Reporters on the Job

Denis Farrell/AP
SWINGING IN SOWETO: An abseiler swings between the old power-station cooling towers. The backdrop is a portrait of Nelson Mandela. The towers will also be used for tourists who want to bungee jump.

Paid to Wait: After two years of reporting in Latin America, staff writer Sara Miller Llana knows that there's no point in showing up at the scheduled time for an event. If you do, you'll wait.

"This is especially true for [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chávez. He often starts press conferences three hours or more after they are scheduled to begin," says Sara.

For Friday's important meeting between Mr. Chávez and Colombian President Álvaro Uribe (see story), the media were told to arrive at the airport at 6 a.m., to catch a flight to Punto Fijo. "We landed early that morning at the oil refinery where the big event was to take place, only to be told that the press conference wouldn't start until 5 p.m. Essentially, we had a nine-hour wait," she says.

The good news was the press conference started almost on time. Sara suspects that Mr. Uribe's presence influenced that and the unusual brevity of Chávez's answers to questions.

David Clark Scott

World editor

Tuesday, July 15:Suva, Fiji – Foreign ministers from South Pacific countries make their first visit to Fiji since a military coup in 2006. The goal: salvage a plan to restore democracy.Islamabad, Pakistan – High Court to hear a petition against detention of former nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Wednesday, July 16:MadridSaudi Arabia holds interfaith dialogue meeting with representatives from most of the world's religions.

Thursday, July 17:Sydney, AustraliaPope Benedict XVI begins official schedule for World Youth Day; meets Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Associated Press

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