Reporters on the Job

Krishnendu Haider/Reuters
EARTH’S UMBRELLA: Indian schoolgirls in Hyderabad participate in International Ozone Day by holding an awareness campaign. The ozone layer protects Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But the size of the hole in the ozone layer in Antarctica is already bigger than it was in 2007, according to a UN agency.

Parenting and Piracy: Today's story about China's milk industry's deceptive and illegal practices reminded staff writer Peter Ford of his fashion-conscious 15-year-old son, who is a keen consumer of Chinese knockoff products or fakes.

"The fact that most of the fake Nike and Adidas trainers he buys fall apart after a few weeks means nothing to him," Peter laments. "I tried some basic economics with him and demonstrated that my extremely smart and normally very expensive French footwear, bought on sale and worn every three days or so for five years, were a better value than his $5 fakes. But the lesson did not stick. The idea of wearing the same shoes for more than five years was simply inconceivable."

No Armor Needed Anymore: To cover the US military's change in commanders from Gen. David Petraeus to Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, staff writer Tom A. Peter was required to hitch a ride with the US military to get to the ceremony at Camp Victory even though it was just a 30-minute drive from the Monitor's Baghdad office. Typically, the US military requires you to wear body armor as part of the normal operating procedure, so Tom brought his set.

"When I arrived, I was surprised to see that I was one of the only reporters who'd brought body armor," says Tom. "It turns out someone forgot to tell me that it was optional."

"To get to the ceremony, we drove on the airport highway, which used to be considered the most dangerous road in Iraq. Even though all the soldiers still had to wear their gear, it's quite a statement that the military would waive the body armor requirement for civilians. It's a real sign that they feel much safer these days."

David Clark Scott

World editor

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