June 2, 2010
There's a lot still to be learned about what happened at 4 a.m. Monday in the waters off the Gaza Strip when Israeli commandos boarded a ship that was seeking to break the long-standing Israeli blockade. Did the commandos, who were lowered onto the boat from helicopters, immediately open fire, as claimed by organizers of the six-ship flotilla? Or did the passengers attack first with knives, clubs and, ultimately, guns, as claimed by Israeli officials? Were the boats ferrying novelists and Nobel Peace Prize winners and elderly Holocaust survivors, as news accounts have suggested, or seething Israel haters, as defenders of the raid would have us believe?
May 31, 2010 |
Israeli naval ships seized control of a protest flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least 10 people and sparking widespread international condemnation. Israeli television, citing foreign media reports, said the death toll could be as high as 16. "The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities," Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel's Army Radio. The raid set off a storm of international protest and drew condemnations from leaders of Spain, Sweden, France, Germany, the U.N., the European Union and Arab League.
April 17, 2010
Blockade Billy Stephen King Cemetery Dance Publications: 112 pp., $25
April 17, 2010 |
It's hard to write good baseball fiction. The game is so unlikely, so bizarre at times, that it's a challenge to the fiction writer's imagination to do it justice. Who, for instance, could have invented Johnny Damon's at-bat in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the World Series last fall? He appeared to have been struck out by Brad Lidge (it was a foul tip), only to fight back and hit a single, and went on to steal two bases on a single play. From a near strikeout to third base in just a couple of pitches: You can't make that stuff up. This is the challenge Stephen King faces in "Blockade Billy," a novella (actually more of a long short story)
November 12, 2009 |
Bill Nighy's journey to mid-'60s England began in, of all places, mid-'60s England. As a teen, he left home for Paris to write, came back unwritten, then became an actor, later to play a key (imaginary) figure in the very music that transformed him as a youth. But let's start with Bill the Mod. "Mods loved black American music: Stax, Atlantic and Tamla Motown," says the actor in a quiet, cultured voice at a table at L'Ermitage. "You had a half-inch all-over haircut. You wore Ravel loafers and trousers of the cigarette type but slightly too short, and I regret to say this, and I'm embarrassed and ashamed, but with . . . colored socks."
October 27, 2009 |
Gaza Strip schools damaged by Israeli bombing will be exposed to the cold and rain this winter unless Israel relaxes its blockade to permit the import of windows, doors and building materials, officials said. Officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and Gaza's Education Ministry say thousands of pupils face "darkness and cold" this winter in poorly lighted and sparsely furnished schoolrooms. Ministry spokesman Khaled Radi said more than 170 schools damaged in the winter offensive had not yet been repaired.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2009 |
Setting aside political squabbles, Senate Republicans lifted their blockade on several budget bills Wednesday, voting with Democrats to approve measures that restore funding cut from domestic violence shelters and help cities and counties borrow money to balance their budgets. Republican lawmakers had refused last month to help muster the necessary two-thirds vote for two dozen pieces of legislation in a dispute over unrelated matters. "We've resolved the issues and we're moving forward," Senate minority leader Dennis Hollingsworth Murrieta said after Wednesday's vote.
August 1, 2009 |
Each morning, Thaeer Alsheikh sits beside the ruins of his family's two-story house, destroyed by Israeli forces in the final days of the 22-day Gaza Strip offensive in the winter. He can't explain why he comes. He doesn't do anything while here. He says it just makes him feel better. His extended family, now sharing a rented apartment nearby, recently gave the children a choice: spend the weekend at the beach or hang out next to the rubble.
January 30, 2009 |
The United Nations issued a worldwide appeal Thursday for $613 million to help Palestinians recover from Israel's military assault on the Gaza Strip. But U.N. and Palestinian officials warned that the effort would fall short unless Israel and Egypt ended their blockade and allowed construction material, heavy equipment and parts to enter the enclave.