December 12, 2004 |
"The poor are not like everyone else," social critic Michael Harrington wrote in the 1962 bestseller "The Other America," which helped shape President Johnson's War on Poverty. "They are a different kind of people," he declared. "They think and feel differently; they look upon a different America than the middle class." How then to account for Elvira Rojas?
December 10, 2004 |
Governments are failing the children of the world, with more than 1 billion living in a state of severe threat from hunger, disease, exploitation or lack of security, the United Nations children's agency said Thursday. In a distressing indictment, UNICEF said that in spite of some pockets of progress in 2004, "we've failed to deliver on the promise of childhood."
November 1, 2004 |
Consuelo Delgadillo moved into the Arturo Mundet nursing home before many of her young caretakers were born. She uses a wheelchair. Her hearing is gone. But she can still light up a room with her smile. Her charm is singular, but not her age. At 102, Delgadillo is one of several centenarians living at the government-run facility in Mexico's capital. If demographers are right, there are a lot more like her on the way.
September 19, 2004 |
The stone goddesses are flaking on Big Garden Street. The steel mill started its slide years ago. The textile plant has fared no better. Steeples glimmer above the rooftops, but the hopeful flicker doesn't obscure what Otto Mahler sees as one long betrayal. "When East and West Germany reunified after communism, they promised us the world," said Mahler, a retired steelworker whose factory has cut its 10,000 jobs to 750 over the last decade. "They said we'd all have an equal standard of living.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2004 |
A massive migration of families in search of housing, plus an onslaught of truck traffic from local ports, has pushed the fast-growing Inland Empire onto a list of the nation's top five most traffic-choked urban areas, transportation experts said Tuesday.
July 22, 2004 |
A bottle of Dark and Lovely hair gel in hand, Kassim Issa pushes his withered body down a dirt path through Nairobi's biggest slum, peddling a few ounces at Mama Washington's and other tumbledown salons. For Issa, Dark and Lovely is life. The 20-cent profit from one bottle can pay for an injection to dull the chronic pain of AIDS. Two bottles can pay for a hospital visit. And selling 10 means he can afford a chest X-ray. "I am fighting every day to stay alive," Issa said.
July 20, 2004 |
The note sent home with the 922 students of Silwanetshe Primary School was clear: Pay up or drop out. The next morning, about 500 children whose parents couldn't afford the $10 annual fee were absent. When classes began, 11-year-old Mduduzi Mkhize and his sisters, Precious, 10, and Zinhle, 8, could only press against the wire fence that separates their mud hut from the school grounds.
July 16, 2004 |
Plastic bags, knotted and sagging, soar across the slum late at night. They bounce off tin roofs, splatter against mud walls patched with tin cans and tumble down the steep hillside, where they sprout every few feet like plastic weeds. In the morning, they are trampled into the ground. After 33 years in this shantytown known as Deep Sea, Cecilia Wahu barely notices the bags anymore. They are called "flying toilets," and because no one here has a bathroom, everyone has thrown a few.
July 12, 2004 |
Machete in hand, Batire Baramo steps out of her mud hut before dinnertime and begins whacking at the base of a struggling young tree. A cornfield lies nearby, every stalk stunted and barren. A coffee bush wilts in a patch of earth so dry that each footstep kicks up a puff of gray dust. Roots and stems from the false banana tree -- so named because it never bears fruit -- are all there is for dinner today.