Today's Story Line:
New tools of science are helping people find their roots across continents. In Siberia, Moscow Bureau Chief Judith Matloff found a scientist who may have located a people who are the most genetically like native Americans. That could put a new spin on the term "native". Quote of note: "If we have a mutual past, then we hope it will help promote cooperation with the Americans." - Orlan Cholbeney, head of the Tuva Republic mission in Moscow.
Get ready for the "e-purse." Europe hopes to spread the use of electronic money cards. The US is lagging.
Many Muslim nations are torn between Islam and a strong secular military - except Nigeria. Our story explains why.
- Clayton Jones
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
* FLYING WITH ROYALTY: When our Africa writer Lara Santoro flew across Nigeria from the city of Kano (story, page 7), she received an unexpected upgrade. She had boarded a rather unpleasant and small aircraft run by Kabo Air and was waiting for takeoff when a flight attendant came tearing down the aisle, shooing everybody off the plane to a bigger, better aircraft. No explanation was given. But then she saw a commotion on the tarmac, with porters screaming, traffic controllers waving their arms, and police hollering. They were helping a small squat man approach the new plane. He wore a giant turban and was wrapped in layers of embroidered garments. Behind him was a huge delegation of attendants. The Emir of Kano, arguably the most powerful of Nigeria's seven Islamic emirs, had decided to fly to the capital. This implied a great number of things. For Lara, it meant a better plane. For the cabin crew, it meant never looking at the emir or speaking to him directly. For the pilot, it meant an endless display of devotion. "It is with inexpressible honor that I announce to the passengers directed to Lagos that His Royal Highness the emir is traveling with us," the pilot began. "His Royal Highness the emir has granted us the honor of flying with us. Now if his Royal Highness could be patient, we shall be taking off soon." And so on, every five minutes. The emir sat through it without batting an eye.
QUOTE IN THE NEWS
* FOOD FOR THE BILLIONS: "In the next 50 years, we will have to produce as much food as has been produced since agriculture began 10,000 years ago. And we will have to do that job on less land and with less water and other inputs than we are using today." - Sanjaya Rajaram, director of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, who receives the Rank Prize Fund for Nutrition in London today.