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The road to peace is seldom a straightaway. Pick a place: Northern Ireland, Israel, India, or Yugoslavia.

The approaching July 15 deadline for Northern Ireland's peace agreement presents a potential hairpin turn. Why David Trimble, the leader of the pro-British Protestant majority, is poised between braking and accelerating.

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Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in Jordan and the US this week, is finding that the players in this peace process are eager to accelerate. But a severe drought is exacerbating water supply problems in the region and could stall the negotiations. Quote of note: "[Golan Heights provides] the drinking water for Israel. It's impossible to give up the Golan without a water rights deal with Syria." - the head of an Israel/Palestine research institute.

India and Pakistan are traveling in the same direction over Kashmir, for now. But trust isn't yet a passenger. And there are signs that both sides will be ramping up military spending.

In Yugoslavia, President Slobodan Milosevic is rightly concerned that Montenegro may choose its own course.

- David Clark Scott, World editor


*NOT FLUSH WITH WATER: The drought in the Middle East has left Jordan with only 40 percent of its normal annual precipitation. The water tanks at Scott Peterson's home in Amman are resupplied once a week. So, the Peterson family is using conservation measures learned while living in Nairobi, Kenya. For example, after his children bathe, the dirty water is left in the tub. Later, it's scooped up with a bucket and used to flush the toilet.


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* GRETA TO GET HER GUN? Germany's female soldiers, whose duties are chiefly in the medical corps and the band, could soon carry guns, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping said this week. "The constitution forbids women in the army from carrying guns, but separately from this we are examining ways of deploying women on sentry duty, which would mean bearing arms," Scharping told Bild newspaper.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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