Reporters on the Job

Chasing Chinese in Sudan: Correspondent Danna Harman found it difficult to get Chinese officials, executives, or even ordinary workers in Sudan to talk to her. For weeks, she sent letters and made phone calls to the key people requesting interviews for the three-part series that begins today (see story). "I got no response. Nothing, which is a bit unusual," she says.

Then she tried just showing up. "I went out and knocked on doors. Often, in remote places where they don't get a lot of visitors, they're willing and even pleased to talk to you," says Danna.

But this was not the case. "When I showed up at an oil facility in Paloich, Sudan, they told me I needed to go through official channels. Then, the Sudanese security folks made me give them my notes, and they wanted to take my digital camera away, but settled for deleting each photo."

Eventually, Danna made contact with Chinese truck drivers going into the oil facility, who led her to one of her interviews. And Monitor staffer Peter Ford in Beijing contacted Chinese officials there for comments on activities in Sudan.

– David Clark Scott

World editor

This Week's Look Ahead

Monday, June 25: The Hague – First witnesses take stand in trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is accused of overseeing campaign of terror, murder, rape, and enslavement in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Tuesday, June 26: Brussels – European and Turkish foreign ministers discuss progress on Turkey's bid to join European Union.

Wednesday, June 27: London – Tony Blair steps down as Britain's prime minister after more than 10 years. Will he become a Middle East peace envoy for President Bush?

– Associated Press

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