Today's Story Line

Many Americans recall the night - televised live under bright lights - US Marines splashed ashore in Somalia. They remember, too - probably even more vividly - the images of Somalis cheering as the body of a captured American soldier was dragged mercilessly through the streets. That drove Western interventionists - and the cameras - out. It's easy to forget, minus TV, the chaos that ensued. But nearly 10 years later, 2,000 Somalis have crafted a peace agreement that just may bring the warlords' clans and the religious leaders together .

Many analysts say that despite the hail of political blows to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the next few weeks present the best possibility - in 50 years - for peace to take hold between the Israelis and Palestinians .

Meanwhile, the fledgling cease-fire in Kashmir is under attack by militants opposed to this deal. And, in a country that since 1945 has tried to deal with its zealous past, right-wing extremists in Germany are escalating their attacks on minorities, especially foreigners .

Faye Bowers Deputy world editor


* ACCIDENTAL TOURISTS: Earlier this summer, when the Monitor's Bob Marquand flew to Kashmir from Delhi, he encountered "two tourists." "I sat next to two blokes from Scotland on the flight," Bob says. They told Bob about their exploits in the Indian capital, rock bands they'd heard in various pubs. They asked Bob to recommend a good night spot in Kashmir.

Bob asked them if they knew that Kashmir was 98 percent Muslim and observant Muslims don't use alcohol. And what about the insurgency? "What insurgency?" they replied. Bob says he spent the rest of the trip explaining the political situation. When they deplaned, and were put through intense security checks, the tourists turned to Bob and asked if he knew when the next return flight took off.

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