Today's Story Line

In Europe, only soccer is more popular than cycling. It's big business. And evidence continues to mount showing that drugs are widely used to enhance cyclists' performance. But what's perhaps most troubling about today's story (page 1) on the doping trial in France is that French youngsters are increasingly emulating their "heroes." Another doping scandal in Italy apparently prompted Pope John Paul II (a avid athlete in his youth) to comment last week on drug use in sports. He said the human body had to be safeguarded from "any type of attack against its integrity, from every exploitation, from every idolatry."

David Clark Scott World editor

RABIN'S LEGACY: On the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Yitzhak Rabin, reporter Ben Lynfield recalls the answer Rabin gave him during an interview for a Monitor story in January 1994. "I asked him how he defined Zionism. His answer is what I remember most about him today, because it was so nonideological and so sensible," says Ben. Rabin's answer: "I believe the Zionism of today is not judged by how we expand the territory under Israeli sovereignty. I believe the real Zionism is the return to Zion of most of the Jewish people from all over the world to build up a society that can serve as an example of traditional Jewish values coupled with Western civilization."

THE GALOSHES BEAT: Reporter Alexander MacLeod says that after experiencing 40 London winters, he keeps a pair of rubber shoes in the trunk of his car "just in case." Of course, this week's floods had him wondering if hip waders might be more appropriate. And with panic buying at gas stations and many streets awash, Alex decided to take the train to London's West End. "But I found my local station padlocked with a sign saying 'closed because of floods.' " Back at his car, Alex bumped into "a chap who recalled that Britain's train operators usually complain that winter hold-ups are caused by 'leaves on the line.' This time, the man suggested, they had an even better excuse: The leaves had trees attached to them."

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