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When I first met Amala Garcia several years ago, she was dealing with police issues as a member of the Mexico City assembly. She struck me as someone with empathy and quiet integrity - the kind of person that would ideally be at the reins of a democracy. It bodes well for Mexico that she now heads one of the three main political parties (page 1).

If you like financial integrity in a political party - one that's not captive to wealthy companies or donors - check out Britain's proposed campaign finance laws (page 6).

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A spanking new four-bedroom home for a mere $40,000. The catch? A West Bank zip code and a peace process that may force residents to move soon (this page).

- David Clark Scott, World editor


*THE SPAT CAN WAIT: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher was visiting the Palestinian village of Tarkumiye looking for locals to interview about the Israeli settlers moving into the West Bank. She approached one humble home, walking up past their front-yard chicken coop. The doors and windows were open. She stuck her head in the front door and called out, "Hello?" Oops. A middle-age couple was in the throes of a marital dispute. Ilene retreated quickly with profuse apologies. But the couple wouldn't have it. Arab hospitality took precedent over domestic warfare, and they demanded that Ilene come in and stay for some refreshment - and a political discussion.

*WHO ARE YOU REALLY? The military is a powerful - and much feared - political force in Turkey. For her story on draft dodging in the Turkish military, writer Shira Boss found it difficult to get people to talk to her. "Nearly everybody," she says, "was afraid to talk." One interview was going just fine, until she asked what she thought was an innocuous question along the lines of, "When did you serve?" Suddenly the young man grew panicked, asking Shira, "Are you working for the Turkish authorities?" Only after Shira reassured him that she was writing for the Monitor did he agree to continue with the interview.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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