Part of what I hope to do with this blog is report and point out stories that surprise.

With that in mind, I’m starting something I hope will become a regular part of the blog — as much as time permits: highlight stories that are surprising and tell us a little bit about the world, standing above the babble and din of the daily news cycle to do what journalism is supposed to do — surprise and educate us.

Please feel free to send in your candidates. Here’s mine for today:

-A 2006 story about an editor in the Middle East trying to reshape Arabic journalism — from Anthony Shadid, NY Times reporter who died this week in Syria of an asthma attack. Great reporter, this guy.

-A remarkable story about the ex-director of Olympus, an English fellow and the first foreigner to rise to the top of a major Japanese corporation, about the reportedly Yakuza-connected goings-on inside that company that he apparently tried to expose and for which he was then fired and run out of Japan.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in Arizona says he did not threaten with deportation a (legal, apparently) Mexican immigrant identified only as Jose, said to be his lover, but Babeu did acknowledge that he is gay and is stepping down from the committee helping Mitt Romney in that state. Babeu has been one of the more vocal AZ sheriffs on the issues of illegal immigration and smuggling, and is running for Congress. Here is Jose’s statement.

Kinda liked that, in a state beleaguered by ideology and issues of immigration and Mexico, love (or something like it), for a while anyway, trumped all.

-Finally, murders are down in Juarez, leading some to believe that the Sinaloa Cartel has won the war for that town, so important in drug trafficking into the US. In a related story, Pres. Calderon visits Juarez to call for No More Weapons from the United States.


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