Reporters on the Job

Please, Take Sides: Rallies are part of the scene as Indonesia's Acehnese prepare for their first direct vote Monday. But correspondent Simon Montlake and staff photographer Andy Nelson noted something unusual at the rally by Azwar Abubakar, the acting governor just after the tsunami: It was segregated by gender. "I've never seen that before," says Simon. "Sharia law has been on the books for five years, but hasn't been used." Simon says candidates would only comment that the women were more comfortable on their own. "The women did seem to be having a better time, singing and shouting. The men seemed rather bored," says Simon. "You do see this creeping conservative Islam, but no one really wants to take on sharia as an issue."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

Week ahead

Monday, Dec. 11:

Mexico City – Protests regarding violence against journalists planned across country.

United Nations – Worldwide report on the state of children.

Tuesday, Dec. 12:

Berlin – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Wednesday, Dec. 13:

Lobatse, Botswana – Judgment expected in suit by Basarwa people, or Bushmen, seeking to block eviction from ancestral homelands in Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Thursday, Dec. 14:

Abuja, Nigeria – OPEC conference.

Beijing – US-China economic talks with US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Friday, Dec. 15:

Taipei, Taiwan – President Chen Shui- bian's wife goes on trial over alleged embezzlement.

Sydney, Australia – First Federal Court hearing in case filed by Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks.

Saturday, Dec. 16:

Gibraltar – First flight from Spain to Gibraltar following agreement to relax Spanish restrictions with British colony.

Dhaka, Bangladesh – 35th anniversary of Bangladesh's victory in the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.

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