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Reporters on the Job

November 30, 2007



Caught in the Cleanup Curfew: As correspondent Sara Simpson set out to report on Sanitation Day in Lagos, Nigeria, (see story) she was nearly run off the road by a group of policemen.

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On one day each month, residents are required to stay home for three hours to pick up their neighborhood. "It's almost a cleanup curfew," says Sara. "They thought I was violating it. When I showed them my press ID and camera, they became very polite. In fact, they were happy I was reporting this story. But it gave me a taste of what might happen to the average Nigerian if they weren't home picking up their rubbish."

Meeting the Ex-president of Iran: Staff writer Scott Peterson's Iranian translator got a tip that Iran's former President Mohammad Khatami would be at a small meeting of Egyptian and Iranian intellectuals in north Tehran. Scott was invited.

Sure enough, when he arrived, Mr. Khatami was sitting in the front row. "He was bright-eyed and warm when I introduced myself, but he has aged," says Scott. The former president – whose reform movement has been sidelined by conservative factions – asked one of his brothers to arrange an interview. But later on Scott was able to conduct the interview on the spot (see story). "I expected him to decline to answer questions about US-Iran relations," says Scott. "But instead he drew a deep breath, gathered his gravitas, and blamed US policies for destabilizing the Mideast. He called for unconditional talks."

– David Clark Scott

World editor

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