February 27, 2014 |
The sacking last week of the commander of the Free Syrian Army appears to be driving a wedge among factions of the loosely organized Western-backed network of rebel forces at a crucial moment in the three-year civil war to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. The rift, analysts and rebels say, could undermine efforts to redirect Western support to rebels in southern Syria as part of a strategy to bolster the opposition there to counter the growing power of Islamist and Al Qaeda affiliates in the north.
January 27, 2014 |
For the first time in a long time, it didn't snow in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival, not even a flurry. The barren hills surrounding the town provided a physical echo of a festival that was not overflowing with greatness either. But, paradoxically, experiencing Sundance in an off year highlighted some of the things that make the festival so valuable. If you just looked at the awards list, it might seem that 2014 was very good indeed. Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award for U.S. drama, and the festival's various entities liked the films on offer so much that a full 25 features went home with awards.
December 24, 2013 |
In recent weeks, the media have had a field day reporting on a so-called rift in the U.S.-Israel relationship over the nuclear negotiations with Iran. The story makes for great headlines, but it's poor analysis. Despite the heated rhetoric, the pillars that have anchored America's most important alliance in the Middle East for more than six decades are just as firmly rooted today as they have ever been. Just hours after Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced the interim deal to halt Iran's nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on American television and called the agreement "a historic mistake.
December 3, 2013 |
After a federal judge ruled Tuesday that Detroit was eligible for bankruptcy protection and cleared the way for municipal pensions to be cut, city officials were upbeat, called for unity and urged residents to look ahead with optimism. But for the city's employee unions, whose members, current and retired, are likely to face benefit reductions, the decision signaled the start of a new legal round - their appeal of the ruling to a higher court. The disparate reactions were symptomatic of what lies ahead for Detroit.
October 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) listed the beliefs he said united Republicans, urging them not to "confuse tactics with principles. " "The differences between us are dwarfed by the differences we have with the Democratic Party," he declared. But in the Capitol's halls, as bruised and defeated Republicans discussed what had befallen them, those internal divisions seemed only to widen. "It's pretty hard when we have a circle of 20 people who stand up every day and say, 'Can we surrender today, Mr. Speaker?
October 10, 2013 |
In the battle of Magic Johnson versus Bill Simmons, a winner has emerged - and the former Lakers star is leaving ESPN. Johnson said Thursday that he feels a "strong connection" to the sports network but that he has other priorities that will keep him from continuing in his role as an NBA analyst for the season that begins Oct. 29th. "I love ESPN," Johnson wrote in a statement. "Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role.