Today's Story Line
Diplomacy to end the Yugoslav-NATO war kicked into high gear yesterday after Russia and the West compromised to come up with "general principles" for a solution. The bombing and the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians may not end soon, but for now the Russians have helped NATO to corner Yugoslavia.
The UN has come up with a market solution to famine in Somalia. Local truckers are paid to make sure sacks of food reach the hungry. Quote of note: "The US took 25,000 troops to secure food routes to prevent looting [in 1992], but today this system is actually working." - Steve Gluning, a UN security officer.
A group of African-Americans who emigrated to Israel to practice Judaism have produced a hit music group. But what they really want is Israeli citizenship.
- Clayton Jones World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB * TOUGH TREK: Seven years after Somalia's last famine, Scott Peterson returned to the hungry country to find a strong sense of dj vu - and signs that some lessons may have been learned by relief officials. But he also noted that relief is still a tough business, even with armed protection. In Tieglo, a string of trucks and their drivers looked as exhausted as the gunmen who protected them. Windshields were broken or missing - from brushing too close to head-high thorn trees, or from gun-battle bullets. Taking a rest on the edge of town, waiting for the heat of the day to pass, the unsung heroes of Africa's famine zones - truck drivers in need of cash - settled into the thick dust beneath their juggernauts and dozed. But Abdi Mohamed was awake and Scott asked him about the treacherous journey. "I didn't see any gunmen this time," the tired driver said with a smile.
* NAME GAME: Jerusalem correspondent Ilene Prusher had a hard time finding the best way to describe her story subjects. The religious sect of African-Americans who now live in Israel have traditionally been known as "black Hebrews," but today, the group prefers to be called the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. Yediot Aharanot, Israel's largest circulation daily, referred to the members of the band Ilene interviewed as the Hebrew "Cushim," using a term generally felt to be derogatory among blacks in Israel. But singer Gabriel Butler says it doesn't bother him: He points out that the original meaning wasn't negative, but rather, comes from the name of an area of East Africa the Bible refers to as Cush. Mr. Butler rejects being defined by all of the above: "I'm an Afro-Israeli. I think black people anywhere would prefer to be known as Afro-Israeli, Afro-American, Afro-European...."
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