Today's Story Line

Two stories in today's issue are indicative of a rising global moral indignation over the indiscriminate nature of the weapons of war. First, the late Diana, Princess of Wales and the Nobel Committee put land mines on the map. A new report shows that nations are complying with the ban. Now, another movement is building to prohibit the use of cluster bombs . Like land mines, these are cheap and highly effective weapons. But many of the tiny cluster bomblets lay unexploded long after peace is declared. And the victims of the brightly colored bomblets are often unsuspecting children.

In Colombia, a major portion of the population is expressing exasperation with the civil war and kidnapping of civilians by staging a week of peaceful protests culminating with a march on Sunday .

Quote of note: "There is an irresistible strength to a country demanding peace. The march symbolizes that strength, and demonstrates our faith that humane and dignified life is possible in Colombia." - Ana Teresa Bernal, a program organizer.

David Clark Scott World editor


*SEND IN THE MARINES: Maybe it was the effect of President Clinton's Colombia visit. Howard LaFranchi says that in every trip he's taken to Colombia since 1995, several Colombians have asked when the US Marines would arrive to straighten the country out. "This time [in the days before and after Clinton's nine-hour visit last week] I suddenly realized that nobody had mentioned the Marines," Howard says, "but I guess I drew conclusions about a changing Colombia too soon. On my last day in Bogot, I had two taxi drivers in a row ask the same three questions: 'Are you American? Isn't Clinton a great president? When will the Marines come to end the mess in Colombia?' I told both of them not to hold their breath."


*'MA'S FAMILY ARMY' DISCHARGED: The China Daily reported yesterday that the country removed 27 athletes from its Olympic team, "some because of 'suspicious' results from doping tests." Among those dropped were six of the seven members of "Ma's Family Army," a group of women long-distance runners coached by Ma Junren, who was also removed.

He Huixian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Olympic Committee, said in Beijing yesterday that leaving the athletes who had "suspicious blood tests" out of the Olympic team showed China's determination to fight doping. The move was praised by International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch: "The object is to have clean games, no? It's good for the image of sport," he said.

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