Today's Story Line

In the 1990s, about half a million political refugees were admitted into the United States. About half came from Eastern Europe, and one-third came from Asia. How many from Africa, a continent of tremendous ethnic and political strife? About 6 percent. Refugee advocates say the inflows reflect US foreign policy goals and biases. Perhaps. But few would argue that the 4,300 "Lost Boys" of Sudan aren't deserving of a second chance in life (page 1).


THE AMERICAN DREAM: While in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, reporter Mike Crawley asked Peter Lual Deng to show him where he lived. Peter is from the Dinka tribe in Sudan and is among the Lost Boys moving to the US in the coming weeks. The tall 17-year-old had to duck to get through the door of his hut. He's taken some cultural orientation classes, but Peter said that he knew little about the US. "What I know is they just live in peace, with no fighting." Mike couldn't help but notice that one of the few decorations on the mud walls was a Coca-Cola contest poster. The name of the contest is "Win What You Dream."

TURNING TO THE C-SECTION: Personal and public information often prompt stories. Today's piece about cesarean sections in Brazil is an example of both. Reporter Andrew Downie saw a local press report about the high rate of C-sections. Almost at the same time, a pregnant Scottish friend also mentioned that her Brazilian physician just told her that his Brazilian patients insisted on C-sections at twice the rate of the foreign women who sought his services. The combination piqued Andrew's curiosity.

WHO SURFS MOST? South Koreans are the most avid Web surfers in the Asia Pacific region, while Singaporeans chat online more than anyone else in the region, reports NetValue, a Paris-based research firm. The study done in September revealed Koreans spend an average of 15 hours online in a month. Hong Kong residents spend 12 hours, Singaporeans nine hours, and users in China six hours compared with the United States' 11 hours, the data indicated. (Another study released yesterday by Media Metrix showed US users stayed online an average of 15 hours in August, which was more than users in Japan, Canada, Britain, Australia, France, and Germany). NetValue's findings show that Asian users lag in online shopping. Only 58 percent to 63 percent visit e-commerce sites, compared with 73 percent in the United States and 68 percent in France. Let us hear from you.

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