December 1, 2013 |
Several new style books focus on great American jewelry design. Here we zero in on two of the stand-out volumes of the season. David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler Ruth Peltason Assouline, $85 American jewelry designer David Webb was a fixture on New York's social scene during the 1960s and '70s, beloved by Diana Vreeland, Nan Kempner, Doris Duke, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and many other style-setters. Webb is perhaps best known for his animal bracelets, more fierce than cute, featuring lions, tigers and dragons, which were part of the ladies-who-lunch uniform of the day. But his legacy encompasses so much more, writes Ruth Peltason in "David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler.
December 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Trying to align lawmakers with the people they represent, Congress three years ago decided that when the new healthcare plan took effect, members would give up their platinum health benefits and enroll in the online marketplaces created for millions of other Americans. In typical congressional fashion, however, things have not worked out exactly as advertised. While many members of Congress are indeed signing up for health coverage through the District of Columbia exchange - which was designated as the provider for all members - their experiences have been significantly better than those of average consumers in several respects, including more generous benefits packages, VIP customer service from insurers and the same government-subsidized premiums they've always enjoyed.
November 29, 2013 |
After more than a decade of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan - and almost 2,300 American deaths - many Americans would be content if this country reduced its troop presence there from the current 47,000 to zero by the end of next year. That's the point at which Afghan forces are supposed to take responsibility for internal security. But the Obama administration makes a persuasive case that some residual force is necessary to ensure that country's stability. After months of painstaking negotiations, U.S. and Afghan officials recently reached a bilateral security agreement designed, in President Obama's words, "to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force, which ensures that Al Qaeda can never again establish a safe haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.
November 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As they prepare for battle over the new deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, the accord's supporters and foes are calibrating strategies based on their reading of Americans' conflicted views about the Islamic Republic. American war-weariness forms a big part of the Obama administration's campaign for the accord, a preliminary agreement to curb Iran's disputed nuclear program. Administration officials have said that without a diplomatic deal, the country would be on a "march to war. " For now, the administration appears to have the upper hand.
November 27, 2013 |
For most of the last five years, Parabellum has been a kind of two-man exercise in stealth luxury, with co-founders Mike Feldman and Jason Jones meticulously producing a range of high-end, low-profile leather goods from a converted garage in a residential stretch of Hollywood not far from a Honda dealership. The concept behind the line sounds deceptively simple: Pair smooth, military-grade, high-tech ceramic hardware with deeply textured free-range American bison leather in an exquisitely constructed assortment of goods encompassing $350 wallets, $795 Kevlar-reinforced belts, $2,150 women's handbags with black ceramic ball-and-claw feet and $2,800 duffel bags.
November 24, 2013 |
Remember Edward Snowden? For a while, the National Security Agency's renegade contractor seemed like the most influential man in American intelligence, even though he's been hiding out in Moscow. Snowden's disclosures touched off a wave of enthusiasm in Congress for reforming the NSA's surveillance practices - and anger overseas when he revealed that American spies were listening to foreign leaders' cellphone calls. But now, as Congress counts only a few working days remaining in its year, the momentum toward intelligence reform has slowed.