January 14, 2013 |
Aaron Swartz was a wunderkind, a gifted boy who became a remarkable young man. He created a Wikipedia-like Web app and RSS software when he was a teenager. As a college student, he co-founded the website service Reddit. But like a figure in a fairy tale, despite his gifts, he was also evidently haunted: by severe depression, and lately by the prospect of a federal trial for a bakers' dozen of felony charges. Swartz was found dead over the weekend, hanged in his New York apartment, a suicide at age 26. The online world is aghast.
November 20, 2012 |
ASHDOD, Israel - School is out in this coastal city, Israel's fifth-most populous, but the playgrounds are empty. Most shops in the Sea Mall shopping center are closed. Halfway between Gaza City and Tel Aviv, Ashdod has been the target of rockets from the Gaza Strip during several days of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the strip. Between air raid sirens, citizens try to maintain some sense of normality, while staying within running distance of shelter.
November 16, 2012 |
CBS is breaking up its low-rated "Partners. " The network is canceling the comedy about the professional and personal relationship of two male friends -- one of whom is gay. The show, from "Will & Grace" co-creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, was the lowest-performing show on the network's Monday hit comedy bloc, which includes "Mike and Molly" and "2 Broke Girls. " "Partners" is the third new show to be canceled this season. CBS yanked "Made in Jersey" while NBC pulled "Animal Practice.
November 7, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Syria's armed opposition, driven back from Damascus in a fierce government counteroffensive last summer, appears to be responding with a revamped strategy that runs through some of the capital's most explosive sectarian and ethnic fault lines. A pair of bombings this week struck districts that are strongholds of President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam whose adherents are generally hostile to the Sunni-led uprising. Trusted Alawite commanders run much of Assad's security apparatus.
October 12, 2012
Re "Layoffs claim a teacher who turned novices into champs," Oct. 9 Those of us at Fairfax High School suffering the loss of marching band director Ray Vizcarra's talents are not blaming this kind of stupidity on union-management agreements that protect teachers, and therefore students, from arbitrary firings and displacements. That's the implication when you publish "seniority" as the cause. We point to the punitive allegiance to the corporate-engineered "reform" of public education and budget mismanagement that drives the Los Angeles Unified School District to annually threaten and displace the best teachers.
August 30, 2012 |
July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them. I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming. This summer, as has happened often before, I experienced severe depression, which leads to isolation. Then, when I was feeling most hopeless, I also started feeling tremendously reckless. I found myself feeling aggressive and impulsive, feelings that fuel erratic behavior.
July 4, 2012 |
NEW YORK — Barclays' rate-fixing scandal claimed its biggest casualty so far: Chief Executive Robert E. Diamond Jr., who resigned on the eve of a new investigation into the bank's operations by a committee of the British Parliament. After resisting pressure to leave, Diamond resigned Tuesday and left immediately, a week after the bank announced it would pay $453 million in fines to U.S. and British authorities for its attempts to manipulate key interest rates, including the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR.
July 3, 2012 |
NEW YORK — British authorities turned up the heat on Barclays as its chairman, Marcus Agius, became the first big casualty of a scandal involving attempts to manipulate key interest rates. Agius' resignation Monday came as political and financial observers called for further resignations, starting with that of Bob Diamond, the bank's chief executive. Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland were also among about 20 major Western banks that have come under investigation by U.S. and British authorities for allegedly trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, a benchmark for interest rates on corporate and consumer loans.
June 22, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen seized control of a lakeside hotel outside the Afghan capital early Friday, taking hostages and setting off an hours-long battle, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. By midmorning, about 20 hotel guests had been rescued and at least two of the attackers were dead, police said. One police officer was reported killed as well. Police said some civilians were believed to have been injured or killed, but did not yet have a firm count. The team of attackers, echoing a pattern in past strikes, besieged the Spozhmai hotel on the shores of Lake Karga with heavy weapons, with some of the assailants wearing vests laden with explosives.
June 14, 2012 |
BOGOTA, Colombia - Leonardo Porras, a mentally challenged day laborer, was lured by the promise of work and flown from Bogota to a faraway location in northern Colombia, where he was shot to death by Colombian soldiers. As part of a nefarious scheme, prosecutors say, he was then identified as a leftist terrorist killed in action in order to hype the army's body count. Porras, 26, was one of 22 young men from the Soacha shanty barrio offered jobs in August 2008 and later found dead hundreds of miles away in North Santander province.