Today's Story Line:
Ever since satellite television allowed the world to watch the Olympics, commercial pressures have turned the Games into a money machine for host cities. But stopping bribery in site selection may take a radical solution. One idea floated in the past: Choose a permanent location. Maybe Greece?
America is seeking permission from its old enemy, Russia, to build a missile-defense system against potential enemies. But is the effort driven by domestic pressures? Meanwhile, world finance officials say Russia may yet get billions of dollars to help its economy.
Respect for traditional cultures has grown as they are hit by the global economy. Among some Latin American native peoples, the old ways of administering justice are now seen as different, not inferior. Guatemala may soon recognize the Mayan legal system.
Ten years later, East Europe's transition from communism is still not easy. Last week, Romania averted a crisis with its coal miners, who have already brought down one government.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES: To report today's story on Romania, Monitor contributor Justin Brown had to cross the border from Yugoslavia to the Romanian city of Timisoara and then catch a flight to the capital, Bucharest. He faced three obstacles. First, a Web site on flight information indicated no such flight existed. Not true, a travel agent told him. Then, he was told fog had closed the airport. He went anyway, and the fog lifted. Finally, he was told the plane was full. Since bookings for many of these flights are made through special connections, Justin asked some Romanians for help. They told him to give a box of chocolates to the woman at the ticket counter. Five minutes later the woman announced: "Mr. Brown, you have a seat." But guess what? The flight wasn't full.
UPDATE ON A MONITOR STORY JORDAN: Since a Jan. 20 story, King Hussein has informed his brother, Prince Hassan, that he was removing him as heir. The king may choose his eldest son, Abdullah (from a previous marriage), provided his heir is the son of the king's present wife, American-born Queen Noor.
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