Reporters on the Job

So Tell Me... You never know whom you're going to meet in the course of reporting a story. For the Monitor's Scott Baldauf, who is covering Afghanistan's first presidential vote (page 1), a surprise came in the person of Afghan astrologer Sayid Amir.

"I didn't know Afghanistan even had astrologers," says Scott. Intrigued, he and a fellow reporter felt they had to ask Mr. Amir if he had any predictions, as an astrologer, for the upcoming elections.

Amir, Scott says, smiled ambivalently. "None of the astrologers will risk telling the future of Afghanistan," he told Scott. "So many governments have come and gone and only God knows who will come next. We don't want to interfere with God's work."

Could We Please Rock the Vote? They're weighing who will be prime minister. The race is close. But that doesn't seem to be enough to get Australians excited about going to the polls on Saturday, says correspondent Janaki Kremmer (this page).

"It's been hard to engage people in this campaign," she says. "It seems that at the end of the six-week campaign, everyone just wants to get it over with."

Janaki says those who are undecided are finding the campaign more engaging. "But most people I know are firmly in one camp, and nothing has made them change their minds," she says. "Iraq has hardly gotten a mention. The economy is doing well and new jobs are being created, so people seem a bit complacent."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

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