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Unifying Germany has taken longer than expected. East Germans, often resentful of how they are perceived, have discovered an American who finds some value in their former life. He's released video interviews of people behind the Berlin Wall.

Showing respect for different ethnic groups may help explain why Macedonia has avoided becoming another Balkan hot spot.

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As it expands the concept of what is a human rights violation, the US has granted asylum to more homosexuals, especially from Brazil. Our Rio contributor, Jack Epstein, explains why violence against gays is so common there.

- Clayton Jones

World Editor


* INTERVIEWING THE HIGH AND MIGHTY: In many countries, getting interviews with top leaders can be a formidable challenge - but not in Macedonia. The small country gets little attention from the international media, so when reporters come calling, its leaders are eager to be available. Our Balkans contributor Justin Brown (story, this page) says he was once able to get an interview with the president the same day he requested it. And recently Ljubco Georgievski took time out from a parliamentary session to speak to Justin - but had to cut the interview short to accept his new post as prime minister. In contrast, Justin tried for three days without success to talk with a film director for his other story today on Balkan films (page 8).


* JAPANESE MOVIE: A Nov. 5 story looked at South Korea's lifting of a 53-year ban on Japanese cultural imports. On Saturday, the Japanese film "Hana-bi" (Fireworks) was shown in 35 Korean theaters.

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