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Reporters on the Job

Cultural snapshot

A NEW SHORTCUT IN BAGHDAD: Reporters sometimes find that the logistical challenges faced are the hardest part of their job. But Tuesday, the Monitor's Pentagon correspondent, Ann Scott Tyson, scored a minor victory. "From the Monitor's Baghdad bureau, the fastest way to the US-led coalition headquarters in Iraq is across the Tigris River. But the closest bridge is blocked by a US military checkpoint. The detour adds 30 minutes to the trip." Every other journalist who has tried to cross, Ann was told by her driver, has been turned back. But she was running late for a press conference, so she gave it a shot.

"I showed the troops my Department of Defense press pass, and the I.D. I used while I was embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division during the war. They let me right though," says Ann.

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SHRIVELED CHERRIES: Normally, Peter Ford, the Monitor's European bureau chief, is delighted with the view from his Paris office on the top floor of his apartment building, which looks out over a tree-shaded square.

But lately, suffering from the prolonged heat wave that has gripped much of Europe, those trees have been shedding their foliage, and the Place Monge is carpeted with dead autumnal leaves before July is even out.

But the Ford family is bemoaning an even greater loss. In the orchard behind his wife's family home in Burgundy, the Morello cherries have shriveled on the branch. What that means is that there will be no homemade confiture de griottes (cherry preserve) this winter to spread on Peter's croissants.

David Clark Scott
World editor