Today's Story Line:
Leaders of half of humanity huddled this week for an Asia-Pacific summit, and the grumbles were mainly about America. Cameron Barr, tuning an ear to the region's trends, reveals the reasons for the gap in goodwill across the Pacific. One reason: US investors took flight too quickly (page 1).
Scott Peterson in Baghdad walks us through the tripwires in the renewed UN inspections of Iraq's weapons that could trigger another armed showdown with the US. A key document on chemical weapons may be the flashpoint (page 1).
Africa writer Lara Santoro found a volatile mix of oil wealth, ethnicity, and pollution in the continent's most populous nation. Her report (this page) shows the long road to democracy for Nigeria.
- Clayton Jones
* ANOTHER KOSOVO? Amid relative calm in Kosovo, a possible storm on the horizon: Vojvodina, the northern Serb province heavily populated by ethnic Hungarians, also wants to break from Yugoslavia. Many Serbs worry that if Kosovo goes, Vojvodina will be next. While Kosovo is considered the Serbs' spiritual heartland, Vojvodina is their intellectual center - and the most prosperous part of the country. Will Vojvodina be the next example of what's widely seen as a favorite tactic of Slobodan Milosevic: starting conflicts to keep power? Watch for a full Monitor report.
UPDATE ON A MONITOR STORY
* TORTILLA WATCH: In 1996 our writer Howard LaFranchi reported that Mexican families feared - and food producers demanded - higher prices on the nation's staple: tortillas. Now it's happening. A drop in oil revenues pushed the government to end subsidies and price controls that allowed poor and rich families alike to buy a stack of hot tortillas for a few pesos (about 25 cents). Tortilla makers say they will now modernize their creaking machinery.
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
* BEAM ME UP: Monitor contributor Justin Brown has been plying the deep mountain passes of the Balkans - and his cell phone transmissions have been breaking up faster than Yugoslavia. Sure, there are $5,000 satellite phones. But Justin's no budget buster. He says if he stands on railroad tracks he can hear us just fine. Is that an alternative to all the cell-phone antennas popping up across America?