Reporters on the Job

CHASING RUMORS: When he visited the Macedonian town of Tetovo last week, the Monitor's Peter Ford got a glimpse of how provocative rumors spread among stressed civilians. Emerging from an interview with the mayor (page 1), which had been interrupted by a nearby helicopter gunship attack, Peter bumped into the doorman who said a rocket had injured 19 people downtown. Peter's translator called the government news agency, which was reporting that ethnic Albanian civilians in Tetovo were arming themselves for revenge attacks. Peter followed the mayor to the site of the alleged incident, and found no rockets. A stray mortar round - probably fired by ethnic-Albanian rebels in the hills - had hit an apartment block. Nobody had been hurt, and the mortar had not even penetrated the wall.

POST-OLYMPICS BLUES: Sydney is a well-run city. And during the Summer Olympics last year, everything just seemed to run better, says reporter Shawn Donnan. But the end came abruptly (page 7). "My wife and I watched as the flame went out at the closing ceremonies. It was an emotional moment. We'd all been working long days for three weeks straight, and afterward we had a party at the press center. But when we went to catch a train home - as we'd done every night of the games - we had to wait more than an hour. We were peeved, so we chased down a rail employee. His answer: 'I'm sorry, mate. The dream's over.' "


POLAND'S APOLOGY: Facing up to a dark chapter in Poland's history, President Aleksander Kwasniewski apologized yesterday for the massacre of hundreds of Jews by their neighbors 60 years ago. As reported in the Monitor on April 18, Kwasniewski's apology and an official investigation into the killings are part of a new readiness in Poland to look critically at its own past. Kwasniewski's apology, says Reuters, was prompted by new research showing Poles had gone on a rampage in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, overturning the official version that Nazi Germans were entirely to blame.

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