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Today's Story Line

Democratic transparency and trust are on trial in two Latin American nations. Peru pushed ahead with a presidential vote Sunday - despite international condemnation and a boycott by the opposition candidate. Venezuela, facing electoral snafus, postponed a national plebiscite (page 1).

The massive contamination of a Canadian town's water supply may serve as a wake-up call to the environmental risks of factory farming (this page).

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The peace process in Northern Ireland dodges another bullet (page 7).

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB

*COVERING A TRAGEDY: Tragic events draw crowds, and journalists in particular. But ambulance chasing isn't Ruth Walker's gig. The Monitor's Toronto-based correspondent arrived in Walkerton, Canada, with the aim of shedding light on the tragedy without "making the situation worse by adding another obnoxious journalist to the scene." Her story today explores difficult issues, but includes members of the community working to alleviate the suffering. And, yes, she brought her own bottled water. Not out of fear. But because "I didn't want to feel like I was contributing to the problem," she says, by adding another thirsty resident.

*SOCCER RULES: Last month, the Monitor's Howard LaFranchi was trying to schedule his trip to cover Peru's elections. But the date wasn't clear. Some sources were saying it would be June 4. Finally, May 28 was settled on. It wasn't until Sunday, while talking to voters at the National Stadium in Lima that Howard understood why the June 4 date was untenable. The National Stadium is the biggest voting site in Peru - hundreds of voting tables are set up there. "They couldn't have held the election on June 4," says Howard, "because that's the date of the big soccer match: Peru vs. Brazil."

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