Reporters on the Job

Alessandra Tarantino/AP
A new Vatican Swiss Guard checks out his uniform before Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony. The event marks the day in 1527 when 147 Swiss guards died protecting the pope during the sacking of Rome.

It's Not Cricket, Is It? When it comes to the brave new world of shorter professional cricket matches, correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley finds himself firmly planted between the traditionalists and a new generation of fans.

When he plays an amateur pickup game of cricket with his mates on a weekend, it's usually similar to the new "Twenty20" games that limit the number of "overs" or innings. "We all have families and can't realistically play for five days or even all of one day," he says.

Mark plans to take his son to the finals of the Twenty20 league later this summer. "Part of me thinks its a good idea because it will get him hooked on a game that lasts as long as a soccer match. But I worry that it's like learning to play chess by playing checkers. One doesn't bear much resemblance to the other," he says.

"When I was his age, I was into test cricket and watched for all 5 days. I still remember what happened in a legendary match 20 years ago at 3 p.m. on a given day," says Mark. "But, like most of my cricket loving friends, I can barely remember anything that happened in a Twenty20 match two days later. It moves too fast."

To Celebrate or Not? There will be a variety of Independence Day events in the coming days in Israel marking the 60th anniversary of its founding. Staff writer Ilene Prusher has been invited to some, such as a barbecue for foreign correspondents that includes a jazz band and crafts for children. But she's also sensitive to what the anniversary means to Palestinians. "I may attend a literature festival in Ramallah too," she says.

Ilene was in Israel during the 50th anniversary celebrations. She says this time feels a little more subdued. "During the 50th, the Oslo Accords were still alive. Now, the atmosphere is more pessimistic about reaching a workable peace plan."

David Clark Scott

World editor

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