Reporters on the Job

Hong Kong Heat: Staff writer Robert Marquand left his hotel and jumped in a cab to go cover the pro-democracy march in Hong Kong yesterday (page 1). The cab driver told him to take note of the scene ahead: Police had stopped car traffic some distance away from the march. The cabbie interpreted the move as political. "They want people to get angry at the marchers," he told Bob. "He interpreted it as a government sponsored bottleneck."

Bob arrived at the scene of the march carrying two bottles of water and an umbrella. He says in retrospect he wished he'd brought a towel and a change of clothes, too. His shirt was soaked with perspiration within minutes.

It was hot and humid (the hottest day in Hong Kong so far this year), but the turnout was still unexpectedly large. "There was a never-ending flood of white shirts moving through the city. Many of marchers wore T-shirts with political messages, such as 'Civil human rights front' and 'Speak your mind.'

But Bob notes that marchers were not only promoting the right to vote. He saw advertisments for the latest Hollywood superhero flick, "Spider-Man 2," gracing many a shirt.

Another Window on Hussein: As staff writer Dan Murphy was finishing today's story about Saddam Hussein's arraignment (page 1), more details were coming out. What Iraqis saw was Mr. Hussein lecturing a much younger Iraqi judge on points of law. After Dan filed his story, a friend, who is an American contractor with a large Iraqi staff, stopped by the Monitor's Baghdad office. He said that his staff was furious at Hussein's appearance. "He's up there looking presidential, he's in good shape, they just can't stand it," said Dan's friend. "He's being given a platform to defend himself when they say that he should just be summarily executed."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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