Reporters on the Job
• A Smugglers' World: Staff writer Sara Miller Llana and photographer Eloise Quintanilla were with a Mexican official in charge of helping migrants when they got stuck on a rural road waiting for a banana farmer who was transporting his crop. A few farm workers were milling about. "Look! There's a smuggler with a child," said the government agent.
"A man walking with a teenage girl spotted our orange government truck and pushed her quickly into the maze of the plantation. He was gone, and we couldn't confirm the agent's claim," says Sara.
Later, they visited a migrant shelter and spoke with a man for several hours who was very funny, spoke perfect English, but was evasive about his background. He refused to have his picture taken. Then he just disappeared without saying goodbye.
"Later, we found out that he was a smuggler," says Sara. "If you live far away from a border, the word 'smuggler' often connotes some secretive underworld. But it's just a part of daily life along the Mexican-Guatemala border(see story), and you run into it all the time – in a traffic jam, in broad daylight, at a shelter."
• Floating Press Conference: Correspondent Yigal Schleifer gives the Islamist creationist Adnan Oktar (see story) credit for flair and securing a captive audience. He hosted a press briefing for about 20 journalists on a boat on the Bosphorus Strait near Istanbul. "We boarded, then picked him up on the other side of the Bosphorus. He arrived dressed in a white suit with gold cuff links and belt buckle," he says. Several hours and a luncheon buffet later, the journalists left with a "gift bag" of DVDs and more books on creationism.
– David Clark Scott