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America's commitment to contain world despots by military means keeps growing. Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic is challenging NATO in Kosovo. North Korea's Kim Jong Il plans to fire a second three-stage rocket soon despite a US protest. And now Iraq's Saddam Hussein is kicking sand in the face of American warplanes instead of being compliant .

Russia's comedown from superpowerdom hasn't sunk in. Hurt pride after the US bombing of Iraq may turn Moscow into a bear.

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- Clayton Jones

World editor


* JOBLESS IN JAPAN: For the first time in post-World War II history, Japan's official jobless rate is as high as America's. Both were 4.4 percent in November. The Japanese rate would be much higher if the US system of counting were used. The rising unemployment is the latest sign of a long-term recession in Japan.

* co-prosperity in Japan: South Korea's Daewoo company became the first Asian firm to beat out Japanese firms to win a public-works contract in Japan, The Wall Street Journal reports. American firms only recently began to win such contracts.

* India's Home-grown car: On Saturday, the Bombay-based Tata industrial group rolled out India's first domestically developed passenger car.

* women beyond the veil: Iran has permitted the formation of its first all-women political party. On Saturday, the Islamic Association of Women said its party would help "make optimum use of women's capabilities in [Iranian] society."

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* GLOBAL VILLAGE: One of Brazil's Indian tribes has entered the information age. The 400-person Guaranis in the Sapukai village (which has no regular electricity) were given computers by the Committee for the Democratization of Information. The tribe's word for computer means "box for accumulating language." The tribe plans to use the PCs to keep health records, develop educational materials, and build a database of traditions.

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