Reporters on the Job

• SAVED BY THE RIOTERS: After Hindu rioters had finished destroying one Muslim shop in Ahmedabad (this page), the Monitor's Scott Baldauf ventured out into the street to photograph it. "But just as I clicked my first picture, I could hear them shouting behind me in Hindi to get away from the shop. I turned around to see the rioters pushing and shoving a local man who was acting as my translator. So we left."

But moments later, Scott realized why the rioters really wanted us to get away from the shop. "Ka-boom! Someone had tossed a lighted gas cylinder into the shop, sending a huge Hollywood-style fireball into the sky, scattering bits of metal and glass out into the street, right where I was standing. Some pictures aren't worth a thousand words – or the risks of taking them," says Scott.

• ISRAEL'S SHRINKING LEFT: As Danna Harman worked on today's story about the atrophying Israeli peace movement (page 1), she was struck by the role fear is playing in its demise. "Each Israeli seems to have his or her own personal definition of a safe zone. For some, it's a particular cinema or a cafe. Until about a month ago, the Israeli left felt that Palestinian militants wouldn't attack a peace rally or one of the cafes that peaceniks frequent. That's changed."

She notes that the demonstrators themselves have asked for the fences and security guards that ring their regular rally in front of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's home. "Every one entering the protest area is searched," she notes.

David Clark Scott
World editor


• SINGAPORE PROFITS FROM ENGLISH: The majority of Singapore's 3.2 million people are proficient in English, which is 1 of 4 official languages in the Southeast Asian society.

A recent survey of expatriate businessmen in Asia by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy think-tank showed businessmen preferred Singapore to Hong Kong because of the former's better proficiency in English.

This year, Agence France Press reports, Singaporeans are being told the need to speak English properly has never been greater, now that the economy is being seriously challenged by neighboring countries, particularly Malaysia.

A new advertising campaign will tell Singaporeans how they can improve their English, and the British Council will be producing a series of lessons available over the telephone.

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