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Intended or not, the US-led sanctions against Iraq and Saddam's refusal to comply with the UN will have consequences long after Saddam. A whole society in the Mideast may be damaged for decades. A regular visitor to Baghdad, Scott Peterson, has tracked the UN attempt to keep the tragedy from getting worse. He told us that he recently visited the Thiqar Secondary School in Baghdad and found students coming to class hungry. Broken windows were fitted with cardboard. The place had gone to seed. Still, tacked to the fading wall paint was a poster, fresh from the printer, of Saddam, smiling.

The idea of lifting sanctions against North Korea was considered by South Korea until the latest setback: the North's refusal to allow inspections of a suspected nuclear site. Another Islamic nation on the skids is Pakistan, where the elected leader has suddenly embraced Taliban-style fundamentalism. One motive may be to use religion against rising crime and violence.

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Japanese politics can be as difficult to watch as "noh" theater (kabuki in slow motion). But Tokyo writer Cameron Barr reviews the latest political upstaging and its potential impact on fixing the world's second-largest economy.

- Clayton Jones

World Editor


* WHAT, NO CABLE? "Television - a wonderful technology, but why don't you all just talk to each other?" - Masai warrior John Nemaru Ole Tome, living more than 7,500 miles from his tribal home in Kenya, as told to The Boston Globe.

* GIVING THANKS: Command Chaplain Capt. Arnold Resnicoff, the top adviser on religion, ethics, and morals for the US European Command stopped by the Monitor and said he will be spending Thanksgiving in Macedonia with US troops stationed at observation posts outside Serbia's restive Kosovo province. "Part of the reason we have so much to be thankful for is their dedication and sacrifice," he said.


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* ESPERANTO, MOVE OVER: In a Nov. 16 article, European Bureau Chief Peter Ford described the prevalence of English across Europe. Diego Marani, a translator and columnist in Brussels, is promoting his own form of lingual standardization, says The Guardian, a London newspaper. His "Europanto" - "panto" being Greek for "everything" - melds English with German, Italian, and Spanish. Example: His column this week looks at President Clinton's liaison with Monica Lewinsky. "After de Lewinsky affaire," it reads, "de USA leadership necessite urgente restaurazione [restoration]."

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