Today's Story Line:

As UN-imposed sanctions erode, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is also reestablishing his credentials as the most anti-American, anti-Israeli leader in the Middle East. And he's gaining supporters in Arab nations. His formula? Free medical care for Palestinians wounded in the intifada against Israel, and $10,000 checks for the families of Palestinians who have died.

Quote of note: "Iraq is the only Arab country which is sincere in its commitments to support Palestinian people during the intifada...."

- Sa'di Al-Krunz, Palestinian Authority

David Clark Scott World editor


UNFAMILIAR SIGNS: On arriving at Dublin airport, the Monitor's Peter Ford was puzzled to find notices at the top of all the escalators warning: "Those unfamiliar with escalators should use the nearby lifts or stairways." How many air travelers are unfamiliar with escalators? Peter wondered. Perhaps, he thought, the airport is now filled with Irish grannies from the deepest countryside, who have never seen an escalator but are suddenly flush with their country's new prosperity and flying off to see their grandsons in Boston. Perhaps, some of Ireland's new immigrants are unfamiliar with the technology. A more prosaic, if more likely explanation, he was told, is that somebody who got something caught in an escalator is suing the airport operator.


LIQUID LINKS: Israel and Turkey signed their first major commercial deal for water last week, reported Reuters. As the Monitor reported on April 18, Turkey's "water for peace" program is an attempt to reduce tensions in the region. Iraq and Syria rely on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers for drinking water, irrigation, and power generation. Both rivers originate in Turkey. The 10-year deal gives Israel 50 million cubic meters of water annually.


FALL GUYS: Two Americans were among 53 international jumpers who parachuted from the tallest tower in Kuala Lumpur.


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