Reporters on the Job

DODGING THE QUESTION: While working on today's story about the Iraqi judicial system, the Monitor's Ann Scott Tyson felt an eerie similarity to her experiences as a correspondent in China. "I would ask a question and the Communist Party official would launch into a different topic. Here, I found this was particularly true when I was probing the issue of corruption in the system. The judge I was interviewing wouldn't answer the questions directly," says Ann.

"At first, I got impatient with my interpreter. I thought he was doing a poor job of translating the comments into English. But what I was dealing with was the evasiveness of the judge."

One of the points the Iraqi judge did make was the difficulty in getting the police to do their jobs. Ann planned to watch a trial Wednesday, but, inexplicably, the accused didn't show up. In another recent case, a public show of opening a refurbished Iraqi courtroom was spoiled when the defendant was a no-show. "The explanation? The electricity went out and the defendant walked out of the jail," says Ann. "No one seemed to know how."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Survey says...

SPEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: Almost a third of Britons in a new survey would like to see England soccer captain David Beckham's picture on their bank notes.

Thursday is the last day when 10-pound notes with the face of Charles Dickens are legal tender. He was replaced by Charles Darwin. Some Britons think the historical figures on bank notes should be replaced with more modern celebrities. Thirty-seven percent voted for Beckham, and 29 percent said they would opt for the visage of Winston Churchill. The late Princess Diana attracted 21 percent of the vote, while William Shakespeare got 13 percent and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones got 8 percent.

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