Today's Story Line

Integrity. Justice. Independence. Peace. Today's stories spotlight efforts in various nations to develop these qualities.

In the Philippines, the quest for integrity and justice has both supporters and opponents of President Joseph Estrada taking to the streets. And the Internet is giving the opposition an edge (page 1). In post-civil- war Guatemala, vigilante justice is on the rise in rural areas (this page). In Indonesia, tensions are high in Irian Jaya, a province rich in natural resources and independent fervor (page 7).

David Clark Scott World editor


AS PUNCTUAL AS A TRAIN: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher went to an anti-Estrada demonstration last night near the presidential palace. Apart from frequently getting her clothing snagged on the razor wire surrounding the palace, Ilene found the protest peaceful - and punctual. "I caught them near the end of the demo, and they were already getting ready to leave," says Ilene. She spoke with Guia Resureccion, a young undergraduate student handing out fliers. "They gave us until 6:10," Guia told her. "And though it's our right to protest, we'd rather end it. We don't want to provoke them. We'll go for safety now, but maybe later...." There are predictions that the demonstrations could grow violent, especially if Estrada is acquitted in the corruption trial.

US ELECTION COMMENTARY: The Monitor's Howard LaFranchi says a trip to the barber shop showed him Mexicans are keeping up with the US election intrigue. "I took my youngest son to Gerardo, his regular barber, and when I walked in Gerardo boomed, 'Hey, what is it with this Senor Bush who autoproclaims himself as your next president?" A reference to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's so-called autogolpe, or self-coup. The barber told Howard: "You need to call up this guy in Texas and say, 'Hey FujiBush, hold your horses, this is a democracy!"

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