Reporters on the Job

Edgy in Belarus: While correspondent Fred Weir was in Belarus covering Sunday's elections, he found the police particularly edgy in the days leading up to the vote. During a train trip to visit a city near the Russian border, where Belarus was exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, his documents were checked repeatedly. Later, "our driver was held by the police, who accused him of carrying foreigners without proper permission," says Fred.

The old Soviet Union, he says, was a self-confident police state. "But Belarus - I've never seen such an in-your-face police state. The police were very nervous, very attentive to foreigners, prior to the election."

But now, with the election over, Fred notes, "Today, it's sunny and bright and Lukashenko is safely in power. Everyone's loosened up."

Men Who Cook. Really? During most of the interviews that staff writer Ben Arnoldy did for today's story about Australia's gender pay gap, the conversation turned to the subject of chores around the home. "Many Aussie women would roll their eyes and laugh when asked if men were lending more of a hand," says Ben. "Photographer Andy Nelson and I both happen to be spouses who do most of the cooking. But when we mentioned this fact, I could read on their faces a distinct, 'Yeah, right!' To be fair to the Australian blokes, some of the younger women said that their men were getting better at chipping in."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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