Today's Story Line

Iranian Jews say they are welcome in their home country. Iran has one of the world's largest Jewish populations in a Muslim country. But the outcome of a trial of 13 Jews accused of spying could hurt relations with the West and may be tangled in internal politics.

Who gets to be an electoral observer and how long can they watch? Critics say Mexico is limiting oversight of its coming presidential elections.

Canada's Inuit try to sell sealskins in a politically correct world.

David Clark Scott World editor


*SpIn LIKE A TORNADO: Politicians everywhere do their best to 'spin' a story to their advantage. But the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi encountered some high-powered torque that reinforces calls for more election oversight of Mexico's July 2 presidential election. The governor of Chiapas, Roberto Albores, according to published reports, was caught in a recorded telephone conversation telling a state press official to make sure the local press declared the ruling party's presidential candidate, Francisco Labastida, the winner in Tuesday's televised debate among six candidates. Analysts and polls across the country named the opposition candidate Vicente Fox as the winner. But - surprise! - Chiapas newspapers Wednesday morning ran large headlines trumpeting Mr. Labastida's "triumph."

*ZlatKO? ZLATKO WHO? Zlatko, the hero of the "Big Brother" TV show is on TV, magazine covers, radio, and is the subject of small talk across Germany. But when reporter Lucian Kim mentioned to friends his latest assignment, most reacted as if he'd asked them about reading supermarket tabloids. "Either they said that they had never heard of Zlatko or didn't care," says Lucian. Yet while watching "Big Brother" with a friend, who claimed to "never" watch it, Lucian's friend betrayed himself midway by commenting on the previous day's show. He backpedaled, saying that he'd only been zapping through the stations.... Right.

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