• A Different Gaza: Correspondent Rafael Frankel has been on seven reporting trips into Gaza. But his latest trip to report on Palestinian Fulbright scholars is his first in two years, and his first visit since the militant group Hamas has seized control of the strip.
"This is the first time that I didn't feel like I needed eyes in the back of my head to make sure something bad didn't happen to me," he observes. "Hamas is now in power and the streets are definitely safer. There is still something a bit eerie about men with automatic weapons on every other street corner, but it's better than men from warring factions with automatic weapons on every street corner," Rafi notes.
But he says that while foreign visitors may feel more secure, "the flip side is that life is now harder than ever for the 1.4 million residents since the borders were shut down following the Hamas takeover a year ago. The economy here, never that strong, has completely collapsed. So physical security is up, but everything else is way down."
– David Clark Scott
• Tigers Need More Room: Tigers are doing so well in one of India's top reserves, Reuters reports, that authorities have agreed to expand its boundary to give them a bigger area to roam, a rare piece of good news for a country struggling to save its big cat.
Better conservation efforts have led to a crowding of tigers at the Jim Corbett reserve, and the animals have begun straying into buffer zones from core areas, officials said. The 1,300-square km (500-square-mile) reserve at the Himalayan foothills now has 164 tigers, up almost 20 percent over the past five years. The success at Jim Corbett is a rare success in an otherwise grim overall fight in India to save tigers from poachers and habitat destruction. A survey shows just 1,411 tigers left in India, half the number in 2002.