Today's Story Line:
The Mideast peace process could feel ripples from change in an Arab capital. Jordan's King Hussein - key American ally, maker of peace with Israel, head of a country whose population is more than half Palestinian - last week designated as his eventual successor his son, Abdullah, whose leadership could set a new tone for the region. Quote of note: "[The change to Abdullah] is meant to be the first step. The intention is to review the whole democratic process." - a Jordanian journalist.
In Japan, a look at how one resort town has ridden an economic roller coaster over the decades sheds light on broader Japanese reaction to lingering recession.
California Gov. Gray Davis is in Mexico City (page 7), where talks today with Mexico's President Zedillo will address a wave of cross-border citizen activism that has grown during NAFTA's first five years.
- Clayton Collins Deputy World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB *CAMEL APPRECIATION: Photojournalist Monique Stauder was the only woman - and only foreigner - for miles upon miles in the Thar Desert as she documented the daily life of camel-mounted jawans (patrolmen) on the India-Pakistan border. It took awhile for the men to relax in front of the camera, Monique says, so she decided to document the camels' activity first. "The fact that a camel spat right at my lens was enough to send everyone into hysterics," she says. "And my subsequent fall onto my bum added to the overall novelty of a woman coming to a border outpost." One jawan, warning Monique on objectionable dromedary behavior, also acknowledged the camels' qualities: "Oh, madam," he said, "you must not get too close ... but their eyelashes are so beautiful."
UPDATE ON A MONITOR STORY *ACTIVIST'S IRE: While reporting on today's environmental activism story in Ciudad Jurez, correspondent Howard LaFranchi ran into Esther Chavez, an antiviolence advocate who was a source for a front-page story the Monitor ran in June 1997 on a string of killings of young women in Jurez. The murders continue and remain largely unsolved, and Ms. Chavez says a change in Chihuahua's government last year (from the opposition back to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) has not led to any more official action. "They still ignore our requests to meet to discuss the murders, that's nothing new," she says, "but now they're trying to plant doubts about groups like ours in the old PRI style," she says. "In the meantime women continue to be killed and then blamed for it for the way they dress." The killings - which stood at more than 80 at the time of the Monitor article - now top 170 by some estimates.
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