Reporters on the Job

Escaping Gaza: Staff writer Jill Carroll was a little surprised by how nonchalant the Egyptian farmer was when the bomb went off. She was interviewing him about conditions at the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (see story). "I heard the explosion, then we saw Palestinian kids a couple of hundred yards away running through a hole in the metal wall. Based on his reaction, apparently such an event is not that unusual," she says.

The boys ran into the no man's land between the wall that runs toward the Mediterranean Sea. Only a barbed-wire fence stood between them and Egypt. "The farmer told me that sometimes they carry fence cutters and get all the way through. Security is pretty light here. I just saw one guy at the crossing."

Jill was a few miles northwest of the main border crossing at Rafah. This was an old crossing gate, with much less security. "I only saw one guy on guard," she says. She and her interpreter went to this area, rather than the Rafah crossing, because she was trying to gauge whether Palestinians were trying to get out of Gaza. "The main crossing complex is much more heavily guarded. And the last time I went to Rafah, no one wanted to talk to a foreign reporter. They were too concerned about Egyptian police."

Backpack Full of Berries: While a small but growing minority of British shoppers are eschewing plastic bags (see story), correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley still gets quite a few quizzical looks when he – gasp – refuses to use plastic packaging.

Just this morning, he decided to try out his local store's offer to leave behind the plastic box in which berries are packed.

"So there I was, pouring strawberries and raspberries into my backpack," says Mark. "People looked at me as if I were an ax-murderer." Nevertheless, he – and the berries – made it home just fine.

– David Clark Scott

World editor

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