Reporters on the Job
CURVE BALL: In reporting on American Little League baseball's arrival in Afghanistan (page 1), David Buchbinder wanted to interview some of the players' parents. Someone ran to find the father of Nazim, a 14-year-old star pitcher. "The problem was that Nazim had been trying to keep it a secret from his dad that he was playing ball on Friday afternoons, when school was out," David says. "His father wanted him to be working in the family store when he wasn't in class." The father told David that he was happy that his son was playing, and that it wasn't a problem. "Of course, Nazim's dad was saying this while surrounded by a lot of people, so he wasn't likely to make a big deal out of it then," says David. "I just hope I didn't get Nazim into trouble once he got home."
In a story in the Aug. 6 edition, Nicole Itano reported on a debate among Zambia's leaders over whether to accept US donations of genetically modified corn. Despite the prospect that 2.3 million people could face starvation, the Zambian government announced on state television late Friday that it has rejected the offer. The United States has given repeated assurances that its genetically modified corn modified to produce higher yields and protect against pests is safe, and several food experts have urged drought-stricken Zambia to accept it. But, according to an Associated Press report, Zambia said the corn poses a long-term risk to the nation's food security, because there is a risk that it is toxic and could contaminate local seed. Nineteen countries require genetically modified grain to be labeled, and the European Union bans the sale of any new engineered products. Aid agencies warned that Zambia's decision could add to widespread hunger.