Reporters on the Job
BAD BOYS, OR NEW LESSONS?: For Danna Harman, reporting today's West Bank story provided lessons in unusually bad behavior (page 1). She says that all the settlers she spoke with made a big point of telling her they were not racist.
"Every one relayed stories of work and friendship with Arabs, and all insisted that they had imparted this 'open mindedness' to their children," Danna says. "On the ground, however, I saw no evidence of this. On the concrete makeshift roadblocks along the way to several of the settlements, graffiti barks 'death to the Arabs' and ' 'Revenge.' A school bus of Palestinian schoolgirls, all dressed in pretty uniforms was rumbling past Ariel, one of the main West Bank settlements. A small group of Israeli boys, about the same age as the girls, was standing outside on the road in front of the settlement. They all yelled when they saw the bus and gave the girls the finger. The girls did nothing, except for one, who spat out the window. Now, perhaps this is usual little-kid bad behavior. But I think it runs much deeper. It's a small sign of the education for hatred going on here."
COUNTING HIS PENNIES: Foreign reporters are usually insulated from a country's economic woes by such luxuries as credit cards and overseas bank accounts, says Colin Barraclough (page 1). In Argentina's case, however, they're subject to the same cash shortages as local citizens. "I've got about $30 left in pesos, and I have to make that last until the banks reopen," Colin says. "Like most Argentines, I'm down to about one meal a day, and I'm just trying not to think about how long this might go on. I thought of taking the ferry to Uruguay this weekend to pick up some US dollars, but, like many businesses here, the ferry companies will not accept payment by credit card because they fear the banks will not honor the transaction. I guess I'm as trapped as everyone else."