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Reporters on the Job

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WHO'S TRAINING WHOM? Sara the walrus and her Russian trainer play together during a show at the newly opened Dolphinarium in Istanbul, Turkey.

Murad Sezer/AP

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Into a No Taxi Zone: Staff writer Sara Miller Llana didn't think her reporting about the murder rate in Caracas, Venezuela, the highest in South America, would be complete without a visit to a slum neighborhood with a dangerous reputation. She first visited with police. But she wanted to go back to talk to residents without a police escort.

"I talked a colleague into coming with me, and we tried to catch a cab from the center of town. The reaction was: No way, no one will take you there, and you better not go if you want to stay alive!" says Sara.

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Finally, they took the subway to Petare. They still couldn't find a cab driver willing to go to the area they wanted to visit. "Eventually, we found a young guy, in a sketchy car, who said he knew where we wanted to go," she says.

Sara got her interviews without incident, but it was dark by the time they left. "Thankfully, the last person I interviewed knew a person with a car who took us down the hill to the subway."

Long Way Home: The closure of Thailand's airports by protesters has disrupted the travel plans of thousands, including correspondent Simon Montlake. He was returning from an assignment in Shanghai, China, when he got stuck in Hong Kong. "I walked up and down the terminal checking on airline schedules. Nobody was flying to Bangkok," he says. "I finally found a small Thai airline that had a flight to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The flight arrived, but my suitcase didn't. As a cautious journalist, all my notebooks were in my carry on. So no excuses not to file my stories!"

David Clark Scott

World editor

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