Today's Story Line

Diplomatic stagnation and Israel's proclaimed end of final-status peace talks have left a vacuum between Israelis and Palestinians that's now filling with violence. A bunker mentality appears to be setting in (this page). Quote of note: "For peace we were willing to go very far, but if they want to carry out this struggle with blood, we will do that too."

- Israel's communication minister

David Clark Scott World editor


YES, WE HAVE SHOES. ONLY SHOES: The White House press center for tomorrow's meeting between Presidents Fox and Bush will be located in Leon, Guanajuato, an important shoe-manufacturing center. The city has an entire mall dedicated to shoes, and the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi knows it well. During his first visit to Leon several years ago, "I took my family along, but when it got windy and cold we decided one of our kids needed a new jacket. I dashed into the first shopping center I saw, but no matter which end or level of the mall I went to, I couldn't find jackets - just shoes, everywhere. One sales clerk told this bewildered shopper, 'Sorry, you'll have to look somewhere else - here we only have shoes.' "

A MEMBER IN THE MAKING? Initially, Danna Harman found that the members of Kenya's Muthaiga Club were reluctant to be interviewed for today's story. "They're of the white settler class and aren't fond of ex-pats and international aid types," says Danna. Eventually she gained their trust. In fact, thanks to electricity blackouts and finicky phone lines in her own Nairobi apartment, she finds herself going back to the club. "Aside from the fact that the place fulfills every fantasy one might have about living in a different era, it has a generator and the phones work," says Danna. "In desperation, I've checked into the military wing of the club a couple of times. I can get a tiny room, a bed, and mosquito netting for 15 quid [$22] a night."

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