â€¢ CROSSING INTO IRAQ: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher joined Cameron Barr in northern Iraq Tuesday, but running the bureaucratic gantlet took some patience.
She flew overnight to Tehran, Iran, arriving at 4 a.m., caught a few hours sleep, then she flew to a small city near the border, then drove to the border. The border guards wouldn't let her through until a local official had confirmed with Tehran the accuracy and completeness of an equipment list and permission stamps. Unfortunately, that official was nowhere to be found. "I arrived at 9 a.m. at the crossing point along with a group of German, French, Japanese, and Italian journalists. At one point, word came down that no American journalists would be allowed to cross the border. But that proved wrong," says Ilene. By 1 p.m., the border official was still missing, but a nearby hotel offered to bring the waiting crowd some lunch. "We sat on blankets on a knoll at the border, enjoying a catered lunch of chicken kebab and rice. It was very civilized," says Ilene.
At about 6:30 p.m., the official was found, and approval to cross was given. Ilene crossed without incident, where a driver and interpreter were waiting. " 'Welcome to Kurdistan,' the interpreter said, and told me that I could remove my head scarf now."
David Clark Scott
â€¢ RACHEL CORRIE PHOTO: A number of letter writers have complained that in the March 18 issue the caption of Associated Press photo of American Rachel Corrie was incorrect. The photo was not taken "moments before" she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer, but at least 45 minutes before her death, says Joe Smith, the photographer. However, the page 6 story, "After Gaza death, activists resolute," accurately describes the events that led to her death. Eyewitnesses say that Ms. Corrie was standing seconds before she fell, and was run over.