Reporters on the Job

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: The Monitor's Howard LaFranchi wasn't sure what kind of reception he might get when he went to the television studios of Peru's hottest comedians (this page). They are as well known as Jay Leno or David Letterman in the US. "I didn't know if they'd be arrogant and full of themselves and tell me to go sit in a corner. But they were the most humble guys," says Howard. He watched them prepare several of their news satires, which are similar to the "Weekend Update" in the US done on "Saturday Night Live" or "The Daily Show" hosted by Jon Stewart. In one sketch, they were dubbing comical comments over videos of the Peruvian candidates on the stump. "It was like watching three buddies have fun. At different times they would stop and explain to me what they were doing," says Howard.

CRIMES OF THE PAST: European efforts to make moral amends for Nazi-era crimes (page 1) are not hard to find, says the Monitor's Peter Ford. An impoverished Russian composer, who is a friend of Peter's from his days as a Moscow correspondent, was recently commissioned to write an oratorio. It was for a wealthy Austrian, who had it performed in his private chapel. Only later did his Russian friend discover that his Austrian patron wanted the piece in expiation for his sins: He had built his business and fortune on a business that had been confiscated from Jews during World War II.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: The bombing in Tel Aviv occurred at a beachside nightclub frequented by young Israelis (page 1). When the Monitor's Cameron Barr went to the site on Saturday to interview people, he didn't have any trouble finding the location: "The nightclub adjoins the beach that we sometimes visit for a break from the conflict," says Cameron. He also once parked in the same spot where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine bombers left - and then detonated - a car last weekend.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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