Today's Story Line

As Americans mark 25 years since the fall of Saigon, they may recall the soul searching of US conscientious objectors. In Russia today, thousands of youths face a similar choice: serve in Chechnya or dodge the draft.

This week, China is prosecuting top government officials in an ongoing corruption crackdown. But a Chinese economist says that the Communist bureaucratic and legal system actually invites corruption.

Westminster meets Inuit: A culture clash north of the 5th parallel.

David Clark Scott World editor


*ONLY AN INTERVIEW ON THE MENU: Gen. Sitiveni Rabuka, a Fiji coup-leader-turned- statesman, agreed to meet reporter Shawn Donnan for lunch at the best hotel in Honiara, Solomon Islands. General Rabuka ordered curried chicken. Shawn requested a sandwich. The two conversed for more than an hour, but lunch never arrived. "If that happened in New York or Boston, you can imagine the reaction," says Shawn. But Rabuka was "completely unperturbed" and dashed to another appointment. Later in the day, Shawn ran into Rabuka and apologized for the lack of lunch. "Don't mention it. Breakfast is a necessity, lunch is a luxury, and dinner is a social event," said Rabuka with a smile.

*OBJECTING TO A BIAS: While growing up in Canada, Moscow-based Fred Weir recalls with pride that when he was a youth his family often hosted American conscientious objectors as they fled the US and waited to get Canadian documents. Does that make him biased, when reporting on a story about a young Russian testing a constitutional right to escape military service? "Not unless you consider favoring constitutional rule of law a bias that I shouldn't bring to a story. It's what Russians themselves say they've been striving for since 1991: to bring the rule of law to their country," says Fred.

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