• A Russian Boxer's World: As staff writer Scott Peterson approached the Russian Olympic training complex near Moscow (page 7), he wasn't too impressed by what he saw - until he got inside.
"The grounds outside were overgrown. The buildings were gray, Soviet-era architecture - military-style barracks and hangars," he says. "I drove past some athletes doing sit-ups under the trees and a group of boxers jogging up a hill; some of them were dragging truck tires tied to ropes around their waist. Nothing very sophisticated."
But the interiors of the facilities offered a different perspective. "They've invested some money in the gyms and equipment inside. It looked like everything had been renovated in the past two or three years," says Scott.
While there, he met the coach of the one-man Swedish Olympic boxing team, who told Scott that he'd been bringing his teams to this facility since the late 1980s. Working out with the Russians gives his boxers the opportunity to have lots of sparring partners. "They have great facilities. Have you seen the gym? Everything is [top of the line, US-made] Everlast!" the Swedish coach told Scott.
• Trucking in Iraq: Contributor Jamie Etheridge has been tracking the story about truck drivers being kidnapped in Iraq (page 1) for several weeks in her job at the Kuwait Times, an English daily in Kuwait City. "We've been following this story closely, and through contacts at the paper, I finally got an opportunity to talk with a driver the night before he was due to make his next run," she says.
Jamie interviewed the driver, who was from the Indian state of Kerala, with a translator who spoke Hindi and English. "At first the driver seemed pretty resigned to the risks. But the more we talked, it kind of hit home how dangerous his work can be. I don't think anyone had really discussed it with him. He took the job because the money is amazing, at least compared with other jobs for foreigners working in Kuwait."
David Clark Scott