Reporters on the Job

Changes in Iran: The genesis of today's story about pragmatism among Iran's conservative leadership was prompted by staff writer Scott Peterson's desire to dig into US-Iranian history.

"If you're reporting on the back and forth over the controversial nuclear issue, you don't get an opportunity to explore the historical context that shapes the perspective of Iranian leaders," he says.

During his travel to Iran over the past decade, he's watched the ebb and flow of protests in the streets of Tehran. "In the late 1990s up until early 2002, I noticed a decrease in Iranian interest in some of the anniversaries, [such as the US Embassy standoff in 1979 and the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988.] But after President Bush's 'axis of evil' speech, whole families turned out for an Islamic revolution anniversary a few days later. It was huge," he says.

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No Surge in Trafficking: There have been no signs of the surge in human trafficking and forced prostitution that some experts predicted (June 5, "World Cup goal: stem prostitution") ahead of the World Cup in Germany, according to preliminary research.

Sweden's aid agency and the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, a Geneva-based nonprofit group, credited preventive efforts by German police and antitrafficking activists.

Prostitution is legal in Germany, but the estimated 2 million tourists appeared to have been more focused on soccer than sex. German brothels reported the expected "increase in business didn't happen," Cologne police spokesman Burkhard Jahn told the Associated Press. He said the city saw no noticeable increase in prostitutes, and that "the women were all bored."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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