Reporters on the Job

• WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES: In the course of reporting today's story on US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (this page), the Monitor's Cameron Barr had several opportunities to see small slices of diplomacy in action.

In between questions from Cameron, Nabil Shaath, a Palestinian cabinet minister, worked the phones in support of a Saudi Arabian peace initiative. One diplomat who asked to remain anonymous was busy trying to negotiate access for ambulances to an area of fighting. And a third was making plans ahead of a crucial Israeli cabinet meeting.

"Despite the perception of inaction on the peace front," Cameron says, "some of these people are actually quite busy."

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• CLOSE TO HOME: "I was interviewing the president of the lower house of the Chilean legislature and she's giving me a fairly standard interview about divorce laws," says Reese Erlich (page 7). Then she revealed to Reese that she herself had been separated for 20 years. "Suddenly the story became very real and very personal," he says. She told him that women can't even write into their wills who gets their estates, ex-husbands automatically get half. "She became more and more animated as she told the Chileans' story through her own experience," says Reese.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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