February 14, 2014 |
The Belgian government this week approved new measures allowing the euthanasia of terminally ill children, a decision that on first reading would make most of us gasp. It is a distressing concept, and the idea of helping a child die sounds incredibly cold and morally and ethically unsound - until you dive into the issue. While it raises painful and conflicting emotions, and choices, the Belgians - who have pushed assisted suicide to the edge before - are on the right, groundbreaking track.
January 29, 2014 |
Insight Vacations is offering a moderately paced “Country Roads of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands” excursion that manages to pack in a number of stops as well as lots of free time to explore on your own. Highlights of the 12-day motor coach tour include two nights in sophisticated Brussels and visits to the Chinese and Japanese pavilions; a journey to the site of the Battle of Waterloo; the city of Bruges, known for its lace and the...
January 12, 2014 |
One became a prime minister. Another a songwriter whose compositions included "White Christmas. " And a third became an Angeleno who married, raised a family and became a social worker. All extraordinary in their own ways, all on an extraordinary journey poignantly recounted at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp. The emigration experiences of Golda Meir, Israel's first female prime minister; Irving Berlin, whose song Bing Crosby famously crooned; and Bessie Cohen, who moved to East Los Angeles in 1937, are among those of the 2 million immigrants who came to the United States from Europe from 1878 to 1934 on ships operated by the Antwerp-based Red Star Line.
December 16, 2013 |
For opera fans in Southern California, Christoph Waltz has become a semi-regular presence in the audience of Los Angeles Opera productions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. On Sunday, the two-time Academy Award winning actor officially made his debut as an opera director with a new production of "Der Rosenkavalier" in Belgium. Waltz's production premiered at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp with plans to travel to the Royal Opera in London in 2016. (The London cast is expected to include Renee Fleming.)
December 12, 2013 |
The foreign-language film field for the 2014 Academy Awards is an uncommonly strong one, incorporating the luscious fever dream "The Grand Beauty" (Italy), the heartbreaking family drama "Ilo Ilo" (Philippines) and "Gris Gris" (Chad), the story of a man pulled into the world of gas smuggling, among so many others. But it's often the story behind the film that matters as much as the film itself. Haifaa Mansour's "Wadjda," for instance, is not only Saudi Arabia's first submission to the Oscars but the first feature ever shot in the country, whose ultraconservative government views cinema as a corrupt art form.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2013
Wilfried Martens, 77, the resilient Belgian prime minister who led nine governments and deepened Belgium's integration in the European Union, died Wednesday at his home in Lokeren, in East Flanders. A family statement confirming his death did not provide a cause, but Martens had a history of heart problems and had been in failing health in the last year. From his campaign as a student activist for greater use of the Dutch language at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, Martens played a role in a series of constitutional reforms that handed powers from the central government to the linguistically divided regions of the country where Dutch is generally spoken in the north and French in the south.