" for their audience. Last year, graphic and disturbing video images of atrocities in Sierra Leone were kept off the air. They appeared in South Africa this week. Next week, they'll go out on CNNI. If these scenes had been broadcast earlier, would fewer people have died?

Chechen war refugees in Ingushetia are are fighting - to stay alive.

David Clark Scott World editor


*TOO HIGH TECH: Sometimes, getting the story is easy. Sending it to editors is the hard part. Yesterday in Berlin, the Monitor's Peter Ford found himself longing for the low-tech days: "All I had to do was strip the modular jack from one end of my modem cable, attach a couple of metal crocodile clips, unscrew the back of the phone wall-plug, attach the crocodile clips to the right screws, and away I'd go."

But in his modern Berlin hotel, the phone jack was built into the wall. And the phone system didn't give a standard dial tone until you dialed 0. But Peter's computer modem won't dial until it hears a dial tone. He called a computer technician who talked him through some complicated changes to his modem settings, "deep in the workings of my computer, which I do not really understand." It still didn't work.

After several hours of "trying everything," he went to the front desk to get a direct line out. "No, they didn't have one. But they sent a technician to my room. He unscrewed the modem plug in the wall. And voila! A loose wire." In the simpler, pre-digital age, Peter would have found the loose wire immediately when he "hot-wired" the connection.

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