Reporters on the Job

Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters
A man floats on the Dead Sea near the Israeli kibbutz En Gedi. The sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. It has been shrinking because of increased use of water from the Jordan River.

My Millionaire Kids: Who wants to be a millionaire? In Zimbabwe, it's rather hard not to be. In a country where a loaf of bread costs 10 million Zimbabwean dollars (if you can find a loaf in the stores), just about everyone is a millionaire.

Staff writer Scott Baldauf says that before he arrived there to do the story about Zimbabwe's economy, "I was a bit worried that I would have to push around a wheelbarrow of cash just to buy a soda. Fortunately, the government of Robert Mugabe has recently started printing $10 million notes (which were worth about US37 cents when I was there).

"That means that wheelbarrow can be used for hoarding bags of cornmeal and sugar instead of carting around cash," says Scott. "When I returned to South Africa, it was easy to come up with gift ideas for my two girls. I gave each a crisp $10 million note. 'Wow, thanks Dad!' they said, and then immediately gave each other high-fives."

David Clark Scott

World editor


Olympic Boycott by France? Most French people surveyed want President Nicolas Sarkozy to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this summer to protest China's human rights situation. But French athletes should compete, the Associated Press reports.

When asked by the Liberation newspaper about how to protest China's "human rights situation," 53 percent of respondents said they were "rather favorable" to the idea of Mr. Sarkozy staying away from the opening ceremonies. Forty-two percent were "rather unfavorable."

Meanwhile, 55 percent said they would not support a boycott of the Games by French athletes. A separate poll published Monday in the French sports daily L'Equipe had similar results: 60 percent opposed a French boycott of the Games, but 54 percent said French leaders should not attend the opening ceremonies.

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