Reporters on the Job

Few FARC Supporters: Reporter Rachel Van Dongen went to Colombia's National University as part of her research for Tuesday's story about leftist guerrillas being recruited on campus (page 1). "It's known as a hotbed for radical leftists," she says. "Although there was a smattering of pro-Marxist propaganda spray-painted on the walls ('Maoism Lives!'), there was more anti-American sentiment evident than pro-FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rhetoric."

For example, Rachel says she saw fliers declaring, "No to the war against Iraq!" One mural painted on the mathematics building showed a hard-line President Alvaro Uribe being manipulated by an Uncle Sam puppet. " 'Let us cut the strings of repression and defend the right of the country to education,' was painted beside the picture," she says.

Nothing Funny Here: Staff writer Scott Baldauf stumbled upon India's Toilet Museum, and he figured he might get a laugh out of a story about this cultural oddity. "It actually is on some of the tourist maps. But it turns out to be a destination with a social purpose (this page)," he says. Of course, Scott knew about India's lower caste "Untouchables." "But I didn't know that there is an entire caste devoted to carrying human excrement," he says. "I was so moved by the museum's success in developing a better life for the Balmikis that I forgot all about looking for a laugh. This is a good news story."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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