Today's Story Line

Aviation safety in Africa is in its earliest stages of development. Radar coverage and radio control towers are few and far between. But air travel improvements are in the works.

In Yemen, the United States military is improving safety on the ground. A demining program is also building a new strategic relationship.

Environmentalists worry that Ecuador's jungles will be sacrificed to raise oil revenues for the struggling economy.

David Clark Scott World editor


*NO YELLOW RIBBONS IN YEMEN: While in Yemen, the Monitor's Scott Peterson got some tips on marking minefields - and on decorating his daughter's hair. He was being shown a supply warehouse stuffed with boots, office supplies, generators, and post-hole diggers. "What's that for?" Scott asked, pointing to stacks of 10-inch PVC pipe. A US demining specialist explained that the pipes were cut, buried upright as fence posts, and filled with concrete. In Eritrea and Ethiopia, yellow caution tape was strung up to keep people away from dangerous areas. But it quickly disappeared. "Every little girl in town had yellow pigtails made with our tape," laughed the US expert.

*MIDNIGHT SNACK ATTACK: Reporter Catherine Elton has made a number of trips into the Amazon jungle. While today's story in Ecuador produced no adventures, it reminded her of the last camping trip. "We were awakened after midnight by ants biting us. By the light of the moon, we could see our tent was covered with thousands of leaf-cutter ants. They were cutting small holes in the nylon tent and plastic tarp on the sides and base. And they were munching on our T-shirts left out to dry." Their guide burned a clear area on the ground with gasoline. "The ants didn't bother us after that - they don't like the smell of gasoline," says Catherine. She went back to sleep in her newly ventilated tent.

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