Reporters on the Job

Hitchhiking on a Helo: Staff writer Scott Peterson was told that it was unlikely he would get to the remote Afghan outpost anytime soon. The weekly supply convoy to Kamdesh had already left. It would be days before a helicopter would go there. But as Scott sat at the Afghan airbase, a helicopter landed. Scott joked to the US military public affairs officer that it was his ride. In fact, it was. "I packed my bags in less than a minute, throwing the computer and satellite phone and everything else in at once. I grabbed my flak jacket and helmet and ran for the helicopter," says Scott.

The helicopter weaved up a narrow valley of sheer cliffs, on the edge of a storm, and finally started to lose altitude. The landing area was so small and remote that Scott thought they were making an emergency landing. Then he saw the concertina wire around the base.

"My mind immediately flashed to that scene in the film 'Apocalypse Now,' " says Scott. "In the movie, the last outpost on the river is under rocket attack at night. An operative arrives and finds a soldier in a trench. 'Who's your commanding officer?' the operative asks. The shellshocked soldier replies: 'I thought it was you!'"

This Week's Look Ahead

Monday, Oct. 2:

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. Monday through Oct. 5.

Belgrade, Serbia – Chief UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte visits Serbia to press again for extradition of top fugitive Ratko Mladic.

Stockholm – Nobel Prize in medicine to be announced.

Tuesday, Oct. 3:

Stockholm – Nobel Prize in physics to be announced.

Wednesday, Oct. 4:

Berlin – Transparency International releases 2006 report on official corruption in countries around the world.

Stockholm, Sweden – Nobel Prize in chemistry to be announced.

Thursday, Oct. 5:

Ankara, Turkey – Trial due to begin for Turkish author Ipek Calislar, charged with insulting revered late leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in biography about his wife.

Friday, Oct. 6:

Stockholm – New center-right Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt presents his Cabinet and makes his first speech to new parliament.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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