Reporters on the Job
• Shock in Madrid: Correspondent Lisa Abend was at the courthouse when Spain handed down the verdicts on 28 people charged with the 2004 Madrid train bombings (see story). Many family members of victims of the bombings were there as well – and they were angry.
"They've been here throughout the five-month trial. But when they arrived Wednesday, they were told there wasn't room for them in the courtroom. You could tell how emotional this experience was by their response: it sent some of the adults into tears," says Lisa. "In the end, six people were let in. But the fact that seven of the 28 suspects were later absolved, and the sentences for many were so light, was also taken hard. Dozens of people were crying."
The judge went through and talked about each accused and his sentence. When he got to the Egyptian who was absolved, Lisa says that the pressroom and the courtroom exploded in surprise and anger. "The judge had to tell everyone to quiet down. Each time there was absolution or a lesser sentence, there was a gasp, even among the media."
• Turks Still Love the NBA: The growing anti-Americanism is clear to see in pop culture and in politics (see story), but correspondent Yigal Schleifer says it has not touched him personally. "Cab drivers, upon finding out that I am American, will still say 'Very nice,' and seem to genuinely mean it. But that will often be followed by a long list of complaints about what America is doing in Iraq and about the policies of the Bush administration," Yigal says.
Adidas recently opened up an NBA-themed shop in Istanbul. "Turks love basketball, and I saw lots of young men happily walking around with giveaway jerseys bearing the names of American teams. Likewise, US actor Kevin Costner recently visited Turkey and was treated like a conquering hero, including being invited to the Turkish president's residence," he says.
– David Clark Scott