Reporters on the Job
• Getting an Autobahn Dateline: For today's story about setting speed limits on Germany's famed highway system (page 1), correspondent Andreas Tzortzis urged his editors to equip him with a suitable vehicle. "I was disappointed that the Monitor wouldn't foot the bill to rent a new E-class Mercedes," Andreas says. "I was willing to settle for an Audi. But that too was turned down." He managed to hitch a ride with a 2001 Saab driver. When Andreas started asking his interviewee questions as the speedometer nudged 90 m.p.h., the driver demurred. "Don't we want to get up higher?" he asked. The Saab reached 125 m.p.h., then the driver said, "OK, shoot."
• Three Times a General: Staff writer Dan Murphy got a glimpse of how disfunctional Saddam Hussein's regime could be in his interview with former Gen. Abdul Jalil Mohsen for today's story about Iraq's new prime minister (page 1). General Mohsen was removed from his Iraqi military posts and reinstated three times. First, he was fired after telling Hussein the truth about how badly the Iran-Iraq war was going. A few years later, he got his old job back because the death toll in the war was claiming too many top officers. A year later he was fired again, and recalled one last time by Hussein. "Saddam helped me set a record," says Mohsen. "How many soldiers have retired from the same army three times?" Today, the ex-general works for Iyad Allawi's political party.
• Bhopal Compensation: India's Supreme Court ordered the government to release $327.5 million in compensation for more than 500,000 victims of the 1984 Bhopal tragedy. As reported on May 4, "Bhopal gas tragedy lives on," part of the original compensation of $470 million was already disbursed.
David Clark Scott