Today's Story Line

Pakistan's deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted yesterday of hijacking and terrorism. The verdict effectively clears the decks of any political opposition to coup leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

The race for the presidency of Peru is another story. The latest poll shows a dead heat. But critics claim that President Alberto Fujimori's control of the media gives him an edge.

Who knows who gave Germany's Helmut Kohl more than $1 million in illegal funds? Try the Stasi collection. The former East German secret police made some 50,000 transcripts of bugged conversations between German pols.

David Clark Scott World editor


*PERUVIAN PRESS 101: During his recent trip to Peru, the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi got an informative but highly opinionated daily review of the Peruvian capital's print press. The woman running a makeshift newsstand on the street near his hotel, "took it upon herself to run down the row of newspapers she had attached with clothespins to a fence, reviewing them with the efficiency of a professor using PowerPoint," says Howard. "She'd tell me which newspapers I could trust (only one or two), which had nothing but sports and celebrity gossip, and which were mere government mouthpieces. She also said that if I could assure regular delivery, she'd make room on the fence for the Monitor."

*INTERNET ACCESS: Beijing-based Kevin Platt says that during his interview with Lois Snow, she complained of being harassed when she tried to arrange to meet Kevin and other international news organizations. "She says that some of the incoming calls to her hotel room were blocked," says Kevin. Her solution? Mrs. Snow called her daughter in Geneva, who in turn sent out e-mail messages and press releases to Beijing-based correspondents, as well as the Chinese press.

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