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Reporters on the Job

ALL THAT GLITTERS: Reporters are always sized up by their interviewees. It's natural. But during today's story on a diamond dealer's exhibition in Switzerland (page 7), the Monitor's Nicole Gaouette found that she wasn't the object of scrutiny - it was her jewelry. "I'd see their eyes flick to the diamond ring on my fourth finger, and a small frown appear as they tried to appraise it," says Nicole. "I wore a black pearl necklace and found some exhibitors, out of professional curiosity, couldn't stop looking at my throat." She decided to get rid of the distractions. The second day, she went back wearing no jewelry at all. And attention spans grew.

AUSTRALIAN PALATE PLEASER: Tourists that come to Australia seem to readily eat crocodile and even kangaroo. In Alice Springs, they serve up camel meat. Emu can be found on Sydney menus. But American reporter Shawn Donnan reports that Vegemite is an acquired taste (page 1). "It's hard to find an Australian that doesn't eat the stuff. Mostly, Vegemite is consumed on toast in the morning," says Shawn, who acquired his taste for the black yeast spread from his Australian dad. "He never force-fed me the stuff, and I always keep a jar handy. My wife - she's native New Jersey - can't stand it, and none of our visitors from the states have enjoyed it either. One recent visitor was pretty blunt when I offered a taste of true Australia: 'Get that away from me!' "

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SURVEY SAYS...

JAPANESE WOMEN CHOOSE MONEY: Seventy percent of single women in Japan say that any future husband would have to earn more than they do, according to a survey by OMMG Inc., a marriage introduction service. With a shaky economy, most women put financial security ahead of "chemistry" and sense of values. "Love" fared even worse. Only 18.7 percent of women in their 20s were idealistic enough to consider it the most important prerequisite, while the figure plunged to just 5.9 percent among female 30-somethings, Agence France Presse reports.

CULTURAL SNAPSHOT..

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