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A Changed Zimbabwe: Returning to the country where he lived in 2000 was surreal, says contributor Rich Schapiro (see story). "When I left Zimbabwe, its problems were starting to mount. But it was still a buoyant country, boasting some fine restaurants and a healthy number of tourists," he recalls.

This time, the smiling taxi drivers at the airport were gone. Shops and restaurants he had frequented seven years ago were, for the most part, closed. The ritual of changing money on the black market, however, was a thrilling experience.

"After my taxi driver pulled up to a well-trafficked corner, a wiry man asked how much I wanted to change," Rich says. "I told him $20. He walked away and whispered something to a group of guys. He then hopped in the car. Just as we were about to take off, a burly man with dark glasses appeared at his window and tossed in a roll of bills as thick as a boa constrictor. "See you again, boss," the man said, before hopping out and blending into the crowd."

– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

MONDAY, Aug. 27
Moscow – US Senators Nunn and Lugar, leaders of Nuclear Threat Initiative, arrive. Will visit nuclear facilities in Chelyabinsk.
Vienna – UN interim meeting on climate-change issues.
Beijing – German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets China's premier, president.

TUESDAY, Aug. 28
Buenos Aires – Deadline for president candidates to register for Argentina's October national election.
Santiago, Chile – Medical doctors working for public health services stage nationwide strike demanding higher pay.
Ankara, Turkey – Third round of voting in presidential election.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29
Oslo – Second Annual African Green Revolution Conference.
Panama City – Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort visits on a humanitarian tour.

THURSDAY, Aug. 30
Vienna – Next round of talks on Kosovo.

SATURDAY, Sept. 1 Port Au Prince, Haiti – US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort visits.
Ankara, Turkey – Fourth round of voting in presidential election.


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