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Reporters on the Job

• A LITTLE JUMPY? Reporter Nicole Itano writes about "heads snapping" when a careless soldier discharged his rifle in the Ivory Coast capital (this page). She told her editors by phone that no one jumped higher than she did. "We were waiting at this checkpoint. The soldiers were very polite and well disciplined, when the gun suddenly went off about 100 yards away. It was a soldier standing near a group of women and children. And it definitely illustrates how tense it still feels around here."

Nicole says that the journalists there - mostly French or African – were kept away from the children who were rescued from the missionary school. "No one was allowed to get close to them. The children spent the night in homes of Christian missionaries here. The parents of many of these children live here or in Liberia or Gabon or Sierra Leone," she says.

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• SPEAK INTO THE FLOWER POT: Even before reporter Clark Boyd arrived at Fathallah Arsallan's house, he had been told that the Moroccan secret police would know about the meeting. It's common knowledge in Morocco that every leader of Justice and Charity, an Islamist group (page 9), has his phone tapped, his house bugged, and his every movement followed. And the heat gets turned up even more when a Western journalist is involved.

Clark says that "When I asked Mr. Arsallan about this, he just shrugged and said, "Well, don't worry, I've been in jail before, and they stopped deporting nosy Western journalists a few years ago. Consider it a sign of progress that the Secret Police have let you enter my home.' "

David Clark Scott
World editor

MILESTONE

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