Reporters on the Job

• THE BUZZ IN BEIRUT: One indication of the importance of the Arab summit starting today (page 7), says reporter Nicholas Blanford, is the sudden influx of television anchors. "Tom Brokaw is here. Peter Jennings flew in last night. And, yes, Geraldo Rivera is here too," he says. Nick, who lives in Beirut, says organizers report that some 1,500 journalists are in town. He notes the incongruous juxtaposition of US media trucks with satellite dishes parked at the media center next to Al Manar, the local television station of Hizbullah, a group on the US government's list of terrorist organizations.

The buzz among delegates and journalists yesterday was whether Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would attend. "Some say Israel will relent, and let him come at the last minute. Others say won't come - and shouldn't - because Israel might not let him return to the West Bank."

David Clark Scott

World editor

BEST OF THE REST

• POLITICS AND CRICKET: The Australian reports that some members of the Australian cricket team may boycott a four-week tour of Zimbabwe.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recommended no Australians travel to Zimbabwe. The Australian government has joined other Western nations in calling the recent elections unfair. The last time the Australian Cricket Board stopped their team touring a country was the 1996 World Cup, when Australia and the West Indies forfeited matches in Sri Lanka after a major terrorist bombing in Colombo. Australia's next tour destination is another volatile country, Pakistan.

MILESTONE

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