• No More Elvis? Correspondent Bennett Richard, like many journalists in Japan, will miss Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Japan's long-maned leader for the past five years steps down Tuesday. "It's going to be a little boring now," sighs Bennett. "We're losing a colorful character."
In addition to shaking up Japan's political traditions, Koizumi entertained. In his last visit to the US, he sang a few bars of "Love Me Tender" from the Jungle Room of Graceland. In Japan, he released his own compilation of his favorite Elvis songs.
What got less attention was another compilation of his favorite operatic music. "Most politicians in Japan use the weekends to build their political networks and influence. But Koizumi was famous for not going out and meeting people, but locking himself in the prime minister's residence and listening to opera music, turned up loud," says Bennett. "I don't think [Namiko] Abe will be quite as colorful or nontraditional."
• No Lights and No Coup: A blackout struck Pakistan Sunday, knocking out power in the whole country for several hours. It also sparked rumors of a coup after state-run television channels went off the air. The same thing happened when President Pervez Musharraf took control in a coup in 1999.
There was no coup, but the outage effectively stopped correspondent David Montero from filing his story until a day later. "The lights flickered in my room, followed by a sizzle, and then darkness," he says. David thought it was just his house. Then he learned it was the whole country. "I was more worried about my deadline than a coup. I was calling people for quotes for my story, but no one was picking up." He finally resorted to writing his story on a notepad, in the hope that the power would come back in time. It didn't.
David Clark Scott