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Reporters on the Job

Stranded Workers: For today's story about illegal trafficking - and abuse - of workers in the Persian Gulf states, reporter Jamie Etheridge had no problem finding subjects to interview (page 13). "All I had to do was call up the labor attaché for the Philippine Embassy. He didn't have to hunt them down. There are dozens in the hallways trying to get home at any given time. The same is true of the Pakistani and Indonesian embassies," she says.

"The challenge is getting people to open up. If they're still working, they worry that if they talk to you they'll get fired," she says.

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How big is the problem? The Emir of Kuwait is allowing some governments to use his private aircraft to send home workers who have fled their local sponsors. "He's flying back 200 to 300 women at a time. That's happened at least twice in the past year I've been in Kuwait," says Jamie.

Another View: Staff writer Danna Harman was in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, reporting on the battle against drug trafficking when she stumbled on today's story about a circus. "All the local police had been taken off the streets for drug testing. So I went looking for the police headquarters to talk to a cop. But then I spotted this circus tent nearby. It was so incongruous amid this tense atmosphere. The city was dead. There were no tourists around. The bars and brothels are closing," Danna says. "I went over and talked to the knife thrower. He told me to come back in the evening. That night, the circus was the only sign of life in the town. It was packed. The rest of the media was rightly focused on the bigger story, but I wanted to offer another perspective on life in Nuevo Laredo."

David Clark Scott
World editor