Today's Story Line

Zimbabwe plans to sieze one-third of its white-owned commercial farms and transfer them to inexperienced black farmers - with little or no money for fuel or fertilizer. A famine in the making?

German entrepreneurs face fines if they don't go through an apprenticeship first. How long can this medieval system last in the era of the New Economy?

Voters in Montenegro go to the polls Sunday in a "referendum" on the president's pro-Western policies.

David Clark Scott World editor


*RUNNING ON EMPTY: Reporter Shawn Donnan had been warned about the high fuel prices in Rabbit Flat, Australia. But there's really no other refueling option. "The Farrands, who own Rabbit Flat, have a monopoly on unleaded gas for that stretch of the Tanami Desert," says Shawn. Before leaving Alice Springs, Shawn and his photographer played a game of pool to see who would pay for fuel at Rabbit Flat. Guess who lost? "I was pretty sore about it too," says Shawn. But once he understood how difficult and expensive it was to get fuel to Rabbit Flat, Shawn felt less bitter about the A$100 (about US$60 or almost US$4 per gallon) gas bill. While it may be the most expensive place to fill up in Australia, at $2 a night, Shawn says, it's probably the cheapest place to camp.

*SEND ME EARPLUGS, PLEASE: Reporter Lucian Kim suspects that the German craftsmen doing renovations in his building know when he's sleeping or on deadline. The Handwerker - skilled, manual workers who are called in by German landlords - "begin to drill, hammer, or saw as early as possible, usually around 7 a.m. If there are no noisy tasks, they shout at the top of their lungs," says Lucian. But he says, after they've woken up the neighbors, everything quiets down. Today, Lucian was woken up at 7:30 by drilling. "When I finally got up, the drilling naturally stopped ... until I started writing the story. Then it started up again."

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