March 19, 2014 |
In 1919, after allied sanctions on food shipments had starved the Kaiser's Germany into submission, President Wilson endorsed the continued use of sanctions to settle international disputes as an "economic, peaceful, silent, deadly remedy. " Almost a century later, the weapon is more popular than ever, mostly because of a wholly mistaken belief that it makes the targets do what we want. Currently, the United States is enforcing no fewer than 24 separate sanctions regimes directed at targets ranging from the Balkans to Zimbabwe.
March 17, 2014 |
In its latest reaction to a mounting safety scandal, General Motors Co. recalled 1.5 million more vehicles and set aside $300 million to pay for repairs. The move follows the automaker's apologies over delays in fixing a deadly ignition switch problem. The new recalls - for unrelated issues, mostly involving air bags - stem from a top-to-bottom safety review ordered by GM's new chief executive, Mary Barra. GM released a video of Barra's frank comments to GM employees Monday, hammering home the gravity of the automaker's mistakes.
March 15, 2014 |
American hospitals have a big problem with unnecessary deaths from medical errors. Estimates of the numbers vary widely, but extrapolating from the best studies, a conservative estimate would be that well over 100,000 people a year die unnecessarily because of errors made by their healthcare teams. And the numbers have remained high despite concerted efforts to bring them down. Why? Because we've embraced a so-called solution that doesn't address the problem. For the last 14 years, the medical profession has put its faith in a systems approach to the problem.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 |
A Northern California metal-plating business and its owner were charged Thursday with felony violations of state hazardous waste laws, including storing cyanide near acid in a way that could have triggered a deadly accident. Electro-Forming Co. and Marion Ingrid Patigler face 11 felony counts and 12 misdemeanor charges related to the alleged illegal disposal, storage, treatment and transportation of hazardous waste. The alleged crimes - which include storing cyanide and other toxic substances in an unpermitted, 6,900-gallon tank at the Richmond site - occurred over a two-year period beginning in March 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Contra Costa County district attorney's office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 |
GROVER BEACH, Calif. - For a long time, even as hotels rose in nearby towns and posh homes went up along groomed fairways down the road, it seemed that this sleepy town might never move beyond an old real estate slogan: "Home of the average man. " Then Debbie Peterson ran for mayor. She was a real estate agent, a single mom and a free spirit, known to wear a business jacket with running shoes. She had moxie and business experience. Voters in 2012 chose her by a wide margin. They expected a jolt - but nobody expected this.
March 10, 2014 |
In order to be a champion musher, you need dogs, sleds, a sense of athletic adventure and -- oh, yeah -- snow. Getting three out of four might work in baseball or basketball, but it just doesn't count when it comes to the Iditarod, the 975-mile race that traditionally tests human and animal against Alaska's elements. Let's face it: Without snowy, icy, even blizzard conditions, the race is nothing more than a fast, painful trek along Iditarod National Historic Trail. And this year the lack of snow along parts of the route have caused problems.
March 5, 2014 |
If World Cup tuneups are designed to build confidence and improve team chemistry, then Ukraine's emotional 2-0 win over the U.S. on Wednesday in Larnaca, Cyprus, was a disaster for the Americans. But if the idea is to identify weaknesses and expose mistakes, then the match was a huge success. Because the U.S. did little right in a sloppy, confused effort that is all the more worrisome since it came less than 100 days from the start of this summer's tournament in Brazil. "It was difficult for a lot of players to get into a rhythm, to stand out," said U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who used the match as a final evaluation for the European-based players on the fringes of his World Cup roster.
March 5, 2014 |
It took several years and a stop in New York and a more recent move to Columbus, but Marian Gaborik finally became a Los Angeles King. Gaborik was interested in the Kings a long time ago, and Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi had toyed with the idea of bringing in the forward with game-breaking potential. Timing is everything and it all finally came together shortly before Wednesday's trade deadline. Lombardi acquired Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for underperforming forward Matt Frattin and conditional draft picks.
March 5, 2014 |
Hany Abu-Assad should be used to the tension by now. The Palestinian director has shot most of his films ("Paradise Now," "Rana's Wedding") in a region known far more for its conflict than its cinema, and his story lines often take place in between tangles of barbed wire and crowded checkpoints. But filming "Omar" on the West Bank and in his hometown of Nazareth almost proved too much - even for Abu-Assad. "At the end of the shoot, I told everybody, 'I'm not going to make another movie,'" said the director.
March 4, 2014 |
President Obama announced last week a new race-based initiative, My Brother's Keeper. According to the White House, the program will coordinate government agencies and private foundations to help young men and boys of color. "Of color" basically means blacks and Latinos. In fact, it's pretty obvious the program is aimed at young black men. This fact has invited some conservative criticism. The Weekly Standard's Terry Eastland notes that the program is likely unconstitutional.