Reporters on the Job

New Tax Break for Married Britons? Correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley has been married eight years. He says that the plan to offer married couples in Britain a tax break of $2,000 per year or about $40 per week was met with broad conceptual support (see story). "Most people agree that robust families make strong societies," says Mark.

But he doubts it would make a difference in the divorce rate or whether couples decide to get married or not. "I don't think 20 quid is going to make much difference in whether you stay together," he says.

And Mark wonders about the state's role in helping single moms or dads. "They'd throw money at me, but based on what I see at my kids' school, it's the single parents who need all the help they can get."

– David Clark Scott

World editor

This week's look ahead

Tuesday July 17
Tokyo: Nolan Ryan visits to pitch US beef.
Accra, Ghana: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit Israel, the West Bank, and Portugal during trip to Ghana, for talks on African trade.

Wednesday July 18
Tokyo: High court to rule on appeals by Chinese victims demanding government compensation for poison gas left by Japan in the 1930s and '40s.
Cape Town, South Africa: Nelson Mandela's 89th birthday. Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, and others come to celebrate and watch soccer stars play a "90 Minutes for Mandela" match on Robben Island.
Washington: US House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Iraq's oil sector.

Sunday July 22
Ankara, Turkey : Parliamentary elections.

– Associated Press

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