Today's Story Line

As a young monarch, he has posed as a taxi driver and an old man seeking medical treatment. Yesterday, Jordan's King Abdullah II took on the role of Arab peacemaker in his first official visit to Israel (page 1).

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin is waving an olive branch. But are the Chechen rebels united enough to make a peace pact effective (this page)?

In post-Gulf War Kuwait, democracy and Western influences have sprouted. But so has Islamic fundamentalism (page 8).

Surveys show a growing number of youths favor the Web as a news source over television. Ananova, a cyber newscaster, may be well positioned to tap that market (page 7).

David Clark Scott World editor


UNINVITED GUEST: Robert Marquand's story today about India's monkey problem has its origins close to home. The Monitor's office in New Delhi was broken into last week, for the second time. The culprit? A rhesus monkey. He pushed a loose window pane out. Once inside, he chewed pencils and candles and opened file cabinets. He rifled Bob's desk, opening every small box: paper clips, staples, magic markers, everything in the hunt for food. Sabrina, Bob's housekeeper, knew what to do. "You don't corner a monkey to get him out. And you don't look at him - that's considered a challenge. You hit the ground with a stick," says Bob. "After much pounding of the floor with a dust mop handle, eventually the chap wandered out."

DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT... While in Kuwait, the Monitor's Ilene Prusher went to interview the leading conservative Islamic parliamentarian. "I expected an austere and serious individual," says Ilene. Instead, when she arrived at his home in an elegant, middle-class neighborhood, he strolled out dressed in his white robe sucking a lollipop. "He tossed the lollipop into the garden and launched into a joke about dumb farmers. I felt like I'd walked into a comedy routine."

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