• Settlement Security: Staff writer Ilene Prusher had visited the Israeli settlement of Karnei Shomron about a year ago on a story assignment. One of the changes that struck her upon returning for today's story about the new growth spurt was the tighter security.
She was visiting with another reporter and had some time between appointments and decided to visit another settlement. "It's only two miles away, but going from one settlement to the next took us 40 minutes," she says. "What used to be a small checkpoint manned by a few soldiers now looks like a border-crossing to the West Bank."
There were multiple lanes, but instead of a toll booth, there were clusters of Israeli soldiers checking IDs. There was a line for "authorized vehicles," one for "Israeli vehicles," and one for "all others." "We weren't sure which category to choose, so we picked the one that was moving the quickest, the line for settlers," says Ilene.
• Been What? While staff writer Matt Clark was reporting story on professionals living in the US who are moving back to their native Liberia, he came across the term "Beentos" pronounced (BIN-tuhs).
He was interviewing Nyeneken Barcon, the superintendent of Liberia's Montserrado County, when she used the term. At first, he thought she was talking about Bentos City, Liberia.
She smiled and told him the term is used somewhat derogatorily for those Liberians who have "been to" a developed country. Most Liberians are generally happy their educated brethren are returning to help rebuild the country, but she told Matt: "We expect that they come to bring us up to their level, not create a clique."
David Clark Scott