Today's Story Line:
The camp President Bill Clinton will be visiting tomorrow in Kosovo is Brobdingnagian in scale: It's the equivalent of 775 football fields or about 1,000 city blocks. Big enough to raise questions about its continuing strategic value in Balkan geopolitics.
While Colombia's leaders negotiate for an end to civil war, one town can't wait - it's carved out its own peace accord. Quote of note: "The government is starting at the top, making peace between the leaders. But we must make peace from the bottom upward. We have to start with the peasant." - mayor of Mogotes, Colombia.
- David Clark Scott World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
*PINK FLOYD IN FARSI, ANYONE? While some of Iran's students are playing high-stakes political games (this page), Mideast correspondent Scott Peterson found that others are grooving on changes in Iran's cultural landscape. Invited to an Iranian home for dinner, Scott was approached by the couple's teen son for the definition of "sandman." The boy explained that the lyrics of every Metallica song have been translated into Farsi. The Ministry of Information and Islamic Guidance, in the hands of reformists, has approved a record number of these books for publication. The first print run of Metallica lyrics was for 5,500 copies, some 2,000 more than normal. Bootleg and compressed CDs - unmarked and illegal - are also readily available.
*CAMP MUDHOLE: Some press reports describing US Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo made it sound like a luxurious "Disneyland," says reporter Michael Jordan. He found more mud than Mouseketeers. "The roads aren't paved. It looks like a track built for four-wheel-drive vehicles," says Michael. "Every hut has a trough of water outside to wash your boots off." The Burger King food truck serves no shakes, but is a "big hit" with visiting soldiers from other sectors who relish the change from local cuisine and military rations.
*CORRUPTION HIGHWAY: Reporter Martin Hodgson was told that the bus ride from the main highway to Mogotes, Colombia - a town that last month won the national prize for peacekeeping - would take two hours. So he was surprised to see a signpost indicating that the distance to the village was only 33 kilometers (20 miles). "After just five spine-jarring minutes I realized why - the road was a muddy track pitted with holes and ditches." Later, Martin was told that - according to official records - the road has been paved four times. The money was all spent, but somehow, the work was never done.
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