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Reporters on the Job

• A THOROUGH JOB: When Scott Peterson saw firsthand the destruction of some of Iraq's suspected weapons sites in 1998, he was surprised at the meticulous work of the UN inspectors.

Stepping into the dark interior of the General Establishment for Animal Development, he tripped a UN motion detector, which turned on the lights and beamed live images from a UN camera by microwave to UN monitors in Baghdad. Before him was a scene of devastation: "Pipes and cables were ripped from walls, equipment was cut and scarred by blow torches, and ventilation shafts were pumped full of hardened yellow foam and capped with concrete," Scott recalls.

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Two centrifuges – considered to be "dual-use" items (both civilian and military purposes) were marked with little UN tags. "They were the only thing that still worked," Scott says. "But they were being watched very carefully."

• GETTING THE INTERVIEW: Persistence is a critical quality for journalists. To get today's story about the Afghan aid group Shelter Now (page 1), the Monitor's Scott Baldauf spent five weeks calling and visiting its Kabul headquarters. Each time, he was told that Georg Taubmann wasn't there, but would be back "soon." Mr. Taubmann was in Peshawar, Pakistan, most of those five weeks. "He was avoiding members of the media in part because of what he considered an anti-Christian bias and media assumptions that the Taliban charges of proselytizing were true," says Scott. "He told me, 'They [the media] would have had more pity for us if I'd been caught selling drugs than for converting [others] to Christianity.' "

David Clark Scott
World editor

CORRECTION

• UGANDA'S PRESIDENT : In the story " 'Terror' tag shifts Uganda's war" (Aug. 26, p. 6), the photo caption was incorrect. The picture was of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. Also, the SPLA stands for Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Cultural snapshot