Reporters on the Job

Home, Together: Every parent knows how challenging it can be to find good day care. But Monitor correspondent Isabelle de Pommereau has been particularly struck by the difficulty of finding help in Germany, where she has lived for several years. "I'm still amazed at how taken for granted it is that mothers should stay at home," she says. "In other countries I've lived in, it is a fact of life that mothers can work as well as have children. But in Germany, it's still very hard to combine the two. The notion of the mother as primary educator is still very strong."

Isabelle notes that the percentage of children in day care in former East Germany is much higher. "But West Germans have been very skeptical of leaving children in the care of the state. They tend to associate day care with communism," she says.

So how does Isabelle, a working mom, handle her two children? "I registered my daughter, who is 6, everywhere, but couldn't get a spot. Currently I'm part of a group of mothers who have pooled resources to have a group baby sitter," she says.

Legal Lens: Pulling together contributions from correspondents around the world to explain foreign reactions to the drama surrounding Terri Schiavo's fate, Peter Ford was struck, once again, by how differently the English-speaking countries treat issues like this from other nations. "All the accounts of lawsuits came from Britain and Australia and the US," he says. "People in Europe or South America could not understand that judicial kind of approach."

It doesn't seem to matter, though, which approach countries take to these ethical questions, Peter says. "Very few have resolved them to the satisfaction of doctors, lawyers, patients, and the public," he says.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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