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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 10:22 GMT
On tour with President Bush - Day Seven
The BBC's Nick Bryant is travelling with US President George W Bush on his tour of Asia. He is sending us regular e-mails charting the president's progress around the region.


Day Seven - Dateline: Beijing
22 February

The reporter from the Wall Street Journal is among the first to reach the filing centre, busy on the phone talking to his office in New York.

The death of his colleague, Danny Pearl, has just been confirmed by the State Department in Washington, and he is asked to get a response from the White House.


Often when the President speaks there are sardonic asides - but now we listen in respectful silence

It's six in the morning here, and the filing centre is virtually deserted. But it quickly starts to fill up, as correspondents are awoken by the news editors in the US and told the gruesome news.

"A statement from the President will be available in the next 15 minutes," says a young White House aide, normally fast-talking and chipper, who explains in a solemn voice when and where Mr Bush will speak.

Daniel Pearl was abducted after travelling to Karachi for a meeting with a group of Islamic extremists whom he hoped would provide information about e-mails exchanged by Pakistani militants and Richard Reid, the so-called, "shoe-bomber".

Daniel Pearl
Daniel Pearl wanted to interview Islamic militants
In other words he was killed trying to do his job. President Bush delivers a measured statement expressing anger and sadness in equal measure. It reveals both sides of his personality: the compassionate and the determined.

All Americans are sad and angry to learn of the murder, he says. Those who would threaten Americans, those who engage in criminal barbaric acts need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause and only deepen the resolve of the United States of America to rid the world of these agents of terror.

Often when the President speaks there are sniggers and sardonic asides from reporters. But now we listen in respectful silence.

Daniel Pearl was known to many people in this room so there's a profound sense of loss and anger at his brutal death. It's a terrible end to the trip.


Click here for Day Six
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Click here for Day Three
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