Today's Story Line

Does the European Union stand for a set of values? Its challenge to right-wing elements of Austria's coalition government, appears to be a defining moment for this club of nations.

Initiatives giving more power to local groups and minorities may be a first step in ending Sri Lanka's civil war .

Babushka's in cyberspace. Internet sales in Russia spread, despite a lack of credit cards .

Beowulf vs. Harry Potter. Which would you pick for its literary merit?

David Clark Scott World editor


*AN INTERNATIONAL TURNOUT: As part of his reporting for today's story on the civil war in Sri Lanka, the Monitor's Bob Marquand attended a commemoration service Sunday for Neelan Tiruchelvam. This constitutional scholar was "not someone that most people would have heard of," says Bob. Yet six months after his assassination, this tribute "drew a remarkable range of admirers from around the world." Among those in attendance were a former Indian prime minister, three judges from South Africa, two former US ambassadors from Washington, and World Bank officials from Geneva. Video tributes were sent by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Aung San Suu Kyi, the prodemocracy activist under house arrest in Burma, and the Nobel Prize winning author Sole Woyinka of Nigeria. "Mr. Tiruchelvam was described as 'a man who never treated any one as an enemy,'" says Bob.


*PROTEST VOTE: Hundreds of Kuwaiti women tried to register their names as voters Tuesday. On the first day of a month-long period during which voters' lists are updated, groups of women arrived to register at 13 precincts, according to Gulf News in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kuwait's 1962 Constitution grants equal rights to men and women, but the election law allows only men who are over 21 to vote or run for office. Last year, Kuwait's parliament voted down a decree that would have granted women the right to vote starting in 2003.

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