Reporters on the Job

Cultural snapshot

ON THE TRAIL OF THE SHIELDS: Volunteer human shields aren't spending much time at the sites they've been designated to protect, says Scott Peterson, the Monitor's correspondent in Baghdad. Their days are filled with one antiwar activity after another:

He met one group at a soccer game south of Baghdad (page 1), and then - on his way to the local oil refinery to find another shield - found that the man happened to be sitting in his hotel lobby, ducking out of an early-evening peace march that had just departed for downtown Baghdad.

"I spoke to him while the hotel staff was busy taping the windows in preparations for war. They used roll after roll of packing tape, with the ominous 'rrrrrip' cutting through our conversation," Scott says. He finally made it to the refinery to interview an American human shield - at 10 p.m., after she had returned from the march.

KEPT UP BY CRICKET: Like a large portion of the Pakistani population this weekend, the Monitor's Scott Baldauf was glued to his TV in Peshawar, watching the World Cup cricket matches (Kenya vs. Australia, New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka) with his Pakistani driver and a local journalist. So he didn't immediately find out that a suspected Al Qaeda financier had been captured (page 7).

"I was being sociable and trying to further my dismal understanding of cricket," says Scott.

They didn't learn of the capture until they flipped over to the news at about 12:30 a.m. "We started working the phones, calling officials at home, to get the details of the arrest," Scott says. "Fortunately, everyone was up - they, too, had been watching the World Cup."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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