Living in poverty amid plenty can be more irritating than living in plain poverty. In Nigeria, which moves toward civilian rule tomorrow with the election of a new president, the poor people of the Niger Delta are resentful of not benefiting much from local oil wealth. They could be a political fireball in this African giant and set back this important move to democracy.
Political dominoes keep falling from the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey. An unfair trial would rattle Turkey's ties with the West. But a possible decline in Kurdish violence may help the government at home. Greece's role in the capture could topple a government making strides in economic and political stability. The Greek bid to join the euro may also be in jeopardy.
Nine months after the fall of President Suharto, Indonesia heads into a June election with violence in several provinces and a political crisis over President B.J. Habibie's alleged unwillingness to probe Mr. Suharto's wealth.
- Clayton Jones World editor
FUTURE NEWS *DOLLAR VS. EURO: The American economy may slow soon if Europe doesn't lower interest rates and open its economy further to imports, say US economy officials. But the new European central bank, trying to make a credible start for the euro, doesn't want to lower interest rates. Since the Jan. 1 launch of the euro, it has lost over 6 percent of its value. Story coming next week.
*COLD-WAR PAWNS: In the 46 years since the end of the Korean War, defectors from North Korea and the jailed spies in the South have been political pawns in the tense relationship between the two nations. Now both groups are speaking out. Story next week.
MILESTONES *NEXT STOP, THE OLYMPIC GAMES: A cheetah named Nyana Spier in Cape Town, South Africa, ran a 100-meter dash in 6.8 seconds on Wednesday. The fastest human time, 9.86 seconds, is held by Olympic star Donovan Bailey. The timed race was part of an environmental program.
Let us hear from you.
Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: email@example.com