Reporters on the Job

Cultural snapshot

THE GRADUATES: Wednesday's story about a class of Iraqi architecture graduates and their future, had its genesis in March. At the time, the Monitor's Scott Peterson was interviewing professors at Baghdad University. An architecture professor and her colleague in the engineering department were joking about which had the best-looking students. They roped Scott into the argument by inviting him to judge for himself at a party that night. He went.

Fast forward to Tuesday. Scott called the architecture professor to ask her about how to get in touch with some of the students at that party.

It turned out the graduating class of 60 or so students were gathering at the university Tuesday for a class photo. "This is a time in their life when the world should be their oyster. I went to ask them if that's how they viewed their future," says Scott.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Follow-up on a Monitor Story

POTTER MANIA GOES GLOBAL : More than 1.7 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix" were sold across Britain in the first 24 hours after its release, making it the fastest-selling book in history, Bloomsbury Publishers said Monday.

By comparison, this installment of the series has outstripped sales of the previous tale in the series published three years ago. Then, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," sold 372,775 copies in the first 24 hours, the publisher said.

The book went on sale Saturday, as reported on June 19, ("Harry Potter and the disappearing books"). The US publisher of the Potter book, Scholastic Inc., estimates that 5 million copies were sold the first day, more than five times the first week's sales of another recent blockbuster, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoirs.

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