June 9, 2013 |
NAGASAKI, Japan - On my first trip to Nagasaki, just out of college, I knew what most of the world knows: An atomic bomb fell here on Aug. 9, 1945, bringing World War II to a close. It wasn't until my second visit, more than 20 years later on a guidebook assignment, that I realized how much I had missed. Although the A-bomb is rightfully front and center for overseas visitors, the Japanese concept of the city is very different. As Japan's westernmost major port, it was the nation's first landing spot for Catholic missionaries and martyrs; red-bearded, waistcoated, fancy-hatted traders; and exotic foods borne by trade winds.
June 7, 2013 |
The Manhattan Project, the secret research mission to develop an atomic weapon ahead of Germany and bring an end to World War II, was one of the 20th century's most ambitious feats of science and engineering. And one of its darkest moments. In many respects, the Manhattan Project ushered in the modern era. The creation and use of these early weapons of mass destruction raised profound ethical questions, which remain just as challenging and urgent today as in 1945. As a nation, we have a responsibility to grapple openly and objectively with the Manhattan Project's complex legacy.
June 6, 2013 |
The Soviets put guns before butter, but we put almost everything before guns. " - Margaret Thatcher, January 1976 When Margaret Thatcher made the above observation in a speech that earned her the title "Iron Lady" from the Soviet army newspaper, she noted that the Soviet Union was spending 20% more each year than the United States on military research and development, 25% more on weapons and equipment and 60% more on strategic nuclear forces....
June 6, 2013 |
CAIRO - A battle over water has turned into a war of colorful rhetoric between Ethiopia and Egypt over the flow of the Nile, which begins in the African highlands but keeps Egypt from being swallowed entirely by desert. An ambitious Ethiopian dam project is diverting Nile waters that Cairo says will reduce the river's northward flow. The Egyptians have stumbled into crisis mode: At a meeting hosted by President Mohamed Morsi this week, several politicians, unaware TV cameras were rolling, suggested sabotaging or threatening to bomb the dam. Egypt can coordinate with Ethiopian rebels and "use them as a bargaining chip with the Ethiopian government," mused Younis Makhyoun, leader of an ultraconservative Islamist party.
June 3, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Two bomb blasts killed at least 19 people in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, including 11 children and two soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition, as Taliban militants continued a wave of violence as part of their spring offensive. Nine schoolchildren and an Afghan police officer were killed when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a busy market in Paktia province along the Pakistani border, Paktia police chief Zalmai Oryakhail said. Two U.S.-led coalition soldiers were also killed in the attack, according to NATO forces.
June 1, 2013 |
Within hours of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, even as the tragedy was unfolding on live television, the machinery of victim fundraising had already started to hum. By 5 p.m. April 16 - less than 26 hours after bomb blasts killed three people and injured more than 260 - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and a handful of business leaders had crafted the One Fund Boston. With "rabbit out of the hat" speed, the fund already had a post office box, bank account, website and articles of incorporation set for filing.