Today's Story Line:

The process aimed at ending "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland is again in trouble. The cause is familiar: IRA disarmament. Politicians in London and Dublin are scrambling, but the clock is ticking.

The rise of Austria's Freedom Party is fueled by the fear of foreign workers. Despite one of the strongest economies in Europe, 61 percent of Austrians expect unemployment will increase.

A Mexican governor bans underage drinking by foreigners, earning the wrath of local businesses. But among Texas parents near the border, he's a hero (page 1). Quote of note: "I salute him for taking up this issue.... Finally, we have someone taking a stand." - an El Paso school principal.

David Clark Scott World editor


*BAR WARS: Mexico City correspondent Howard LaFranchi, writing today's story on drinking by underage American youth in Mexico, says some US discos will be happy with a ban on serving minors across the border. The drinking age is 21 in Texas, Howard says, "but in El Paso, if you listen to radio stations the kids listen to, as the week draws to a close, you hear more and more ads for clubs making the point that they admit anyone over 18." They also say they won't serve alcohol to anyone under 21. But the mayor of Jurez, Mexico, told Howard that there have been cases where some El Paso discos have been caught serving alcohol to minors from both the US and Mexico.


*SNOWMAN BAN: Recent heavy snowfalls in Israel have prompted Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu to issue a number of snow-related rulings. His latest places a freeze on children building snowmen on the Sabbath, reported yesterday's edition of Ma'ariv, an Israeli daily. The rabbi ruled that this activity was work, not play, and thus violated the sanctity of the Sabbath. But the rabbi ruled that children could make snowballs, and could throw them - provided the intended target agrees.

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