Today's Story Line

There are few tragedies greater than a childhood lost to war. Some 6,000 children are now soldiers in Colombia's civil war. But measures are being taken to stop such recruitment. And a new program has been set up for former child soldiers to reintegrate into society.

One of the most divisive issues facing post-colonial Africa is the redistribution of land. In Zimbabwe, black squatters are being given the official nod to take over white-owned farms.

Six years and $2.2 billion later, the United States has largely pulled out of Haiti. What was accomplished?

David Clark Scott World editor


*THE GUERRILLA CONNECTION: What got Latin America correspondent Howard LaFranchi interested in doing a story on child soldiers was a trip last summer to southern Colombia's guerrilla-run zone. "It was very unnerving to walk around a town where kids who should have been kicking a soccer ball were carrying AK-47s bigger than they were," Howard says. While talking to a former girl guerrilla now in a state program, she abruptly perked up. "She wanted to know if I'd passed through the guerrilla checkpoint leading out of the town of San Vicente del Cajun. When I said yes, she smiled and said, 'You know I think I remember you. You were a journalist so we let you through.' "

* REAL YAKYU (BASEBALL) FANS: At last night's opening game of the Major League Baseball season, the Monitor's Cameron Barr was seated just in front of a major fan. Asako Inatsu attended one-third of the 130 games played by the Yomiuri Giants last year. Each time the Cubs' slugger, Sammy Sosa, came to the plate, Cameron heard her saying, "Let's pray, let's pray, let's pray." Mrs. Inatsu was waving a big Sosa sign, written in Japanese. "The television camera operators were not Japanese, so they couldn't read it. The poor woman wasn't getting any attention," says Cameron.

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