• DRESSED FOR A PROPOSAL: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher went to Fallujah to report today's story about the US military's campaign to rout out Iraqi resistance. But the last time she was there, some sheikhs complained she wasn't wearing a head scarf over her hair.
"This time, I decided to save myself from such troubles and just wear it when I went to meet anyone," says Ilene. At first, she questioned her choice. "I saw at least two other female foreign reporters about town - including one who is Arab - and they weren't wearing them. But, I have to say, this time I got a much better reception. Maybe too good."
During the meeting with the members of Fallujah council, which lasted about 1-1/2 hours, her interpreter told her that the man next to him is "really fond" of her. She laughed and forgot about it. But it turns out he kept persisting, asking the interpreter if Ilene was married.
"He and the other men commented on how they were impressed that I knew to wear the scarf and had respect for Arab Muslim ways. So when the interview was over, the poor man came out with it. 'I am looking for a wife,' he said in Arabic. His wife had passed away, he said. He would consider marrying a nice foreign lady. I promised I would ask my friends if they knew anyone who was interested."
David Clark Scott
• AN EMPRESS, PLEASE: Three-quarters of the Japanese surveyed support having a woman on the imperial throne, according to a poll published by the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper Sunday.
Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife, Crown Princess Masako, have only one daughter - Princess Aiko - which has sparked much debate over whether Japan's men-only succession law should be changed to allow her to ascend the throne one day.
Japan has had eight reigning empresses, the last one in the 18th century, reports Associated Press. The 1947 Imperial Household Law, however, says only males can assume the role.