Reporters on the Job

Similar (Sad) Stories: On the cement blast walls set up around Baghdad to protect buildings (and their occupants) from suicide bombers, the city has put up posters that read: "Why are all our stories the same?" It's intended to promote reconciliation among Iraqis by stressing that they all face the same senseless violence.

Correspondent Sam Dagher notes that in a cruel irony, it might be applied to the two Iraqi families – one Muslim, one Christian – he interviewed (see story).

Haythem al-Rubaie is a Shiite Muslim who lost his son Ahmed and wife Mahasen in the Sept. 16 Blackwater USA shooting. His family fled a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad in February because of threats from Al Qaeda-linked militants. The family found temporary housing in eastern Baghdad. His wife was shot when she went back to her old neighborhood to get a piece of paper needed for permission to take a one-month leave from her job in order to move to a new home.

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Jenevia Jalal, a minister at an Assemblies of God church, was killed in a shooting this month by employees of an Australian security company. She also lived previously with her sister Julia in west Baghdad. They had fled the violence and moved in with a sister and her husband on the east side.

Walk or Ride? Correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley's children aren't among those living the sedentary lifestyle that has made Britons the most obese in Europe (see story). In fact, they are getting quite a collection of stickers, which their teacher gives out if children walk to primary school five days in a row. Mark is sympathetic to calls to support such efforts. "In the morning, drivers don't stop to let you cross the street. The government has to tackle motorist attitudes and create an environment conducive to walking. People won't be active if they can't do it safely," he says.

– David Clark Scott
World editor

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