Today's Story Line

Welcome to the Bill Clinton international roadshow. OK. Maybe that's too glib. But one might need an atlas to keep up.

In Tanzania on Monday (Aug. 28), his brief visit arguably helped Nelson Mandela to persuade some - not all - of Burundi's warring factions to sign a peace deal. Tuesday dawned with Mr. Clinton spending some quality time - about an hour and a half - in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Arab support is likely to be crucial to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, particularly on the question of Jerusalem.

Clinton's next diplomatic pit stop takes him to the seaside city of Cartagena, Colombia, on Wednesday. It's the first visit to Colombia in 11 years by an American president. Clinton's visit follows last month's approval by the US Congress to spend $1.3 billion on anti-narcotics aid. Most of it is going to the Colombian military. That's up from just $65 million four years ago.

Next week, the world will come to Clinton's door. The United Nations will host a Millennium Summit, the largest single gathering of heads of state in one place.

David Clark Scott World editor


*NOT-SO-REVEALING DETAILS:The Monitor's Ilene Prusher notes that journalists often end up collecting more information than we ever have room to use - and sometimes trying to read more into a person's effects than is really there. While doing today's profile on a lawyer in Japan who tracks down deadbeat dads, Ilene glanced around Annette Eddie-Callagain's office. She noted the Japanese sliding doors and office slippers in an otherwise American-style office, the John Grisham novels, and little elephant figurines. Then she spotted an item that seemed most relevant - a small replica of the Lincoln Memorial. "One of your heroes?" "No, not really," Ms. Eddie Callagain shrugged. "I just thought it would look nice in the office. Like those books back there," she said, pointing to a row of red-and-blue legal tomes. "It just makes it feel more like a law office." Sometimes a Lincoln is just a Lincoln.

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