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Reporters on the Job

• YOU LOOK HAPPY TO MEET ME: Eleanor Beardsley visited the Kosovo village of Lubeniq twice to report on the families who survived a massacre in 1999 (this page). The first time, a group of villagers was burying a man who had been beaten by Serb troops in 1999, and was just now succumbing to his injuries. The second time, she went to the community center. Visitors are rare, so the children took the opportunity to sing and recite poetry.

"Each one stood and recited their poem. One boy sang two songs. And they all sang several patriotic numbers. It was very moving," says Eleanor. But the most poignant moment came when they turned the tables. "They suddenly asked me to sing a song. I didn't know what to sing. I've always loved the 'Sound of Music,' so I finally launched in to 'Eidleweiss.' They didn't know the words, but they joined in as best as they could. By the end, my translator was in tears, so we left."

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• CLEAR-CUT CORRUPTION? Police corruption in Southeast Asia has been cited by environmental groups as one of the problems perpetuating illegal logging. Simon Montlake was told by one group that the Indonesian police had tried to prematurely sell the logs confiscated on three Chinese ships (page 7). Initially, Simon could find no proof. But he kept digging. He went to see a lawyer hired by the ship owners.

"At first he just raved about the illegality of the seizure. Then, he showed me a letter addresed to the Ministry of Police. In fact, he asked me if I could deliver a copy to the Indonesian president. The letter mentions the police had put a public auction notice in local papers." Simon went to the local Associated Press office and asked to go through back issues of local papers. He found the police ad. "The logs would normally be auctioned, but not until the investigation was complete or dropped. Neither has happened."

Cultural snapshot

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