April 23, 1999 |
It was Christmas Eve 1995 when they found the fire victims lifeless on the floor. They looked almost human, curled up as if they were sleeping. Twenty-three primates were dead - the Philadelphia Zoo's entire exhibit - and a city mourned the worst tragedy in the history of America's oldest zoo. But today marks a new chapter in Philadelphia Zoo history, a day for renewal and hope. Six will arrive in cages aboard a cargo plane at Philadelphia International Airport - a new, rambunctious family of apes who will help rebuild what was lost.
March 18, 1999 |
The world's two largest trading partners - the United States and the European Union (EU) - are edging toward the brink of a trade war. Over bananas. The confrontation is escalating. The United States has threatened retaliatory tariffs of 100 percent on such seemingly unrelated items as cashmere sweaters and Pecorino cheese (but only the soft kind). What's going on here? Trade disputes usually involve something that affects an important domestic industry or jobs. You might expect - although it hasn't happened - that the U.S. government would go to the mat to defend some of the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs to our trade deficit over the last year.
March 16, 1999 |
Is this latest U.S.-Europe trade war a matter of high principles, or just a silly little spat over bananas? Whichever it is, it's serious. Already, European companies are reacting with puzzlement and outrage over the U.S. announcement that it will impose 100 percent tariffs on a line of products ranging from Belgian cookies and French handbags to English greeting cards and Scottish cashmere. The issue: Several European nations have rules favoring bananas imported from their former colonies in the Caribbean, while restricting bananas imported from places like Honduras.
March 4, 1999 |
The United States yesterday declared war on Europe. A trade war, that is. The long-simmering dispute over Europe's banana-import policy yesterday erupted into full-scale war when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative slapped 100 percent tariffs on $520 million worth of European luxury goods ranging from cashmere sweaters to Italian cheeses and coffeemakers. The U.S. action, which was aimed at European companies, resulted in collateral damage yesterday at DiBruno Bros.
February 8, 1999 |
Success came late to John LeClair. Somehow, he has never quite learned to trust it. As LeClair relentlessly grinds out what should be his fourth successive 50-goal season, his place in the NHL firmament is well-established. Sony PlayStation commercials. A contract that, although it might be a bit of a bargain for the Flyers compared with what other superstars around the league make, still will pay him the tidy sum of $3.6 million this season. A sprawling South Jersey home for his growing family, a block away from that of linemate Eric Lindros.
December 1, 1998 |
The once fertile Sula Valley is a wasteland, where toppled trailers emblazoned with Chiquita's blue and yellow logo lie in muddy graveyards of broken, 7-foot banana plants. Listless workers stand with folded arms, watching a few trucks loaded with salvaged green fruit. Along the railroad tracks, the smell of decay mingles with the exhaust of bulldozers scooping up broken boxes of mushy, black bananas that didn't make it to market before Hurricane Mitch hit. It has been four weeks since the devastating storm wiped out most of Honduras' vital banana crop.
November 29, 1998 |
Long before the Walt Disney and Warner Bros. stores, long before themed shopping or shopping-as-entertainment took hold, long before the Planet Hollywoods and Hard Rock Cafes gobbled up real estate, there was Banana Republic. Founded as a catalog company in 1978 in Marin County, a ritzy San Francisco suburb, Banana Republic started the retail theme business by picking up on safari fever, which was then sweeping the nation. The first stores came along a few years later, decked out simply in mosquito netting and grass ceilings.
May 7, 1998 |
"Totally ridiculous," O.J. Simpson called claims by an adversary that the ex-athlete was "making a creeping confession" to the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman. Lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, who won a $33.5 mil wrongful death suit against O.J., made specific reference to the way O.J. jokingly wielded a banana as if it were a knife on a recent British TV appearance. "That was astonishing behavior even if you're an O.J. believer," said Petrocelli. "If he were truly an innocent man, he would be incapable of jesting about this.
March 4, 1998 |
One of the World's Sexiest Men is hurting. Cane in hand, Richard Kind hobbles across the set of Spin City to the snack table, where he pinches a chocolate-dipped Oreo, then groans his way upstairs to the Superfund site that's his dressing room so he can check his voice mail. Friends want tickets. Someone wants him for a benefit. His mother wants to know about his doctor's appointment. Kind cuts her message short, nodding. At a taping the week before, he tore a calf muscle while running out to greet the audience.
January 13, 1998 |
So, is it true that cauliflowers cause cancer? I ask the question for no particular reason except to exercise the freedom to do so. You might want to do the same thing - lie about some leeks or slur some slaw while you still can, before the food police make it illegal. Actually, it's already illegal in 13 states, including Florida and Texas. If you're reading this in one of those states, my advice is to put the newspaper down slowly and back away with your hands up. The rest of you - those still lucky enough to reside under the First Amendment - count your blessings.