• Back to Aceh: To report on the trials and tribulations of rebuilding one of the lifelines to Aceh, correspondent Simon Montlake returned to a road that he first visited in 1998.
At the time, he was living in Malaysia and had heard that there were some great, off-the-beaten path beaches in Aceh. He caught a boat and made his first visit to Indonesia as a tourist.
"I remember how stunning it was before the tsunami. The road ran through green hills, then you'd barrel down along the palm-fringed road with Indian Ocean waves crashing at your side, then weave back up among rocky outcroppings, before racing back down along the sand," says Simon.
But the two beachfront villages where he stayed and watched the sun set are no longer there. "The landscape was scrubbed clean, with just the mosque left standing," he says.
• Brazilians Reject Gun Ban: Sixty-four percent of Brazilians voted Saturday against a proposal that would have prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition except for police, the military, security guards, gun collectors, and hunters. As reported on Friday, Oct. 21, the ban proposal came on the heels of a 2003 gun law that restricts who can legally purchase and carry guns, and an 8 percent drop in firearm deaths.
Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the US, but 25 percent more gun deaths at about 36,000 a year. While ban supporters argued gun control was the best way to stanch the violence, analysts say Brazilians were persuaded that they needed guns for personal security because the police aren't able to protect them.
David Clark Scott