Today's Story Line

Time out.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak is calling for an official break from the peace process. In the wake of continued fighting and the just-concluded Arab summit, his call sounds more like a statement of the obvious than a new policy position.

The Israeli public remains staunchly supportive of a peace process. But there's growing confusion over what kind of peace deal to support. Arab public opinion is apparently moving in the other direction. Street demonstrations and editorial comments throughout the region took Arab leaders to task for not moving to break off ties with Israel.

David Clark Scott World editor


DO-IT-YOURSELF JACK: The Monitor's Cameron Barr was concentrating so intently on writing his story yesterday that he failed to notice the technicians systematically removing all the telephones and telephone jacks from the press area of the Cairo conference center where the Arab summit was held. With the story written and editors chewing their nails in Boston, he discovered there was no place to plug in his computer modem to send the piece. "Fortunately," he says, "the day before, I purchased a telephone jack, the kind you'd buy at a hardware store to install a new phone line." With a pocket knife he stripped one of the remaining phone lines at the conference center and wired up the jack. Three minutes later the story was in Boston.

WHO'S DOING THE INTERVIEWING? The Monitor's Nicole Gaouette was interviewing peace demonstrators in Jerusalem yesterday. But an elderly woman began eavesdropping, and then interrupting. "She was berating me for not asking the right questions and challenging the terminology being used by the peaceniks," says Nicole. "If you're reporting on the frontlines of the debate here, you are quickly brought into the debate. I ended up answering more questions - about my views, nationality, etc. - than I asked," she says.

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