Today's Story Line

Mexico's ruling party, the PRI, puts its seven-decade winning streak on the line in Sunday's presidential election. But win or lose, it's the PAN's Vicente Fox who has fundamentally altered - for the better - the democratic process.

Taiwan tries, yet again, for warmer relations with China. But Beijing is cool to the approach.

A prairie rebellion is brewing in Canada over a new national gun registry.

Iceland provides a pristine laboratory for human genome mapping. But some are uncomfortable with the ethics of selling medical and DNA records.

David Clark Scott World editor


*HANGING WITH A NORSE HERO: Reporter Colin Woodard has interviewed prominent public figures before. But interviewing geneticist Kari Stefansson at a cafe in Reykjavik, Iceland, was "like being with Bill Gates." Locals surreptitiously snapped photos of Dr. Stefansson and waved as they walked down the street. "He fits their icon of the hero in Norse sagas - the warrior poet who leads men into battle but is a thinker," says Colin. Stefansson left Iceland, became a famous geneticist, and has returned as "the conquering, wealthy hero from abroad, bringing with him cutting-edge science," says Colin.

*HISTORIC SELECTIONS: On the eve of Mexico's closest-ever presidential elections, one might expect Mexicans to be abuzz over the vote. Yes, and no, says the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi. Some Mexicans were focused on another historic event: The National Basketball Association draft. Oklahoma star Eduardo Njera became the first Mexican ever to be drafted to an NBA team. "As one cab driver told me, 'Presidents come and go, but placing a paisano [a compatriot] in the NBA is not so common,' " says Howard. Njera landed with the Dallas Mavericks, after being selected by the Houston Rockets and then traded. He was one of a record 14 non-US-born players drafted.

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