Reporters on the Job

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    Two Thai women covered in talcum-powder mud celebrated in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday.
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I'm Not a Bomber: Editors hear all kinds of reasons about why reporters are unable to touch base, but here's a new one: The Israeli military blocked the call.

While working on today's story in south Lebanon near Israeli military positions, correspondent Nick Blanford couldn't get reception.

"The locals in the villages of Kfar Shuba and Shebaa told me that in recent months the Israelis in nearby posts have been jamming cellphone lines," says Nick. "Indeed, in Kfar Shuba there was no signal at all and in Shebaa, the signal fluctuated constantly."

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But he didn't have to contend with Israeli jamming, which one UN officer he spoke to said was widespread in southern Lebanon. In addition, some of the UN mobile patrols are equipped with cellphone jammers as a precaution against roadside bombs triggered by mobile phones.

"While following a Spanish UN patrol at one point, I lost all signal on my phone, says Nick. "I had to pull over for a few minutes until the Spanish troops had driven far enough ahead for the signal to return."

Nick's editors in Boston are just glad it didn't happen on deadline.

– Christa Case Bryant

Europe editor

This Week's Look Ahead

Monday, April 14: Rome – Italian elections wrap up.

Wednesday, April 16: United Nations, N.Y. – South Africa leads a two-day Security Council meeting with African leaders on conflict prevention.

Thursday, April 17: Moscow – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas begins two-day visit.

Friday, April 18: Paris – Conference opens on press freedom in China ahead of the Olympics.

Saturday, April 19: Bangkok, Thailand Olympic torch relay.

Associated Press

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