• Sleeping With Her Boots On: Traveling across Afghanistan with the troops of the 10th Mountain Division for three weeks (page 1) afforded reporter Ann Scott Tyson a stunning view of the country, both from the air and ground. On the ride to Orgun in a Chinook helicopter, the crew snapped Ann into a harness with a tether so she could perch on the edge of the open back ramp and photograph the unfolding countryside. The crewman served as a guide, shouting snippets of observation into her ear, such as: "Dogs chase the helicopters!"
On an infantry mission in Paktika, camping in an old Afghan fort afforded a sweeping vista of the Gomal Valley by day, and, after dark, the Milky Way. The only drawbacks, she notes, were getting "blasted awake by mortar flares in the middle of the night, and the order to sleep with my boots on in case of an enemy strike."
• The Pugnacious Playwright: Reporter Sophie Arie attended a rehearsal of Dario Fo's satirical play "The Two-Headed Anomaly" the night before it opened in Rome. The Italian playwright was there too and, before the curtain went up, offered the audience a political commentary on the country's new media law (this page). Later, Sophie interviewed Mr. Fo at his hotel. "He told me that at age 77 he never expected to doing this kind of show. But he felt compelled by [Prime Minister] Berlusconi's control of the media outlets and political dialogue to respond. He expected to be sued. He said that's how critics of the Berlusconi government have to fight: not just on the stage but in the courts."
David Clark Scott