Today's Story Line

The North-South Korean summit looks like more than feel-good atmospherics. The two leaders say they've agreed to move forward on key issues, including reuniting families and establishing trade and transportation links.

Is Putin stifling free press? The arrest of the owner of Russia's largest independent media empire is considered a troubling sign.

Beaches are closed, and France is struggling to mop up the most extensive - and perhaps the most expensive - oil spill in French history.

David Clark Scott World editor


*HELP FROM CELL MATES: "It is gratifying to find that you can cast yourself on the mercy of total strangers and be helped," says Peter Ford, our European correspondent. He was traveling by train from Paris to the Atlantic coast for today's story on an oil-spill cleanup. But his cellphone wouldn't work. With many work calls to make, he went to the next car and asked if he could borrow a cellphone. A passenger offered him one. But then, calling the mobile phone company's helpline, he was told he needed to try his SIM card (the computer chip in a phone) in another cellphone from the same company. Once more, Peter turned to his fellow passengers. He went through the train asking every passenger with a cellphone in front of them which company they used. When he found a businessman with a matching phone, he then had to ask him whether he would open up his phone and let Peter try his SIM card in it. Amazingly, he agreed. This allowed Peter to troubleshoot his phone and get it working again. "The milk of human kindness still runs rich, even in France," says Peter.

*CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL: Spanish geologist Javier Garcia-Guinea (left) sits in what he says is the world's largest crystal cluster. The 26-foot long cavity in Almeria, Spain, is filled with gypsum crystals, El Pais reports. Some are 6.6 feet long.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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