Reporters on the Job

• CLOSE TO HOME: As he was writing today's article about the trends in international terrorism (page 1), the Monitor's European correspondent Peter Ford was struck by how close to home the threat has reached. "Authorities and terrorists say that Westerners risk being singled out as targets wherever they are," says Peter.

His young nephew Alexander, for example, has just set out for an adventurous trip to Southeast Asia. Bali was never on his itinerary, but Phuket – a similarly popular resort in Thailand – is, and Western intelligence services are warning that the beach-side town could well attract bombers intent on killing foreigners.

"When does adventurous become foolhardy?" Peter wonders. "But how easily prudence can paralyze you."

• INVITED, SORT OF: Reporter Nicolas Pelham went to a formal reception held during the Women's Summit in Jordan (page 7). He brought along his invitation, but quickly realized that journalists weren't exactly welcome. "The first clue might have been the invitations themselves," says Nick "There were two different types – a gold-leafed one for the official guests, and a black and white one for journalists."

Nick handed his invitation to the guard at the entrance to the main tent. "They saw it was one of the black and white ones and ushered me around back to a room for all the journalists." But the room was empty and Nick didn't feel like spending the evening there alone, so he tried again to access the main event. But there was no slipping inside. "They had metal detectors and my laptop would have given me away." Nick tried to talk his way in but to no avail, so he went home.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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