BACKLASH AGAINST CHECHENS: Russian analysts told reporter Fred Weir that the Chechen hostage crisis in Moscow could create ethnic unrest not unlike the attacks on Arab-Americans in the US after Sept. 11. As he finished filing today's story (page 1), his 14-year-old daughter returned from school with information indicating that the backlash has begun.
"She goes to a school in Odintsovo, a Moscow bedroom community near our dacha. She says that she and her classmates were kept inside the school all day and forbidden to go out because of a wave of street violence against Caucasians in that town.
"She says she saw people fighting in the street from the school-bus window as she was coming home just now."
UNWELCOME INTERVIEWERS: Reporter Andrew Downie went to Nova Iguacu on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro to do the story about the rising political influence of Christian Evangelicals (page 7). This is an area where there's a high concentration of Evangelicals perhaps because it is a poor community.
"People come from the countryside to the big city, and find a ready-made family in the church," Andrew says. But there was a reluctance among church leaders and followers to be interviewed by Andrew and a colleague.
"In two churches we were not allowed to enter the church property to speak with anyone," says Andrew. "We ended up standing in the street near the 'Praise' music shop and the 'Good Shepherd' restaurant and waited for people to come and go. The church leaders seem to be very suspicious of press."
David Clark Scott