Reporters on the Job

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    POWERING ON: More than a dozen solar cars have been racing from Dallas to Calgary, Alberta, in the North American Solar Challenge this week. Continuum, a vehicle designed by the University of Michigan, sped by a canola field Sunday west of Brandon, Alberta, in a final leg of the race.
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King David Street: Staff writer Ilene Prusher says that the spot in Jerusalem where Tuesday's attack took place is King David Street, which is generally considered one of the safest places in the city.

It's one of Jerusalem's most upscale addresses, with several luxury buildings under construction. It also includes the historical King David Hotel, where Sen. Barack Obama was reported to be planning to stay, and which has been the haunt of dignitaries since its opening.

The area is now full of top hotels, stylish art galleries, and cafes. "At one new cafe across from the police scene, I saw more than a few journalists taking a break to drink iced coffee and get out of the searing summer heat for a few minutes," says Ilene.

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Just makin' a living: From the moment staff writer Matt Clark and staff photographer Alfredo Sosa landed in Cuba, they encountered the illegal hustles that many Cubans seem to resort to in order to make a living.

On the drive to their hotel from the airport, their taxi driver – who admitted that he regularly undercounts mileage so he can pocket some of his earnings rather than give it to the state – asked: "What are you guys, millionaires? Why are you paying all that money to stay in a hotel?"

"I know a casa particular that's really nice, very convenient, and only half the cost," he said, referring to rooms that families rent out of their homes to tourists. He took them to one of thousands of beautiful, yet crumbling, Spanish colonial homes that Havana families pack into. "This is great, we'll stay here," Matt and Alfredo agreed.

Later, as they got to know their host family, says Matt, "we found out that the taxi driver who referred us got 30 percent of what we paid them for the room."

– Carol Huang

Asia editor

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