Reporters on the Job
SLEEPLESS IN HERAT: How does Afghan warlord Ismail Khan (page 1) enforce a 10 p.m. curfew in the city of Herat? Correspondent Scott Peterson was an involuntary witness to the security methods.
Every evening, just outside the hotel where Scott is staying, Mr. Khan's forces huddle around a fire in the central rotary. After curfew, they spring to life when they see the lights of an approaching vehicle. One of the soldiers lets out a blood-curdling scream: "HAAARGH!" then levels his AK-47 assault rifle directly at the driver. The vehicle almost always screeches to a halt, long enough for another soldier to "attack" from the side - and demand to see documents.
Scott says he's getting used to it. But his wife, Alex hasn't. She comments on it every time she hears it in the background of a late-night satellite phone call.
CLOSE BUT NO INTERVIEW: Reporter Danna Harman tried to get an interview with Jonas Savimbi (page 7) when she was in Angola last year. UNITA rebels used to "have all the journalists come on their treks and raids," she says. But they have since virtually severed all ties with the foreign press. Still, Danna was determined to take a shot at seeing Mr. Savimbi. "I e-mailed, called defectors, and talked to various factions," says Danna. But to no avail. The only recent interview Savimbi granted, was self-initiated. He called up the Voice of America in Washington and requested they interview him.
David Clark Scott