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Reporters on the Job

BARGAINING WITH A BEDOUIN: Getting a ride from Kuwait into Iraq can be challenging if you're not in a US military vehicle. Reporter Philip Smucker and photographer Andy Nelson couldn't rent a car, because no one would give them insurance. So, they went to a used-car lot in Kuwait City. They the found a four-wheel- drive Toyota Pajero that a salesman said was priced at $3,800. But the dealership owner, a Bedouin, told Philip the price was $4,500. Thirty minutes of haggling ensued. Philip remembered a poster on the back of Kuwait buses showing a kindly Bedouin giving a hug to a tall American soldier, with the words "We will never forget," referring to the 1991 Gulf war.

"I reminded him that I was an American and I should get a better rate. He acknowledged his country's debt, and went to his rock bottom price: $4,000."

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The next day, Philip and Andy hooked up with a US Marine convoy bound for Baghdad on Highway 80 (page 12).

JOURNALISTS UNDER FIRE: The war in Iraq has claimed its first journalist: Australian cameraman Paul Moran, who was killed in a suicide car-bombing in northern Iraq on Saturday. Three members of a British television crew are missing in southern Iraq, and two Newsweek reporters escaped injury after their vehicle was attacked by Iraqi troops over the weekend.

The Monitor's Cameron Barr, in the Kurdish-controlled Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah (page 9), says the bombing has understandably rattled both foreign journalists and their Kurdish assistants. Australian journalists planned to transport Mr. Moran's body to the Iranian border, where it was to have been claimed by Australian diplomats, Cameron says.

"Several reporters and photographers who were close to Saturday's bombing spent that evening in a state of anxiety," he adds. "And a couple of local interpreters quit, deciding that the work was too risky."

David Clark Scott
World editor