Today's Story Line:
Whether American jets strike at Serbia in the days ahead may depend, oddly enough, whether its leader, Slobodan Milosevic, wants them to. The logic is this: He can bolster his sagging support among the Serbs by blaming the West for the attacks and, ultimately, the loss of Kosovo province. Quote of note: "First there was an idea for a 'Greater Serbia' that many bought into. But the country has only gotten smaller under Milosevic. People don't want to feel like donkeys so they believe what makes them feel good." - Vladamir Milosevic, a Belgrade psychiatrist.
Latin America's rising religious diversity is a concern to the pope as he visits Mexico in the coming week.
As more civil wars in Africa turn into regional ones, the more Western powers are being drawn into them.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB JUST LIKE LATIN MUSIC: Our Mexico-based staff writer Howard LaFranchi knows he's in a still-predominantly Roman Catholic society when many newspapers provide a daily countdown to the coming Pope's visit the same way US newspapers used to announce on the front page, "Only X shopping days until Christmas!" He finds certain advantages to living in a relatively homogeneous society. A nativity scene built at Christmas near his house did not receive any of the graffiti or vandalism common in the neighborhood. Still, reporting around Latin America serves up regular reminders that many faiths are growing there: the giant storefront churches in Brazil; the dozens of evangelical churches dotting Central America; or the Indian Catholic Churches of Chiapas, where rebellious Mayan Indians have thrown out pews and priests and replaced them with pine-needle-strewn sanctuaries and long prayers on bended knee accompanied by rows of candles and bottles of Pepsi-Cola.
UPDATE ON A MONITOR STORY DEALING FOR DOLLARS: Here's an echo of our Jan. 12 story about Mexico possibly shifting to the dollar: Argentina is studying the possibility of adopting the greenback - not only for itself, but for all of Latin America.
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