Reporters on the Job

THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL: When reporter Ben Lynfield went to Haifa for today's story (this page), he was struck by the posters in one neighborhood. "The walls are filled with posters translating the writing of Israeli Arab writers into Hebrew, and Israeli Jewish writers into Arabic," Ben says, noting that many prominent writers from both groups hail from Haifa.

The posters - on permanent display - stood in sharp contrast to ones Ben sees in Jerusalem. "There are a lot of posters that call for the removal of Arabs" from land claimed by Israelis, he notes. If fliers are torn down, they're quickly replaced.

The displays influence each city's atmosphere: "In Haifa, there's an effort to promote some coexistence and to create an atmosphere where there's respect for the literary heritage of the other side. In Jerusalem, it may be a symptom of how popular far-right sentiment has become."

RUSH HOUR COMES EARLY: While the fighting in Ivory Coast is far from the capital of Abidjan, the population there is still affected by the war, says reporter Lane Hartill (page 7). "The curfew used to be at 9 p.m., but a few weeks ago it was moved up to 7 p.m." That means traffic jams have also moved up - to 4 p.m., when taxis and woro woros, small cars that follow prescribed routes, suddenly are in big demand.

Despite the inconvenience, Ivorians are trying to lead normal lives. The city's maquis, or open-air restaurants, are full of people before curfew. Even a few nightclubs open in the early afternoon. Still, come 6 o'clock, "everyone rushes like mad to get home," Lane says.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

Follow-up on a Monitor Story

VICTORY - IN COURT: Last year (May 15, 2001), correspondent Scott Baldauf wrote about Gurkha fighters who have served in the British Army for more than two centuries. Demand for their services is dwindling - and some have argued their compensation was unfair. Last week, Gurkhas taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II, two of whom are pictured above, won a key battle: A British court ruled they were wrongly excluded from a special compensation payment.

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