May 4, 2013 |
MASHANG VILLAGE, China - The last time they saw their father, Hong Yunke, he was leaving home, hauling his wooden medicine chest, on a frigid December morning in 1967. "I'm going to treat a patient and collect money," Hong told his son, 12, and his daughter, 9. "I'll be back soon. " Hong was what the Chinese call a barefoot doctor, a self-educated healer who treated the sprained ankles of farmers for 20 cents, enough in those days for two pork buns. His wife, unable to endure the poverty, had left him to raise the children on his own. No matter.
April 22, 2013 |
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombing, is the baffling mystery man in this crime. His older brother, Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police in the dark early hours Friday morning, better fits the stereotype of a disaffected, nascent terrorist. He was nearing adulthood when he came to this country from Russia's predominantly Muslim central Asian region. He talked of having no American friends. He had openly disdained the immorality of American society and adopted a zealous brand of Islam.
April 11, 2013 |
"Simon Killer" is an amoral tale, and a cautionary one, that reminded me my mama was right when she said "Never talk to strangers" and "Looks can be deceiving. " Indie director Antonio Campos has put the tipoff in the title, suggesting that this particular Simon - played to chilling effect by Brady Corbet - is anything but simple and that he might possibly be lethal as well. Whether he is an actual killer or Campos is only sifting around for the right metaphor really is beyond the point.
April 10, 2013 |
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems like a fictional character out of a satirical doomsday movie -- maybe a sequel to “Dr. Strangelove.” That fact that this immature brat and his gaggle of grim, aging generals actually rule a country and have the capacity to disturb the international order seems absurd in an era of global interdependence. In the 21stcentury, humankind should have moved beyond this, but apparently we need a few more centuries of progress before all countries are led by comparatively rational, democratically elected leaders - - or at least by boring, one-party bureaucrats whose main goal is to preserve stability and promote economic growth.
April 3, 2013 |
One of the men said he could not pay -- and so they decided to make an example of him. The kidnappers stripped the Ethiopian man and violated him, an Eritrean refugee who survived his ordeal in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula told Amnesty International. They beat the man until he was bleeding all over. They poured gasoline over his battered body. Then they set him on fire. Even after the man died, the kidnappers used his decaying body to torment other captives, the refugee said. “They forced all of us in turns to hold him,” the Eritrean told the human rights group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 |
When teensy-weensy Samoa Airlines debuted its pay-by-the-kilo policy in January, I doubt it expected to set off an international controversy about fat discrimination. But that's what happened when news seeped out this week after the airline's chief executive, Chris Langton, told ABC News radio in Australia that the system is not only fair but destined to catch on. “Doesn't matter whether you're carrying freight or people,” explained Langton. "We've amalgamated the two and worked out a figure per kilo.” Samoa Air, he added, has always weighed the human and non-human cargo it carries.
April 3, 2013 |
SEATTLE - A man accused of brutally attacking a Sikh cab driver, stomping on him as he lay on the ground and ripping out part of his beard, has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with a hate crime. The indictment of Jamie Larson, 49, of Federal Way, Wash., replaces earlier state charges. Conviction under the federal hate crimes statute carries a potential penalty of 10 years in prison. King County authorities who initially investigated the case said the taxi driver, a native of India, was wearing a traditional Sikh turban when he responded to a request from Auburn police on Oct. 17 to take Larson home from a Fred Meyer store, where he was drunk, falling in the bushes and refusing to leave. Along the way, the driver later told police, Larson commented on his turban and told him he shouldn't have come to the U.S., saying his father was a soldier who had fought for America.
March 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The acting chief of the CIA's operations wing ran a secret "black site" prison overseas after the 2001 terrorist attacks and later signed off on the decision to destroy videotapes of brutal interrogations, according to current and former U.S. officials. The woman, who remains undercover, now is one of several candidates that CIA chief John Brennan is considering to head the National Clandestine Service, which conducts espionage overseas and runs the agency's paramilitary operations.
March 25, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - On a warm Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Douglas Kanai wore a serene expression as Buddhist followers surrounded him outside his new storefront temple, sandwiched between a used-car dealer and a tax preparer's office. But his stories were far from peaceful, and the scene he described was not desert Nevada but faraway Tokyo in the dead of winter. The gambling mecca's roaring city traffic muffled his soft-spoken tales of physical endurance and a profound search for inner willpower that would eventually sustain him. To prove he possessed the fortitude to lead his own Nichiren temple, Kanai had to endure a test known in Japan as the "100 days.
March 14, 2013 |
If cities were stocks, you'd want to short Phoenix. Of course, it's an easy city to pick on. The nation's 13th-largest metropolitan area crams 4.3 million people into a low bowl in a hot desert, where horrific heat waves and windstorms visit it regularly. And it depends on an improbable infrastructure to suck water from the distant (and dwindling) Colorado River. If the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Katrina and the Eastern Seaboard's Superstorm Sandy previewed how coastal cities can expect to fare as seas rise and storms strengthen, Phoenix - which also stands squarely in the cross hairs of climate change - pulls back the curtain on the future of inland empires.