Today's Story Line

Striving for equality and the betterment of humanity are two themes coursing through today's stories. In Bombay, India (page 1), where 55 percent of the people live in slums, grass-roots and international efforts grow to help with housing. In Somalia, an Olympics team vows to put its country back on the map. In Uruguay, a music revival is helping erase racism. And in Kosovo, NATO is asking for help with ethnic violence ahead of fall elections.

Faye Bowers Deputy world editor


*THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS: The Monitor's Delhi correspondent, Bob Marquand, says the railway squatters are famous, or infamous, for jamming the tracks. "One drives past them all the time - but rarely do reporters or even many Indians go to see them and drink tea while the trains lumber past," Bob says.

The biggest surprise to Bob: "The huts were far more immaculate, and the small community far more educated than one might assume."

*MOSCOW MEETING: The Monitor's Fred Weir says he ran into a group of sailors last year from Severodvinsk, the home of the northern nuclear submarine fleet

The shipyard workers told Fred they hadn't received their wages for months, and some only got by with the help of family members who had paying jobs or received state pensions. "One of the men, a welder, told me he played hooky from work all summer to grow potatoes in his rural land plot," says Fred, remembering this is the Arctic.


*NEW SOMALIA GOVERNMENT: A Somali National Assembly met for the first time yesterday. As reported in the Aug. 3 Monitor, it was formed by rival clan elders, religious leaders, business people, and peace activists who have been meeting in neighboring Djibouti since May.

It was inaugurated Sunday amid cheers of women dressed in colorful robes and the rhythmic hand clapping of 2,000 delegates celebrating the arrival of their first central government in a decade.

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