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Reporters on the Job

The Scents of Delhi: As staff writer Mark Sappenfield reported today's story about reactions to Wal-Mart opening in India, he made note of the fire near Somdutt's packaging store. "Delhi is a city of extremes – 110 degrees F. in the summer and into the 30s at night in winter," he says. "There is hardly a street corner that isn't aflame at dusk. These are modest affairs, just enough for a few people to gather around. Among the more inventive fuels: old wrappers and bicycle tires."

"The fires give Delhi the pleasant wintertime aroma of burning firewood, like an enormous scented candle hung over a city that typically smells of urine, curry, car exhaust, and body odor simultaneously," he says. "But it does have other consequences, highlighted by an electric sign I saw at a Delhi stoplight: "Fine air particulates today: 521 percent [above] safe level."

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David Clark Scott
World editor

This Week's Look Ahead

Monday, Dec. 18

Beijing – Six-nation talks resume in international effort to get North Korea to give up nuclear weapons program.

Brussels – European Union fisheries ministers begin talks on preventing collapse of threatened fish stocks in Atlantic.

Zurich, Switzerland – FIFA, the world soccer body, awards Player of the Year.

Vienna, Austria – Report on Muslims and Islamophobia in European Union.

Tuesday, Dec. 19

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Jerusalem – British Prime Minister Tony Blair to visit Israel, Palestinian territories, and United Arab Emirates.

London – 400th anniversary of departure of ships carrying colonists for first permanent English settlement in America.

Friday, Dec. 22

Madrid – Government conducts world's richest lottery, "El Gordo," with prizes totaling $2.5 billion.