Today's Story Line:

It's proved difficult for one Pakistani man, who lived in the West and adopted Western ways, to go home again .

South African leaders press Zimbabwe's president to end violence

In Britain, political parties are responding to public disgruntlement caused by asylum seekers .

A new Speakers Corner in Singapore, patterned on England's, signals a departure from old government habits

- Faye Bowers Deputy world editor

Reporters on the job

* THE QUIET DIPLOMAT: Lee Hamilton, the highly regarded former chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, was tapped recently by the White House for a critical assignment: travel to Taiwan for urgent discussions with the newly elected government.

The trip came at a sensitive moment. Across the Taiwan Strait, China was making threatening noises against Taiwan while expanding its missile threat to the island. Though the US has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it has pledged to provide the island with defensive weapons.

Yesterday, Mr. Hamilton told the Monitor's John Dillin at a breakfast meeting that Taiwan's president-elect, Chen Shui-bian, with whom he met twice, is moving with "caution and care." The president-elect has muted his party's demands for independence from China. And he has appointed a premier who opposes independence.

These moves have quieted China-Taiwan relations for the moment. But underlying tensions still simmer. China's demand for "one country, two systems" - the Hong Kong solution - is unacceptable to Taiwan. Yet eventually, China's growing military might could overwhelm the island.

The next step? Hamilton suggests that a new formulation needs to be found for China-Taiwan relations. "It's not beyond the mind of man," he says.

Press Clipping

*EASTER EGG HUNT: Britain's Independent newspaper reports that England's only pair of breeding golden eagles is incubating at least one egg at its aerie in the Lake District, after four years of empty nests.

The pair has produced 18 offspring during their 31 years in the Lakes District, although two-thirds never make it to adulthood. But experts had thought that their breeding days were over.

Bill Kenmir, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Haweswater warden, said the news had "delighted" the staff. "Last year [the birds] did not nest at all and then, lo and behold, we have an egg in time for Easter," he said.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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