• Muslim Country and Western: Staff writer Scott Baldauf and staff photographer Andy Nelson did not arrive in Indonesia expecting to capture the images and ideas found in today's story about a singing contest among tsunami refugee children. But Scott says this Muslim country has a profound obsession with music.
"You really can't help but notice the love of singing here. Turn on the TV, and you will find multiple singing contests, including 'Indonesian Idol,' and even ... I'm not making this up ... an American country and Western music show called 'Goin' Country.' "
All the songs are sung in Bahasa Indonesian. But, says Scott, as a native of Texas, he can vouch for the veracity of the melodies: "They're pure country. And there are dancers in the background, with cowboy hats, doing the boot-scootin' boogie."
So, when Scott heard about the refugee singing contest, it made sense within the context of the society, and he had to go see what it was all about.
• Tehran Plane Crash: Staff writer Scott Peterson did not know any of the 68 Iranian journalists who died in a military plane crash Tuesday. But he attended the funeral Thursday in Tehran. For his Iranian colleagues also covering the event, says Scott, it was an emotional day full of long hugs, tears, and condolences.
• Muslim Brotherhood: Staff writer Dan Murphy has been following the Egyptian elections closely during the past month. Wednesday was the final round of voting, and the most violent.
David Clark Scott