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An estimated 300,000 children are now being raised as killers. How to stop this growing trend, and to bring child soldiers back into civil society was the subject of an international conference this week - and the ongoing task of dozens of aid groups worldwide.

Religious tension over a slice of Mideast holy real estate isn't new. But a feud in Nazareth, Israel, is reaching, well, millennial proportions.

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It's not clear that Belarus and Russia will make it to the wedding altar.

But in India, the love story rules the world's biggest film industry.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *ACCESS RESTRICTED : Reporter Corinna Schuler went to the dilapidated hotel outside Freetown, Sierra Leone, that's now a rehabilitation center for former child soldiers. But center organizers were reluctant to let the kids speak to her. Corinna says they were concerned that media attention would make their charges feel "as if they were in Hollywood." They relented after Corinna explained her intentions and agreed to limit her interviews. The children were eager to talk, complaining, as many teens do, about the food, strict rules, and lack of spending money. But Corinna says she was struck by the huge task of reeducating youths who have grown up using the power of guns to satisfy every whim.

WORD ON THE STREET * AMERICANS ON ASIA: A majority of Americans don't know that the capital of North Korea is Pyongyang. Or that US naval bases are gone from the Philippines, according to a survey of 1,200 adults by the Henry Luce Foundation Inc. But their assessment of US friends and foes closely matches the experts. For example, 51 percent view China as primarily a threat and challenge to US security. About 38 percent view Japan as the country that would be "most helpful" in securing peace and stability in the region. And 52 percent now consider South Korea an ally, compared with 39 percent in 1987.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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