Today's Story Line

Journalism at its best sheds light. Today's story out of Iran is about how one reporter dared to expose the activities of a government-sponsored death squad, the "Grey Eminences." His revelations have been compiled into what has become a bestselling book in Iran. Akbar Ganji is in jail now. But his work has made the once-feared Iranian intelligence agents "a laughing stock," says one diplomat.

Today may be a pivotal day in Israeli politics, one that may alter the direction of future peace talks. Prime Minister Ehud Barak faces several challenges: a no-confidence vote, the threatened resignation of his foreign minister, and the possible return of rival Shimon Peres as president. President Clinton tried to bolster Barak by hinting that the US might move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

David Clark Scott World editor


*IN THE LINE OF FIRE: The streets of Lima, Peru, were "eerily quiet" on what Catherine Elton says is usually a festive, party-filled Independence Day weekend. But Friday's riots changed all that. Between the tear gas and the rocks being thrown by demonstrators, Catherine says, "you had to be alert so you could start running and not get trampled by a stampede." There was definitely aggression from both sides. "It was a cat-and-mouse game where the protesters would push to get through police barricades and hurl rocks."

*INVITATION TO A FIRING LINE: In preparing to take up their new assignment in the Middle East, the Monitor's Cameron Barr and Nicole Gaouette have been referring to the region as a "journalistic snake pit." It is an area where hotly contested issues are seen from diametrically opposing viewpoints and where history is as full of rhetoric as politics. "It isn't easy for humble scribes to get things right. If we go wrong, we hope readers will let us know," they say, offering their e-mail addresses: or

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