A Letter From the Publisher: Apr. 7, 1986

When fighting breaks out, the first instinct of a good journalist is to get close to the action. But as TIME correspondents found in reporting this week's stories on the clashes in the Gulf of Sidra and Central America, the best seats are usually hard to come by. Says Middle East Correspondent John Borrell, who has covered numerous wars: "All too often you are either too far away or too close."

Borrell began making travel plans as soon as news of the U.S.-Libya clash reached Egypt. Since it was already past midnight in Cairo and direct air travel from Egypt to...

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