Reporters on the Job

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    QUEEN’S DAY: Princess Maxima, wife of the Dutch crown prince, celebrated Queen’s Day in Franeker, Netherlands, on Wednesday, with a game of traditional handball. The day marks the birth of the queen’s mother. Traditional activities include “freemarkets,” similar to American garage sales.
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Not Quite Riverdance: As staff photographer Andy Nelson videotaped the training of Afghan police by US forces south of Kabul, Afghanistan, he was struck by the seriousness of the effort – and a moment of unintended comic relief.

Well, it was comic for him. With great vigor – arms flailing and knees pumping – the police were practicing marching. But their synchronization left something to be desired. "They couldn't quite get their coordination together. But no one was laughing. There's a real willingness to learn, and they really want to be professional and can be seen carrying themselves professionally," says Andy

"You can see that the guys who are really trained have a level of confidence that the guys who are starting don't," he says. And those in the police academy understand that this is life-or-death training. "If they learn how to fight back better, that can make the difference to making it back home to their families."

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Transplanted in Nigeria: Correspondent Sarah Simpson was impressed by the courage shown by the Zimbabwean farmers now starting farms in Nigeria . "These are not young farmers. To many people, this would seem quite late in life to be starting afresh. This is a big investment for them, not just financially, but emotionally," she observes.

Sarah found that a persistent theme among the uprooted Zimbabwean farmers was the loss of family unity. "These are families who have been in Zimbabwe for generations. That's home. But now their parents are living in flats in London. Their children are looking for jobs in South Africa or Australia. Their families are scattered around the world," she says.

David Clark Scott

World editor

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