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NETWORK : newsstand

What's happening in the world? News at Ten gives you one kind of painless answer for those too time-poor to study the foreign news pages, but you have to put up with sequential presentation and the anchored timing. What you need (OK, what I want) is a randomly accessible weekly digest of important goings on worldwide.

The Economist, of course, offers just that - and a lot more - in its weekly pages, and its experimental site (http://www.economist. com) contains some of the key elements: about 10 per cent of the current paper issue (more in the UK section), and some of the famous Economist surveys. There's an excellent overview in the pages called Business This Week and Politics This Week - more properly called Anything This Week That Isn't Purely Business.

The Economist believes in the written word. Even the smallest GIF is kept off the main page, to be summoned from hyperspace by those feeble enough to want visual relief from the verbiage; you can safely leave your Netscape plug-ins unplugged. And don't expect fripperies like links, except to other Economist sites. Why would anyone want to look elsewhere?

It was specifically to publish a weekly catch-up on events that Jon Connell left his job as deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph. He calls it The Week (http://metrotel.co.uk/theweek/), with the slogan "All you need to know about everything that matters", and describes it as "a witty, incisive and practical review of the week's news".

Precious little wit seems to seep in to the site material, but the Europe at a Glance and World at a Glance pages offer masterly summings up of events. The Sharewatch page retails share tips from national papers and Investors Chronicle (do they mind, I wonder?). You may have missed the investment boat, though: on 27 November the site was still dated 9 November. Not another example of Web weariness, surely?

Tower Magazine (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Harvey_Morris/) is "a foreign affairs magazine and one-stop link to foreign affairs resources on the Internet" run by another ex-Fleet Street man, Harvey Morris, a former foreign editor of The Independent. Newswatch is "a regularly updated page to alert serious foreign affairs watchers about developing stories", and there is a handful of featuresn

Chris Gill