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Reporters on the Job

No Comfort Zone: How do you cover riots in Lebanon when a colleague tips you off by holding a cellphone to the sound of the gunfire, and then the entire cellphone system goes down?

Staff writer Scott Peterson ( see story) found out last Thursday, when he turned on the TV after the tip-off and saw rioters burning cars and the Army ready to deploy in downtown Beirut. His driver stuck in traffic, Scott rustled up a taxi, whose driver took Scott as far as he could, dropped him off, then drove away.

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Scott looked out on columns of smoke, soldiers, rioters, and angry bystanders. "It was one of those moments when you can feel clearly that you are stepping out of the comfort zone," says Scott, "from safety to something else entirely."

This week's look ahead

Monday, Jan. 29
The Hague – International Criminal Court decides if its first trial will involve Thomas Lubanga, Congolese warlord charged with using child soldiers.
United Nations, N.Y. – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
Tokyo – Japan celebrates 50th anniversary of Showa Base in Antarctica.

Tuesday, Jan. 30
Caracas, Venezuela – National Assembly expected to approve measure granting President Hugo Chávez broad powers to pass laws by decree for 18 months.
Belfast, Northern Ireland – Date set by Britain to dissolve Northern Ireland Assembly. March 7 elections to follow.
Yaounde, Cameroon – Chinese President Hu Jintao visits. he will also go to Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, and the Seychelles.

Thursday, Feb. 1
Moscow – Russian President Putin holds annual marathon news conference.

Friday, Feb. 2
Belgrade, Serbia – UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari expected to present proposal for future status of Serbia's UN-administered Kosovo province.
Paris – International conference on environment aimed at launching new, UN-level world environment agency.
Accra, Ghana – American professional baseball players visit to promote their sport among young Africans.

– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor


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