Today's Story Line

The Mideast truce reached after marathon negotiations at a Red Sea resort offers a glimmer of hope. Both sides agreed to call for a stop to the violence. That's a small step forward. But each side also began prevaricating, attaching post-pact conditions within minutes of the announced agreement. Palestinian and Israeli leaders each want the other to move first (page 1). Regional experts note that similar conflicts in the past have required a cooling-off period before any degree of trust could be reestablished. The next public forum for potential progress toward peaceful coexistence will be Saturday, Oct. 21, at the first Arab nation summit in a decade to include Iraq.

David Clark Scott World editor


YES, We HAVE NO ROOMS: Reporter Fred Weir has traveled throughout Russia for the past 14 years. "And not once have I arrived at a hotel where they admitted to having received my reservations," says Fred. He's called, telexed, and faxed, and confirmed his reservations in advance. But the response at the front desk is always the same: "We are full, and we have no such reservation." But says Fred, every time he has been given a room. "I've concluded that it's an obligatory ritual in the travel industry. You argue for half an hour and you will get a room." And ultimately, he says, the hassle is worth it. "It's a fabulous, endlessly diverse country."


The Monitor's Scott Peterson was interviewing a Serb family outside of a Kosovo hospital guarded by Russian troops. Just before they left, one of the soldiers sent a young Kosovar boy to Scott to borrow a pen. The boy took it back to the Russian soldier, who had him write a note. The boy returned, giving the note to Scott's interpreter, a Serbian woman. "I have been watching you and would like to take you to a cheap bar and buy you a drink," said the note. Scott's interpreter turned red, and fled, leaving behind a lonely Russian.

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