Reporters on the Job

CROSSCURRENTS: One of the strangest features of today's story on Palestinian collaborators (page 1), says the Monitor's Cameron Barr, is the background of the defendant in the trial he covered. "Munthir Hafnawi's mother is a woman of mixed Muslim-Jewish parentage, and Hafnawi has a half-brother who has embraced Judaism. The odd thing is that the half-brother lives in an Israeli settlement near Nablus. In fact, you can see the settlement from the terrace of Hafnawi's home. Hafnawi and his half-brother used to see each other frequently."

"When I met Hafnawi's father and other relatives, one of Hafnawi's young sons rattled off the phone number of the half-brother from memory," Cameron says, "and I just thought: How strange that a single family should bridge such a bottomless divide."

SENATORS FOR BREAKFAST: Some of the reporting for today's story on US-China relations (this page) was drawn from a breakfast with four visiting US senators in Beijing. The Monitor's Robert Marquand says he joined about a dozen print journalists at the St. Regis Hotel for what he thought would be a briefing about the senators' visit. "It turned out to be an unusually frank exchange of views on China," says Bob.

"We wanted to know about their meeting with President Jiang Zemin. They wanted to know how difficult it was to be journalists in Beijing, and what they could do as lawmakers to effect change in China." One senator said that he felt US business interests handcuffed the US Congress, preventing it from applying sanctions in response to China's human rights record and suspected sales of missile parts to Pakistan.

"One of the veteran journalists replied politely that he's not convinced that China can be changed by anyone outside of China. It will change itself, at its own pace," says Bob.

- David Clark Scott

World Editor

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT

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