HOTEL KLEPTO: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher had a picture to go along with today's story about Al Qaeda's guerrilla-war strategy in Afghanistan (page 1). But it's now in the hands of an Afghan thief. "I locked my room [at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul] and went to breakfast. When I came back my digital camera was gone," she says. Apparently, there have been other thefts in the hotel this week. A colleague at Fox News also had a camera stolen, and a journalist from The Boston Globe says her Gortex jacket is missing. The hotel management wasn't particularly helpful with this problem. But ever grateful for small blessings, Ilene says "At least they got the electricity back on. And after three days of asking, they put a curtain on the window in my room."
LIVING WITH SAND: The Monitor's Robert Marquand says that he's not enjoying the bother of Beijing's sandstorms, but he's growing accustomed to living with the fine particles of sand coating everything in his apartment and office each spring (page 7). "You have to wash your hair twice a day, keep your windows closed, and it means more time spent dusting. But my Chinese teacher tells me that it was much worse in the 1950s," says Bob.
David Clark Scott
SUPPORT FOR BUSH LEGS BAN: A vast majority of Russians support their government's ban on chicken imports from the US, according a nationwide survey. But Russians are split on the reason for the ban: 35 percent said it was to help the domestic chicken industry, 34 percent said it was to keep inferior US chicken off the Russian market, and 12 percent said it was retaliation for new US steel tariffs. One percent said the ban was revenge for Russia's treatment at the Winter Olympics. As reported on March 13, Russia imposed the ban, citing concerns about sanitary conditions at US plants.