• BARGHOUTI'S REP: As the Monitor's Nicole Gaouette interviewed Israelis and Palestinians about Marwan Barghouti, she was struck by the enthusiasm among younger Palestinian officials for this man now on trial in Israel for terrorist attacks. "They said things like, 'He's terrific,' while their attitude toward political figures closer to Yasser Arafat were markedly less enthusiastic," says Nicole.
"Mr. Barghouti is media savvy in a very modern way (think Bush or Clinton) and his once-in-a-generation political skills are all the more marked because Palestinians have few prominent home-grown political options. The senior Fatah leadership, Mr. Arafat, and Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas included, are referred to among Palestinians as 'the Tunisians.' "
• THE SATELLITE GUYS: As the Iraqi technicians worked to set up a satellite TV dish in the Monitor's Baghdad bureau Wednesday, they kept to their business, says correspondent Scott Peterson. They assembled the satellite, and drilled the holes in the roof to bolt it down. Then they attached the cable and programmed the decoder, all with determined efficiency.
But Scott managed to crack their professional demeanor as they were sorting out the TV channels. While he was one the phone working on today's story with an editor in Boston, he joked, "Can you believe it? Iraq's nuclear engineers are now setting up satellite TVs!"
It wasn't true - at least not in this case - but the Iraqis couldn't stop laughing.
David Clark Scott