LUNCH TIME REVERIE: Reporter Danna Harman traveled to the dusty, drought stricken Kenyan desert for today's story about school lunches. She watched starving children shoo away goats from their meals, and eat their peas one by one. They also added water to the mash stretch it. She was struck by the cultural chasm between her own experience at a high school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "We had theme lunches, and I can't believe it now, but we used to complain about having Mexican burritos instead of sushi." Danna adds that "these are really hungry people, yet there was no pushing. They were very sweet to one another. In fact, some of them carried little plastic bags to take part of their lunch home to share with siblings or parents."

LIMOUSINE REPORTING: The Monitor's Scott Peterson says that a visit to the office of Giorgi Chanturia, head of the Georgian International Oil Corporation, made it clear to him both where the power and Georgian ambitions lie. "His is probably the most beautiful office in all of Georgia," Scott says. "Stunning, original paintings adorn the walls of this extremely large office - appointed with extravagant wooden furniture." Scott says Mr. Chanturia plied him with stories about how far Georgia has come since civil-war days (when there was no electricity and gunfire constantly rattled). Chanturia capped off the interview by insisting Scott ride to the airport in his immaculate oil-company limo instead of a taxi.


UP IN SMOKE: The Irish Times reports that Miss Ireland, Ms Yvonne Ellard, is giving up smoking. Her decision comes as the European Union is laying down new rules on marketing tobacco products, including a bigger health warning on cigarette packs saying "smoking kills." EU Health Commissioner David Byrne said that "One-third of the adult population of the EU smokes. It's only 20 percent in the US. I want to get our figures down to the US level."

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