March 4, 2014 |
"Does it stay on all the time or does it come off?" Ahmed asked from his hospital bed, frowning at the thought of a prosthetic leg. "I want one that doesn't come off. " These are the words of a 12-year-old boy, an innocent victim of a brutal regime and an international system that has in too many ways failed the people of Syria. My own 13-year-old, reading these words in the newspaper, asks whether there is something that can be done to help. I begin my usual "It's complicated" - there are legal constraints, there is the lack of political will - but seeing the look in my son's eyes, I say instead, "Yes there is. " The U.N. Security Council, and its permanent members in particular, could take bolder action, working in good faith toward delivering on the promise of the U.N. Charter: "To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, [and]
February 14, 2014 |
Matthew Lopez's “The Whipping Man,” presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre at the Pico Playhouse, is an unusual yet well-crafted drama written with the no-holds-barred emotionalism of vintageWillian Inge or Arthur Miller. The play begins at the close of the Civil War, as the badly wounded Caleb (Shawn Savage) returns to his wealthy family's burned-out home in Richmond. Caleb's family has decamped for safer climes, and only two of their recently freed slaves - Simon (Ricco Ross)
February 6, 2014 |
Sometimes political careers are born of chance. John Nicolay and John Hay were two young men working in Springfield, Ill., when they became involved with the political life of Abraham Lincoln before his 1860 U.S. presidential campaign. Tireless and smart, the friends, still in their 20s, proved themselves indispensable to Lincoln, who brought them along with him to the White House as his personal secretaries - in effect, the president's gatekeepers. In his new book, "Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image," author Joshua Zeitz skillfully recounts what were heady days for Nicolay and Hay, even as they were tragic days for the nation.
February 6, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - A former Salvadoran general accused of overseeing the torture and killing of thousands of civilians during a 12-year civil war appealed a U.S. deportation order Thursday on the grounds that his nation's anti-communist campaign was backed and funded by the American government. An attorney for Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who was El Salvador's defense minister and leader of the National Guard in the 1980s, repeatedly cited the U.S. support for his country's right-wing government during its war against leftist guerrillas.
January 30, 2014 |
BEIRUT -- Describing a sixth day of Syrian peace talks as both “tense” and “promising,” the chief United Nations mediator said both sides observed a moment of silence Thursday in memory of the tens of thousands who have perished in the civil war. “The opposition suggested a moment of silence for all the dead in Syria, irrelevant to which camp they belonged, and the government delegation immediately agreed,” Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N....
January 13, 2014 |
BEIRUT - Diplomats on Monday pushed for a limited cease-fire in Syria, a prisoner exchange and better access for aid efforts before a peace conference scheduled to begin next week in Switzerland. At a news conference in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that he and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, had discussed measures to "set the stage for success. " One potential area for a cessation of hostilities, Kerry said, was the embattled northern city of Aleppo, divided for 18 months between government and opposition forces and also the site of recent rebel infighting.
January 12, 2014 |
The first war I covered as a foreign correspondent was the civil war in Lebanon. When the conflict began in 1975, it was just a series of skirmishes, a nasty but limited little war for control of a small nation. Then other countries got involved: Syria, Iraq, Libya and Israel. They supplied money and weapons to their favored factions, turning an internal struggle into a longer, more deadly proxy war in which outside powers fought one another through surrogates. Eventually even the United States sent troops, which is why 241 Americans died in a bombing in Beirut in 1983.
December 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing is poised to receive the Medal of Honor a bit late: 150 years after his heroics at Gettysburg. Buried deep in a thick defense bill to fund modern-day weapons systems and military operations in Afghanistan is a measure to waive the time limit for posthumously awarding the nation's highest military honor to Cushing. The 22-year-old Union artillery officer refused to leave the battlefield even after being severely wounded during Pickett's charge July 3, 1863.
December 19, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Fears of civil war in South Sudan grew Thursday, after South Sudan's military admitted losing control of a key town in the country's east to army mutineers. The army lost Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, to a military faction associated with former Vice President Riek Machar, who has been accused by President Salva Kiir of launching a coup. Fighting continued in the region Thursday. Machar denies any coup attempt, claiming that Kiir is inciting ethnic tensions.
December 16, 2013 |
A makeshift bucket brigade hauled 14 pails of mud and slush from the tent that Um Mahmoud shares with a dozen other Syrian refugees in a ramshackle settlement here in the Bekaa Valley, now blanketed with snow that lends an alpine sheen to the rugged stretch that extends to the Syrian border. While holiday-makers from Beirut hastened to the hills with sleds and toboggans, piling souvenir snow onto their vehicles for the drive home, there was nothing merry about the weekend blizzard for the multitudes of Syrians living rough in makeshift camps scattered throughout the region.