Today's Story Line:

The hijackers of an Afghan airliner may have gone to Britain in a quest for higher visibility. But the Stansted airport where they've landed is specially designed for this kind of situation.

Is Canada soft on terrorism? The US is making moves to tighten security on the border.

A dawn police raid brought to an end the 10-month strike at Mexico's biggest university campus. But questions of equity in education remain unsettled.

Elephants have rights, too. A court ruling in Sri Lanka gives pachyderms the right to food, lodging, and happiness.

David Clark Scott World editor


*DINNER PARTY DISCLOSURE: The Monitor's Howard LaFranchi was writing about the end of a drawn-out strike at Mexico's biggest university when he recalled a dinner party conversation. It was a few months ago, with a senior government official who had just left office. "In the US or Europe, I doubt that a student strike would be allowed to go on this long. It would hurt too many people - students, teachers, and the local economy," said Howard to the official. "It looks like the government is ignoring it." The official replied: "If you'd asked me that question while I was in office, I would have denied it. But now I can say, you're right."

*BORDERs AND BOOKS: The Monitor's Ruth Walker, an American living in Toronto, has been told security is tighter on the US-Canada border. But she hasn't seen it personally. Ruth has transited the border several times in recent months and has never been stopped and asked to show I.D. Officially, non-Canadians entering the country should carry a birth certificate or a passport. But according to a recent Toronto tourism office press release, some US citizens have a somewhat informal sense about documentation for entry into Canada. One American asked, "Can I get into Canada with my library card?"


*POETIC JUSTICE: Voters in Japan made history Sunday, electing their first woman to the post of governor. Fusae Ota will serve in Osaka, Japan's second-largest prefecture and an important commercial region. Ms. Ota succeeds former Gov. Knock Yokoyama.

As reported on Dec. 23, Governor Yokoyama resigned after a civil court awarded $107,000 to a female campaign worker who said that Yokoyama had sexually harassed her. It was the largest monetary award of its kind.

Ota, a former official at the ministry for international trade and industry, prevailed over two male rivals. Japanese women first gained the right to vote 55 years ago.

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