April 19, 2009: “Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, hoping to interview defectors from North Korea, began with a series of meetings in Seoul before flying to the Chinese city of Yanji, on the North Korean border. They were warned not to leave Chinese soil but ventured across the frozen Tumen river anyway. Exact details of their capture vary, with some accounts indicating that they were arrested by North Korean troops after refusing to stop filming, and others suggesting that they were pursued across the ice and back on to Chinese soil before being taken into custody.” – Times Online
April 11, 2010: “Today marks the 250th day of the detainment of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, all recent graduates of UC Berkeley, by the Iranian government. According to the Cal Berkeley student group Friends of the Hikers, the three former students were hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they ‘accidentally crossed an unmarked border’ into Iran, and have been in custody of the Iranian government since 31 July 2009.” – SFGate.com
My new money-making scheme is to make really detailed maps of the world’s danger zones, particularly highlighting their borders, and sell them to American college graduates, graduate students, professional journalists and citizen journalists (and citizen doctors, too. why not?) who insist upon traveling around countries and – Ooops! – accidentally (or not) crossing boundaries that are best left uncrossed.
My maps will be cheaper than getting the Secretary of State to help spring these people from prison when they are subsequently used as political pawns or dragging an increasingly tired-looking Bill Clinton out for some diplomacy. Actually, I think the Clintons are coming in as major investors in my map company because it will save them some time. They’re kinda busy people, you know.
Here’s my rough draft of my first map. Give me some feedback: