Reporters on the Job

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    Different Worlds: An Italian soldier stood guard as Afghan women walked toward a mine-awareness program launched by French soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday.
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Hold the Rain: Contributor Eliza Barclay says that Kenyan farmers displaced by postelection violence face a sad irony (see story). "On the one hand, the rainy season is starting, and usually, for farmers, that's good," she says. "But for the farmers I spoke with – who live in a camp for internally displaced persons northwest of Nairobi, in the southern part of the Rift Valley – it's not good news, as the camps are built on low ground. Many people are concerned that the camps could become swamps and pose a health threat. "

The already poor conditions could become worse, says Eliza. But Kenya also faces a larger issue: With many farmers unable to plant and do their regular work, food security becomes a more urgent issue.

Silence Is Preferred: Sam Dagher made detailed preparations to meet with Abu Abdullah, a Sunni insurgent whose militia continues to battle US forces in Iraq. When they finally did meet, under conditions approved by the Monitor's security advisers, Mr. Abdullah – who goes by a nickname – was accompanied by another man introduced as the "driver."

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"This driver kept quiet for the most part but was eyeing me the whole time," says Sam. "But then, as the discussion progressed and I started asking some detailed questions, he started interrupting and telling Abu Abdullah that 'he was going too far.' "

Sam says he began to protest. "I told the man, 'Come on, this is on a no-names basis to begin with and is off the record.' But the man told me that there are things I couldn't report."

Sam told him that was fine. "But I thought to myself, this is now an 'off, off the record' interview." (See story)

– Amelia Newcomb

Deputy World editor

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