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Explaining how the collective behavior of an entire nation affects its politics is tricky. But Jakarta-based writer Sander Thoenes, who has been in the thick of riots in Indonesia, gives us an insightful analysis of the many violent incidents in 1998, a year of living dangerously . The layers of past and present religions make it difficult to always understand Indonesia. He probed one village incident to get below the surface of public tensions.

Israel's anti-Oslo right wing has been in retreat since the Wye agreement, and the profile of a key leader tells why. Quote of note: "There's a decision of the Israeli people that we don't want to rule over the Palestinian people, and that has a price in land. But also, this is a decision that hurts people, and they still want to hold and settle the land of Israel." - Uri Elitzur

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- Clayton Jones

World Editor


* CHECKPOINT PARLEY: Jerusalem correspondent Ilene Prusher speaks both fluent Hebrew and passable Arabic. But she's learned to default to her first language, English, in dealing with authorities on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Coming across as an Israeli or an Arab, she says, adds time to checkpoint stops, as her motives for crossing are examined.


* In China and Taiwan, many common people refer to Sun Yat-sen - who overthrew the last Chinese dynasty and founded the republic - as "guo fu," or "father of the country." Communist leaders, who take credit for liberating China, officially call him "forerunner of the revolution," or "ke ming te hsien chu." So it was a little boost to Taiwan's leadership to hear China's President Jiang Zemin use "guo fu" in a recent meeting with a Taiwanese envoy.


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* SECURITY TIPS: Some tips given to United Nations staff in a recent "Security in the Field" guide:

1. Don't put your name on your mailbox when stationed abroad.

2. After leaving a bus or subway, check to see whether you are being followed.

3. Teach your children a password known only to family and close friends.

4. Teach children to go to a policeman or store clerk if lost and in need of help.

5. Do not give personal information over the phone, even though the caller purports to be a friend.

6. When traveling, have your passport protected with a leather passport case to make the nationality less prominent.

7. Know at least a few key phrases in the local language.

8. If your plane is hijacked, don't let your captors know you speak their language.

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