April 20, 2014 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - President Bashar Assad made a symbolic Easter visit Sunday to the heavily damaged town of Maaloula, a Christian landmark enclave recaptured from Islamist rebels last week by government forces. The president's visit, broadcast on state television, underscored his efforts to portray himself as a defender of Christians and other minorities as he prepares for an expected reelection bid in the midst of a devastating war now in its fourth year. Maaloula and several of its historic churches sustained significant damage during heavy fighting and bombardment.
April 19, 2014 |
It was lost and now it's found, and the world of Orson Welles enthusiasts, which very much includes me, counts itself grateful and amazed. I am talking about 66 minutes of footage from an endeavor called "Too Much Johnson," which Welles shot in 1938, three years before "Citizen Kane" changed everything. Not only had this material never been seen publicly, it had been presumed gone forever when the villa in Spain where Welles thought it was stored burned down nearly half a century ago. Discovered in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy, by local film society Cinemazero and beautifully restored via a collaboration between the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., and the National Film Preservation Foundation, "Too Much Johnson" is ready for its Los Angeles close-up.
April 15, 2014 |
The announcements have been made and the pundits have commented. Now it's time for America to witness the first public meeting between Stephen Colbert and David Letterman since the announcement was made that Colbert would be taking over CBS' late-night slot sometime next year. Colbert has appeared on Letterman's show 12 times since the premiere of his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," in 2005. But when he sits down on "Late Show" next Tuesday, he'll be there kicking the tires and seeing how the audience treats him. Face-to-face with the man who will one day take over his job, will Letterman suddenly have second thoughts and renounce his retirement plans?
April 12, 2014
La Taverna di Moranda in Monticchiello, Italy, is our favorite restaurant in the Tuscany and Umbria region. After eating there for the first time, we made a reservation for a second night. When we returned two years later, we stayed nearby just to be near Monticchiello. We had the Florentine steak twice and the lamb twice. Both were amazing. The restaurant is very romantic; it looks like a wine cave. La Taverna di Moranda, 17 Via di Mezzo, Monticchiello; 011-39-0578-755145, http://www.tavernadimoranda.it Julian and Mary Cangelosi Tustin
April 11, 2014
If you go THE BEST WAY TO BERLIN From LAX , KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, British, United and Swiss offer connecting service (change of planes) to Berlin. Restricted round-trip fares range from $610 to $1,269, including taxes and fees. TELEPHONES To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 49 (the country code for Germany) and the local number. WHERE TO STAY Airbnb, http://www.airbnb.com . Search site by location and number in your party.
April 11, 2014 |
Barely three months after their release from Russian prison, Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova sit outside a Santa Monica hotel, smoking cigarettes, insisting that their group Pussy Riot is not a band. "People sometimes think we are a musical group and think we can do a performance," Tolokonnikova, 24, says with a smile, leaning forward. Alekhina, 25, nods between drags, and adds, "But it's not true. We're another thing. " Still, the noise from a notorious one-song performance of "A Punk Prayer" inside Moscow's Orthodox Christian cathedral in 2012 was potent and outrageous enough to land the pair a nearly two-year prison stay in the Gulag for what prosecutors called "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.
April 10, 2014 |
Families of children with disabilities have sued Walt Disney Co. theme parks and resorts in Anaheim and Orlando, Fla., over a new policy allowing guests with disabilities quick access to rides and attractions. The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the policy put in place in October is intended to discourage guests with disabilities from visiting the parks. Disney dismissed those claims. Before October, visitors with disabilities and their family members were given a card that allowed them to go directly onto rides, skipping long lines.
April 9, 2014 |
Through nearly 70 years of acclaim as a theater, film and television director - most particularly as a theater director - Peter Brook has been called a magician many times. In 1962, the British critic Kenneth Tynan extolled him not for pulling a rabbit out of his hat but for an unprecedented approach to "King Lear" that for the first time made the character a palpably human, "edgy, capricious old man" instead of "the booming, righteously indignant titan of old. " Brook, who recently celebrated his 89th birthday, clearly absorbed a fundamental lesson of "King Lear": considering its pitfalls, perhaps retirement is best put off as long as possible.
April 9, 2014 |
AUSTIN, Texas - President Obama has tried to model Abraham Lincoln's team of rivals and Teddy Roosevelt's power of the bully pulpit. He's lauded Ronald Reagan's communication skills and linked himself to the Kennedy clan. He's praised his onetime nemesis, George W. Bush, as well as his onetime adversary, Bill Clinton. But Obama has rarely cozied up to the predecessor some argue did more than any other modern president to pave the way for his election as the nation's first black president: Lyndon B. Johnson.
April 8, 2014 |
LONDON - In a historic first, the president of Ireland began a state visit to Britain on Tuesday to mark the growing reconciliation between his nation and the one that long ruled it from afar through centuries of oppression and rebellion. After a bloody war of independence and decades of mistrust, London and Dublin have become increasingly close partners linked by trade, history and culture. The rapprochement was made possible by the 1998 accord that ended armed sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which remains part of Britain but enjoys a measure of self-rule.