Reporters on the Job

Ng Han Guan/AP
Sleeping for Gold: An exhausted worker took a nap near to Olympic flame cauldron in the 91,000-seat Bird's Nest the day after closing ceremonies in Beijing.

Update on Jill Carroll: Sunday, the US military announced the arrest of an Al Qaeda in Iraq figure who they believe to have planned the abduction of journalist Jill Carroll in 2006.

The Monitor has not previously associated this name with the kidnapping principals.

The Multinational Force-Iraq statement reported that: "Salim 'Abdallah Ashur al-Shujayri, also known as Abu Uthman, was captured during an operation Aug. 11. He is reportedly the AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] emir of the Rusafa district of Baghdad. Ali Rash Nasir Jiyad al-Shammari, also known as Abu Tiba, was captured Aug. 17. Both men are assessed to be longtime members of AQI."

...[Abu Uthman] is believed to be the planner behind the kidnapping of ... Jill Carroll. His associates have allegedly been involved in several other kidnappings, including a group of Christian peacemakers and Margaret Hassan."

In May 2007, the US military reported that it had killed Muharib Abdul-Latif al-Jubouri, identified as a senior figure in Al Qaeda's Iraq operation. Jill did not recognize his photo at that time.

Jill left the Monitor this summer to train as a firefighter.

How to Grow Your Team: Monitor staff writer Scott Baldauf calls it "the unbearable whiteness of being." The coach of the rugby team that Scott observed for today's story promoting rugby among blacks in South Africa pointed out how much harder the boys seemed to be playing the day he visited. The reason? "He said it was because I was white. Maybe I was a recruiter, or a famous rugby player. Maybe I would bring sponsorships and uniforms."

Scott says he told the boys that he worked for a newspaper, but had a feeling they would – like many a journalist – not let the truth get in the way of a good story.

"Believe me," the coach chuckled, "There were 20 boys here today. Tomorrow, you'll see twice that number, because the word will get out that a white guy came to see them play."

– Amelia Newcomb

Deputy World Editor

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