Reporters on the Job

Soup, Again: The current curfew in Baghdad affects everyone, including journalists.

Staff writer Scott Peterson flew back by helicopter from a week in Fallujah and landed in the Green Zone after dark on Thursday, only to find that an "indefinite" curfew had been declared after a lethal series of car bombs in Sadr City.

With the help of British security consultants retained by the Monitor, Scott was able to get back to the paper's bureau in the "red zone." That's the nickname used to differentiate the rest of Baghdad from the fortified Green Zone, where the US Embassy and Iraqi government are battened down.

But arriving back in the office, he found the food supplies getting low. "It's been soup for lunch, and pasta and spaghetti sauce every night, with whatever cheese remained uncontaminated in the fridge," says Scott. "Then, fortunately, I came across two cans of beef soup bought shortly after the 2003 invasion. They were only a few months out of date – perfectly acceptable."

If the curfew doesn't lift Monday, as planned, Scott's editors are considering airdrops of rice, beans, and soup with 2008 expiration dates.

David Clark Scott
World editor

This week's look ahead

Monday, Nov. 27:

Manila –Verdict expected in the rape trial of four US Marines accused of raping a 23-year-old Filipino woman.

Tuesday, Nov. 28:

Riga, Latvia –Two-day NATO summit with heads of state.

Istanbul, Turkey – Pope Benedict XVI begins his first papal visit to a Muslim nation.

The Hague – Closing statements in the war-crimes case against Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader.

Wednesday, Nov. 29:

Amman, Jordan – US President George Bush meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss security handoff.

Thursday, Nov. 30:

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo – EU troops scheduled to leave the DRC.

Saturday, Dec. 2:

Havana – Delayed celebrations for Fidel Castro's 80th birthday, held in conjunction with 50th anniversary of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Sunday, Dec. 3:

Venezuela – Presidential elections.

Madagascar – Presidential elections.

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