• Beach Beat: Correspondent Ginny Hill has been working in Yemen for the past eight months. Her reporting for today's story about Somali refugees arriving in Yemen (see story) had its genesis in work she did last fall, when she produced a film for Channel 4 in Britain. "In October, I spent a week camping on a beach waiting for the smugglers' boats to arrive. We were the first Western crew to gain access to this restricted area, on the condition that we had a military escort – five armed guards.
"We drove up and down the sand flats looking for people walking out of water. They're pushed out of the boats off the coast and have to swim to shore. They arrive weak, frightened, and searching the beach for their belongings," she says.
At the time, the Somalis told Ginny that they were fleeing because they couldn't stand the restrictions of life under the Islamic courts. Now, some of the Somali refugees arriving are supporters of the Islamic courts who fled the invasion of Ethiopian troops at the end of December.
• Followers of Abraham: Staff writer Ilene Prusher went to Jordan to report on the mapping of Abraham's travels through the Middle East and the creation of a path (see story). The team working on the path were pleasantly surprised by the positive response in the 10 countries crossed by the route. Anecdotally, Ilene encountered the same response.
"When I mentioned this story to friends and colleagues of all faiths, the majority were excited by it. Only a few remarked, 'What's a walking path going to do for peace in the region?' " she says.
David Clark Scott