Today's Story Line

After 10 years, the most extensive international police effort ever, and about $80 million in trial costs, a guilty verdict was handed down in the Lockerbie bombing case yesterday. The trial may be a new model for pursuing justice in global terrorism cases (page1).

David Clark Scott World editor


NEW YEAR'S TIP: Rumors were rife among the foreign press corps in Beijing that something big was going to happen New Year's Eve. A public demonstration by the Falun Gong, perhaps? The Monitor's Robert Marquand showed up at Tiananmen Square late on Dec. 31, along with about 40 other journalists to see if the rumors were true. "There was lots of security there, plainclothes and regular Chinese policemen, and the rest of us standing around trying to keep warm. Eventually, the police told us to leave," says Bob. Three weeks later, there was a self-immolation event by five Falun Gong members in the square. The rumors were right, but apparently they were based on the lunar calendar, not the Gregorian.

LUXURY in THE FRIGID FAR EAST: After traveling to a remote outpost on the border between Russia and China, Scott Peterson's Cossack hosts invited him for lunch at a nearby dacha. A large, matronly woman met them with a big spread of fried mushrooms, salami, mashed potatoes, soup, bread, and whole pickled tomatoes. Before tucking into the feast, Scott asked if he might visit the loo. She laughed and directed Scott to an outhouse in the snow behind the dacha. "I wondered what was humorous about trudging back out into the 10 degrees below zero [F.] weather," says Scott. But he, too, was smiling a moment later. "It was warm and toasty inside," he says. "They'd installed a heater that ran off a battery back in the dacha. Talk about back-country luxury!"

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