Today's Story Line

In the land of Gandhi, where the concept of peaceful resistance was defined, violent attacks on Christians are on the rise.

Chernobyl's last active nuclear reactor is shutting down. But it could take 60 years to do it right.

Japan may be witnessing the birth of a true multiparty democracy. In last Sunday's election, opposition parties garnered broad voter support for the first time.

David Clark Scott World editor


*REJECTING A BIAS: The Monitor's Robert Marquand first reported on attacks on Christians in India in 1998. But he says, because the newspaper has "Christian" in its title, he has tended to stay away from reporting most incidents. "I don't want to be typecast here as a reporter dedicated to pleading the case for a specific interest group," says Bob. But the attacks on Christians are headlining major Indian news outlets and "no objective journalist could ignore recent events."

*ROYAL GUESTS DON't TELL: London-based correspondent Alex MacLeod says he doesn't mind that his taxes support the queen's real estate holdings. But he favors turning Buckingham Palace into a museum. "It's in a perfect location, right smack in the middle of London." He visited Buckingham Palace the first day it opened to the public in 1993. The rooms are "remarkably cramped," but the grounds are spacious.

Elizabeth wasn't home, but Alex boasts he has met Her Majesty on two occasions. "One is not supposed to recount conversations with royalty, but one can say that she learned more about me than I learned about her."

*FLYING FIRE HAZARD: In Brazil, a centuries-old tradition is clashing with modern public-safety laws. Every June, homemade balloons are sent skyward carrying baskets of fireworks to honor Roman Catholic saints. But 43 percent of the forest fires near Rio de Janeiro in 1997 were started by the balloons.

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