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Reporters on the Job

October 31, 2002



• MISTAKEN IDENTITY: Reporter Lane Hartill witnessed firsthand the tensions gripping the Ivory Coast (this page). On his way to a student demonstration, his bus was attacked – because he was in it. "They had just been teargassed by the French military after demonstrating outside the military base. They were angry, and thought I was French. They beat the bus with sticks, hitting the windows so hard I thought they were going to break. 'Frenchman! Frenchman! Get out of the bus!' they shouted at me.

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"A truck full of policemen happened by but had no success in calming the crowd.

"Everyone on the bus knew I was an American and was yelling out the windows 'He's an American!'' but the crowd was so incited, they couldn't hear or weren't listening."

The passengers in the bus pushed Lane to the front steps of the bus, where the police were blocking the crowd from coming aboard.

"As a last resort, I pulled out my passport, and waved it at the crowd. They stopped yelling, looked at me, then my passport, and then, much to my surprise, they started clapping."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Corrections:

• MAIS NON: In the Oct. 25 edition, the story "Frustrated, US shifts its UN course" Cameroon is identified as a francophone nation. That's half right. It is officially bilingual: French and English.

• ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL: The caption for the Oct. 7 Cultural Snapshot incorrectly identified the Saint James Cathedral in Toronto. The church is Anglican.

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