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Reporters on the Job

Anwar/AP
Children, riding high and dry, are pushed to school by their parents through the flooded streets of Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Their school bus is a boat made of inner tubes and wooden doors.

Cross-country in 90 Minutes: One of the first tasks on most journalistic assignments is to secure a rental car. But on Nauru, the world's smallest republic, a vehicle hardly seemed necessary. The nation, a coral speck in the middle of the Pacific, has one paved road and covers just eight square miles.

So correspondent Nick Squires rented a battered mountain bike and found that it took just 90 minutes to peddle around the entire country. During a week on Nauru, he spoke to everyone from unemployed islanders to the republic's president, Marcus Stephen, who is a former weight-lifting champion.

"I took a shortcut to the presidential offices by biking across the airport runway," Nick says. "Fortunately, there are only two flights a week so the chances of being mowed down by a descending 737 are remote."

David Clark Scott

World editor

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