Reporters on the Job

‘Trabi’ Nostalgia : A member of the Trabant lady owners’ club tooled down the street in Bucharest, Romania, on Sunday. The East German cars, notorious for their poor performance and smoky engines, have followings in many nations.

Keep it brief, please: Correspondent Sam Dagher was struck Sunday by how eager Iraqi officials were to keep press conference appearances with Iran's President Ahmedinejad (see story) to a bare minimum.

"At President Jalal Talabani's residence, he and Ahmedinejad spent 10 minutes professing their 'brotherly' love for each other in opening statements," says Sam. "Then it was two and a half minutes taking questions, with Mr. Talabani not hiding his disdain and impatience with some of the questions posed by reporters."

Among those reporters was the Monitor's Awadh al-Taiee, who, Sam says, had braved mortar threats, closed roads, and multiple checkpoints to get there.

Later, at Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office, a second conference lasted some 18 minutes. Controversial matters, particularly those relating to America, were not addressed, Sam says.

Iran's president exhibited his characteristic approach, Sam says: When asked about President Bush's remarks that he stop supporting terror, Ahmedinejad smiled and said: "Really, he said this? You heard him say this?"


Monday, March 3 Vienna – International Atomic Energy Agency board meets.

Tuesday, March 4 Washington – President Bush and Mrs. Bush welcome King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan.

Wednesday, March 5 Vienna – OPEC meets to consider cutting production amid high crude prices.

Thursday, March 6 Beijing New Zealand expected to sign free-trade agreement with China.

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