December 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is outfitting a 647-foot cargo ship with high-tech equipment in an effort to safely destroy hundreds of tons of lethal chemical weapons agents that were collected in Syria after a deadly gas attack this summer sparked an international outcry. Two specially developed hydrolysis machines, which use water or bleach to neutralize the chemicals that produce nerve gases, have been installed aboard the Cape Ray at the U.S. naval base in Norfolk, Va., officials said Thursday.
November 26, 2013 |
There is a kind of reassuring steadiness to Tom Hanks' acting. Even in the silliness of "Big," the time-shifting comedy that turned a boy into a man, he was zany, not outrageous. Sincerity made "Sleepless in Seattle" and his widowed young father impossibly romantic. His entrenched decency in "Philadelphia" helped push AIDS into the mainstream conversation and won Hanks an Oscar in 1994. His second Oscar came a year later for the masterful simplicity of "Forrest Gump. " There have been fallow years as the actor struggled to find his middle-aged niche.
November 20, 2013 |
Before the tsunami of post-Thanksgiving releases sweeps you away, take a moment and catch up to one of the best films of the year, the Paul Greengrass-directed, Tom Hanks-starring "Captain Phillips," a film that manages to combine the dynamics of human behavior under stress with an affinity for the nuts and bolts of realistic action. The story of the six days that Richard Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, spent in April of 2009 first trying to avoid a gang of Somali pirates and then as their restive captive, "Captain Phillips" does an impeccable job of creating and tightening the narrative screws.
November 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When is a pirate not a pirate? A federal court may provide an answer in a trial that opened in Washington this week of a Somali official who helped win release of a hijacked Danish cargo ship and crew for $1.7 million ransom, but who played no part in seizing the vessel or holding it for 71 days. U.S. courts have convicted dozens of Somali pirates in recent years, part of a vast multinational effort that has helped curtail the rampant hijacking of oil tankers, freighters, sailboats and other ships off the Horn of Africa.
October 11, 2013 |
The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention - again - on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that's been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in "Captain Phillips," there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed.
October 11, 2013 |
Much like the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, who was rescued by the U.S. Navy after his ship was set upon by Somali pirates in April 2009, "Captain Phillips" appears to have been in good hands. With Tom Hanks in front of the camera and Paul Greengrass behind it, the drama based on the notorious hijacking is earning excellent reviews. The Times' Kenneth Turan writes , "this film does an impeccable job of creating and tightening the narrative screws. The result is so propulsive that you may find yourself looking at your watch not out of boredom but because you're not sure how much more tension you can stand.