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Reporters on the Job

May 5, 2008

A POWERFUL THIRST: In India, near Allahabad, a passenger steps from the window of a train to reach a water hose.

Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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Ethanol From Sugar: Correspondent Andrew Downie was prompted by several events to write about Brazil's ethanol difference.

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The UN special rapporteur on the right to food called growing crops for fuel "a crime against humanity."

The March 27 cover story in Time magazine "The Clean Energy Scam" drew howls of protest in Brazil.

And Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made a series of statements defending his country's ethanol production. "He likes to use soccer metaphors," says Andrew. "In this case, he said it was like Brazil has an average team with one great player. The other teams are trying to kick that player, to foul him."

Has Andrew made the switch to ethanol in Brazil where about two-thirds of new cars sold run on the fuel? "My editors don't pay me enough. I'm still driving a 10-year-old car that runs only on gasoline," he says.

David Clark Scott

World editor

Monday, May 5:
Beijing Tickets for the Summer Olympics go on sale.
Havana – IV International Conference on The Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century.

Wednesday, May 7:
Amsterdam Conference on Global Reporting Initiative. Results of efforts launched by Al Gore two years ago to get corporations to report on their social and environmental impacts.
Moscow Dmitry Medvedev is inaugurated as Russia's third post-Soviet president.
Dublin, Ireland Parliament convenes to elect Finance Minister Brian Cowen as Ireland's new prime minister.

SATURDAY, May 10:
Rangoon, Burma Referendum on Myanmar's military-backed draft constitution.

Associated Press

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