Today's Story Line

Mexicans marched confidently and calmly into uncharted political territory with last Sunday's vote. The election of Vicente Fox as president marks the overthrow of the world's longest-ruling party.

Half a world away, citizens of Sri Lanka wonder if their inspiring leader has squandered her opportunities to make peace. A look at the passionate and articulate Chandrika Kumaratunga.

Save the whalers? Even environmentalists say that the ban on commercial whaling will soon come to an end.

Britain confronts public loutishness and a crime rate that's, horrors, worse than America's.

David Clark Scott World editor


*ANONYMOUS NATION: "They'll talk, but no one will allow you to quote their names," says the Monitor's South Asian correspondent, Robert Marquand, of his interviews in Colombo, Sri Lanka. "It's the most quote-sensitive place I've ever reported from." Sri Lankans are unwilling to link their names to their words, says Bob, because they're afraid of retribution by one side or the other in the civil war. Since the introduction of media censorship laws, he's seen a reluctance to even talk with journalists.

*THE FACE OF A FOX: Shortly after the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi arrived as a correspondent in Mexico City in 1994, former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari left the country in disgrace. The economy was in financial tatters and Mr. Salinas's brother, Raul, was accused of fraud and murder. But Howard continued to see the visages of the Salinas brothers around the city. Street clowns would cavort in Salinas masks for peso handouts. The masks are still worn in the streets, although no one laughs at them anymore. On Sunday night a new mask appeared in the streets - the mask of president-elect Vicente Fox. And the refreshing twist to the masks' debut, says Howard, is that they are being worn in support of the future president - at least for now.

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