Today's Story Line

At press time, the Organization of American States was deciding how to respond to Peru's tainted presidential election. Meanwhile, there are growing concerns throughout Latin America about the military's influence on democracy .

Another Aceh? Enthusiasm for independence from Indonesia is high among Irianese leaders meeting this week. But it's a long shot.

China's "little emperors" are using the Net as a force for social change.

David Clark Scott World editor


*INTERNET GAMES: The Monitor's Kevin Platt says that evidence of China policing the Internet is easy to find. He recently e-mailed a copy of an article he wrote to Lin Hai, the first cyberdissident jailed in China. But it never reached its destination. Kevin's e-mail bounced back with the message "The IP address ... is blacklisted. Contact your administrator for details." Kevin managed to get the article through, using another address. "They can try to block sites or e-mail addresses but the technology is always a step ahead of the cyberpolice," says Kevin.

*WHAT's THE PASSWORD? Reporter Dan Murphy says he was the first journalist in 15 years to venture into the Kamu Valley in Irian Jaya last month. The Indonesian military, concerned about an independence movement in the eastern province, keeps foreigners out of the region. Technically, Indonesia no longer requires foreigners to have "walking letters" that give them permission to travel in the country. But in this area, the military still calls the shots and doesn't grant entry. Dan had no walking papers. But he was travelling with a friend whose uncle had been a Franciscan priest in the region for 55 years. "We spent an hour and a half with the local Army commander persuading him to ignore the rule."


*CHAVEZ'S READING LIST: On Sept. 7, 1999 Howard LaFranchi wrote about how Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez's public quotations of "The Warrior's Oracle" had caused a national obsession with the little tome. During a trip last month to Caracas, Howard learned that Mr. Chvez had mentioned another book, "The Serpent's Egg," in a speech. What was the effect? "None at all," said Samuel Moncada, a Venezuelan historian. "It's a book that I wrote about the country's ruling class, published in 1988 - and until Chvez resurrected it, no one had mentioned it since," Mr. Moncada laughed. He did hear that the book enjoyed a short blip in sales after the Chvez speech, "But I've yet to see any royalties."

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