Today's Story Line

What makes a place home? Our stories today touch on different facets of that question. In Sicily, citizens are taking back their towns, and dissipating the climate of fear induced by the Mafia (pages 1 and 8).

It was relatively easy for former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to return to Japan, the homeland of his parents. But many Latin Americans find their Asian ancestral land inhospitable (this page).

Some 300 elderly Ukrainians refuse to leave the area contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 (page 7).

Quote of note: "We've stayed here all these years. It just means we got used to the radiation, and the radiation got used to us." - Nina Franko, farmer.

David Clark Scott World editor


IF IT'S TUESDAY, IT'S NONBURNABLES: The Monitor's Tokyo bureau chief is finding trash day a difficult cultural adjustment. Like the Brazilians and Peruvians she writes about in today's story, "I've found the schedules tough to follow," says Ilene Prusher. Everything must be disposed of in specially labeled bags, with special stickers, on the right day at the right time, or it may not get picked up.

"At my place, it's burnables on Wednesday and Saturday, nonburnables on Tuesday, and recyclables on Monday. Sounds simple enough, but what if you cook fish on a Saturday night? Are you supposed to let the scraps sit around in your pail until garbage pick-up day on Wednesday? This is a dense city, so most people don't have garages or dumpsters where you can leave things sitting outside. It's gotten to the point where I find myself worrying about whether I will be around on a particular day of the week to make sure the trash is thrown out, lest it sit around and fester for another four days. Moreover, when I recently dumped a bag of plastic bottles out on recyclables day, they were promptly returned to me - those were nonburnables, not recyclables," finishes Ilene with a sigh.

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