• MISSING MAOISTS: Scott Baldauf's first meeting with Maoists in Nepal was in April 2001. A secretive rendezvous in Kathmandu was followed by a three-hour Himalayan hike led by a 10-year-old boy. Scott was the first Western journalist to attend a Maoist mass meeting.
For today's story, the Monitor's South Asia correspondent simply caught a cab to the Maoist headquarters in Kathmandu. "Once the peace process started, they rented a two-story house in a residential area," says Scott. "But many of the Maoists I met during that first story have since died. One leader, Comrade Pratap, who had been my host at the mass meeting (he insisted on sleeping on the floor while I slept on the bed at a farmhouse) was killed by the Nepalese Army at a highway checkpoint."
Another, Comrade Kalpana, the head of a local Maoist women's wing, was killed in battle. Hearing of their deaths brought mixed feelings. "They were personally decent to me, but their People's War brought so much death and so little development to Nepal," he says. "Clearly, it took a toll on their leadership. Those replacing them are not as dedicated or skilled."
• WINDOW ON CAIRO: Reporter Paul Schemm didn't have to go far beyond his workplace to gather some of the information for today's story about Arab and Israeli peace activists. Paul is also the editor of the weekly English newsmagazine "Cairo Times." He heard about the Copenhagen meeting because the publisher of the magazine attended. The incident about the Israeli ambassador visiting the art gallery emerged in a conversation Paul had with an intern at the magazine. "The intern worked at the gallery, so I called the owner to hear the story. He said his actions had given him a good reputation in the neighborhood," says Paul.
David Clark Scott