The World: Shards from a Shattered Mosaic

As the fighting of recent weeks smashed the complex mosaic of Lebanese life, reporters struggled to piece together the meaning of what was happening. But the depth of the country's despondency and disintegration sometimes emerged most clearly from isolated incidents. TIME correspondents sent these diverse vignettes:

A French visitor was recently invited to lunch with a well-educated Beirut merchant at his home, which was in an embattled Christian neighborhood. The visitor was thus not too surprised to see several Russian-made AK-47 automatic rifles—the most common weapon on both sides—stacked in a corner of...

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