December 9, 2013 |
KIEV, Ukraine - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said he would meet with his three predecessors Tuesday in an effort to resolve a political crisis that escalated with the storming of an opposition party headquarters by armed riot police. Yanukovich announced plans Monday for what he said would be a nationally televised round-table discussion with the three other men who have served as president of Ukraine since it broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991. Yanukovich was also expected to meet with European Union envoy Catherine Ashton, who is reportedly planning to talk to both sides in Kiev, the capital, on Tuesday.
December 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will launch a lobbying push Tuesday to stop Congress from approving harsh new penalties for Iran, a move the White House warns could sink international negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), has nearly completed sanctions legislation that it hopes to attach as an amendment to the annual, must-pass defense authorization bill, which could face a vote this week before Congress adjourns for the holidays.
December 7, 2013
Re "Obama focuses on income inequality," Dec. 5 House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is disingenuous in blaming President Obama for the inability of workers to make economic gains. On a graph of inflation-adjusted incomes over the last 30 years, workers' wages show a relatively flat line. By contrast, the incomes of CEOs and other already wealthy people went up by 200% or more (my source is the U.S. Department of Labor). If the president's policies were responsible for that, we should see some kind of downward trend in workers' incomes over the last five years.
December 7, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in Afghanistan on Saturday for a previously unannounced visit, said he had been assured by Afghanistan's defense minister that a post-2014 bilateral security agreement would be signed soon. Hagel, who landed in Afghanistan in secrecy while on a scheduled trip to the Middle East, said the defense minister, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, told him earlier Saturday that the stalemated 10-year agreement would be signed "in a very timely manner.
December 6, 2013 |
BEIJING - Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old war veteran from Palo Alto who was arrested in October on suspicion of committing hostile acts against North Korea, was released from Pyongyang and on his way home Saturday. Newman, a retired tech executive, had been pulled off an airplane about to leave the capital on Oct. 26 at the end of a 10-day tour, after speaking to his North Korean guides about his service in a clandestine anti-communist army unit during the 1950-53 Korean War. "I'm very glad to be on my way home," Newman was quoted by Japanese media as saying at the Beijing airport.
December 6, 2013
Re "Enabling Karzai," Opinion, Dec. 3 Let's not stay in Afghanistan another 10 years. The bilateral security arrangement with that country needs to be stopped. Our elected representatives in Washington should listen to their constituencies, who are most assuredly "near unanimity in favor of an immediate, total withdrawal. " It's time to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. Norman Gottlieb North Hills ALSO: Letters: Powering California Letters: America needs plumbers too Letters: Mixing politics and tax breaks
December 5, 2013
A taut blues-rock machine led by guitarists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks (nephew of Butch Trucks of the Allmann Brothers, which also features Derek's talents), the Tedeschi-Trucks Band performs from its fierce new album, "Made Up Mind. " A rich showcase for Tedeschi's world-weary vocals and Trucks' slippery guitar, the record marks only a jumping-off point for avenues explored here. Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, L.A. 8 p.m. Fri., $35-$75. http://www.ticketmaster.com.
December 4, 2013
Re "The Benghazi syndrome," Opinion, Dec. 1 Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski's article calls to mind my experience in Tunisia last month and demonstrates why the U.S. government should consider more substantial cultural and educational engagement in North Africa. Like the author in Libya, when I was in Tunisia, I spoke with Tunisians from all walks of life. I visited museums and historic monuments. I spoke with professors, students, government representatives and private directors of arts programs.
December 4, 2013
Re "Abortion clinics, not battle zones," Editorial, Dec. 2 As a family doctor who provides comprehensive reproductive healthcare, I am troubled that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Massachusetts' "buffer zone" law. I used to work at a family planning clinic in Massachusetts, where I witnessed the appalling intimidation tactics of protesters before the law requiring them to stay 35 feet away was enacted. I have seen protesters photographing patients' faces to post on anti-choice websites, screaming profanities at clinic volunteers and posing as staff falsely claiming that the clinic had been shut down by the health department.
December 3, 2013
Re "Minority rule in the Senate," Opinion, Dec. 1 Joyce Appleby would eliminate the filibuster, arguing that the Founding Fathers, having entrenched an inequality of representation in the Senate, certainly did not want to deviate further from majority rule. She refers to James Madison's opinion that requiring a supermajority would reverse the fundamental principle of free government. During the debates over the Constitution and the question of a Bill of Rights, however, Madison argued differently.