Today's Story Line

Democracy and free markets? When's the pay off? Ultimately, opening Latin America up to foreign competition means better goods and services and lower prices for such things as long-distance phone calls and television sets. But for many Andean countries, the benefits aren't significant for poorer citizens. Why political unrest is growing in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela .

Would you give police your DNA to help catch a crook? The men of Wee Waa, an Australian village, are stepping up to help solve a rape case. But the growing use of DNA dragnets is prompting some complaints about the threat to privacy .

Nunavut one year later. A look at perhaps the world's largest experiment in creating an indigenous state . Quote of note: "Every day we're making history." - Nunavut territorial commissioner.

Stung by criticism over human rights abuses in Chechnya, Russians are ducking behind a new Iron Curtain .

David Clark Scott World editor


*ROUGHING IT IN NUNAVUT: Canada's remote northern territory of Nunavut is too snowbound to rely much on roads. Aircraft are the "truckers" of Nunavut. And that kind of make-do approach permeated the visit of the Monitor's Ruth Walker to the region. On her "rattly prop-driven" aircraft, some of the seats were pulled to make room for extra cargo. Upon landing in Cape Dorset, one of Nunavut's major towns, she tried to phone the hotel for a ride. The phone didn't work. As she walked away, she noticed the next guy in line pull some tools out of a bag to fix the phone himself. Her hotel ride, it turns out, was the same driver and flat-bed truck that brought the bags from the plane to the terminal. When she tried to check out from the hotel (one guest described it as "a couple of nicks above a homeless shelter") they couldn't verify her credit card because the phone lines were down. She was sent to the general store down the road to pay her bill.

*COCA SMUGGLER? During Howard LaFranchi's recent trip to Peru, he stayed at a remote hotel that had little packets of (legal) coca tea in the room. "Intrigued, I stuck a couple of the labeled packages in my sack to bring home and show my wife." Two days later, Howard was being ushered into the presidential palace in Lima for an interview. But he was stopped by the guards who brought out a German shepherd to sniff his shoulder bag, probably for explosives. Howard started sweating. "Suddenly I remembered that I still had those dang coca tea bags in my sack. What if this dog also sniffs coca and I'm thrown into jail?" But the dog apparently wasn't interested in his tea bags.

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