TINKER, TAILOR, JOURNo, CRITIC: Reporter Mike Crawley reads any book he can get that involves Kenya. So he didn't need to be told twice when a friend urged him to read John Le Carre's latest thriller, "The Constant Gardener," which is set in Kenya. Finding a copy in Nairobi, however, produced today's story of intrigue (page 1). When Mike did finally buy the book, he read it in one sitting. "It's a good read," he enthuses. But Mike had a few niggling complaints.
"His portrayal of journalists in Nigeria was a bit harsh. And Le Carre had a plane landing in southern Sudan and staying overnight. That would never happen. It's too dangerous to stay. They always fly back the same day," says Mike. But he adds, "Le Carre did get the name of my favorite Indian restaurant right!"
TIGHTER SECURITY: Politicians in Thailand don't typically have much security, says reporter Simon Ingram. He didn't see any on the campaign trail. And 10 days ago, Simon was staying at a hotel in the seaside resort of Hua Hin next to where Prime Minister Thaksin - reputedly Thailand's richest citizen - keeps a lavish beachhouse.
"I sat on the beach just a few feet from the house, whose windows were open. The only thing between me and the prime minister's private quarters was a row of carved pineapples a the low perimeter wall." In the wake of the apparent attempt on Thaksin's life Saturday, the prime minister has been issued with armed bodyguards and an armored BMW.
TRUSTING YOUR WORKMATES: Hong Kong workers had the most faith in their colleagues, with 76 percent saying they trusted their office mates, just ahead of Thais and Singaporeans in a recent MasterCard survey in 13 Asia-Pacific nations. Regionwide, 36 percent said they could not trust the people they work with, led by Indonesians at 55 percent, then Japanese at 53 percent, and Malaysians at 43 percent.
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