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OTHER VIEWS

Here's what newspapers around the nation are saying:

The Christian Science Monitor

HANDWRITING ON WALL: The trial of Malawi's former President-for-Life Hastings Banda for crimes during 30 years in power should be handwriting on the wall for other leaders and parties too long in the saddle.

That includes Fidel Castro (36 years), Burma's SLORC military junta , Mexico's PRI ruling party , Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga , and Vietnam's, China's, and North Korea's Communist parties (46 to 50). That's . . . a good sampling of regimes that remind us of one of the great values of democracy: government that rejuvenates itself by changing hands at the behest of the governed. The current fad word has government "reinventing" itself. Democracies do that all the time.

The Wall Street Journal

INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL: The International Monetary Fund took a potentially historic step last week, endorsing controls on international flows of capital. This is roughly equivalent to the World Trade Organization coming out for higher tariffs. . . . In the 1990s we have reached a point where most of the developing world has come to realize that to get economic growth we need economic freedom, and policies that attract rather than repel investment. It's disheartening to see the IMF providing excuses for governments of developing nations to turn back to their old ways.

The Washington Post

PAPER LIMITATIONS: As use of the Internet grows, one thing that's becoming uncomfortably clearer is just how much of existing communications and copyright law depends on the physical limitations of records and publications kept on paper. . . . Besides being of interest to publishers and authors, . . . the future of copyright in cyberspace is of urgent concern to academics, who had made use in recent years of a special copyright exemption carved out to allow the photocopying of published articles for use in class . . . .

Academics now want to distribute such work to students electronically, and some want libraries to provide it that way - including, perhaps, the Library of Congress . . . . But publishers and the owners of copyrighted materials . . . are vigorously opposed to measures that could render them possibly unnecessary and certainly financially unviable. They want the copyrights enforced, even as others are calling them unenforceable . . . . What the courts rule on specific cases may prove less important to the structure of future law than an evolving technological understanding of just what kinds of rules can be imposed with some reasonable hope of results.

Los Angeles Times

MEN GONE MAD: Some years back, a tour guide in the India state of Kashmir told his charges the "men had gone mad trying to describe the beauty" of the Himalayan state. These days people go mad trying to concoct a solution to the violence that has erupted there again. . . . India's earlier heavy-handed tactics and abuses of civil liberties in Kashmir merited condemnation. So did Pakistan's support, at least, verbal if not maerial, for the separatists. Now is the time for all sides to declare (the guerrilla group) Al Faran an enemy and negotiate a solution to a decadeslong problem.