Reporters On The Job

NO POLYGAMY PLANS: While reporting today's story about Egyptian marriage laws and polygamy (this page), reporter Philip Smucker spoke with many Egyptian men who said that polygamy was simply not for them. "They kept telling me that you can never treat women equally in a way that will keep them happy," says Phil. Looking further into the origin of the precedent-setting 1956 Tunisian law banning polygamy in that country, Phil found a specific passage in the Koran used as a basis for what the Egyptian men were telling him. It read: "You will never be able to be equitable between your wives, be you ever so eager."

"It seems like very rock solid advice," says Phil, adding, "I only have one wife and have no plans to experiment with the 'liberal' Egyptian laws."


WHO KNEW? EVERYONE: In a survey of residents in three Chinese cities, only 1.6 percent had no idea that China had won its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games (sees story, page 7). But only about 17 percent of the population in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou plan to support the Games with cash donations, according to a survey conducted Saturday by Horizon, a local market research firm.


THE CASTRO BROTHERS: After fainting during one of his marathon speeches last month, the Sunday Times of London reports that Fidel Castro is leaving some of the burdens of running one of the world's last communist bastions to Raul, his younger brother. It also reports that Raul, whose portrait has begun appearing on billboards in Havana, is preparing to take over. Raul now effectively controls the interior ministry and is in charge of a powerful newspaper and radio propaganda machine.

But Fidel Castro is still active. Reuters reports that on Saturday, the Cuban leader gave a two-hour speech at the inauguration of a museum about Elian Gonzalez. It's called the "Museum To The Battle Of Ideas."

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