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Reporters on the job

PALESTINIAN PARADOX: Journalists never know what kind of reception they'll get. While reporting today's story from the Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan (page 1), Ben Lynfield says that he was warmly received. And coming from Jerusalem didn't generate any distrust. Rather, "they were eager to hear about what was going on in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. They follow events there very closely on television and in the newspapers. But that's the paradox. They are removed from the Palestinian occupied territories, yet they are so closely tied to it by family, religion, and nationalist feelings."

PICNICKING AT THE DUMP: It was a television broadcast of weekend events that brought today's story about a landfill in Kuwait (page 7) to Miriam Amie's attention. She couldn't understand why school children were being invited to plant trees on Earth Day at a massive garbage dump. "Al-Qurain was so smelly no one ever went there. People joked that it was the perfect fugitive's hideout, since no policeman would dare follow," she says. A few phone calls and a few days later, she found herself the guest of honor at a landfill engineers' picnic. They all sat cross-legged on a plastic tarp, munching on chicken and molokhiya. "The stinky landfill is now a beautiful desert park. It was amazing," says Miriam.

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FOLLOW-UP ON A MONITOR STORY..

SUBWAY SCENTS: In Tuesday's story about efforts to upgrade the London Underground, we failed to mention one effort under way to "enhance" the air commuters breathe. That is, a machine is now coating three subway station platforms with a scent known as "Madeleine." It's described as a "rich, rosy, jasmine bouquet with a touch of herbs." The freshener is sprayed on station floors after cleaning. It dries into a film of microscopic bubbles, which reportedly release their scent when trodden underfoot.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor