August 10, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Obama's performance lacking, too What a crazy world we live in when President Obama's popularity soars as he criticizes Donald Trump ("As Obama targets Trump, support rises," Sunday). Meanwhile, there's the worsening condition of Obamacare ("Affordable Care Act's own health is failing," Sunday). Thirteen of the original 23 co-ops that were a centerpiece of the plan that the president and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced down the throats of the American people have failed, and three others are closing up shop.
February 21, 2016
By Darryl Pinckney Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 304 pp. $26 Reviewed by Mike Fischer Jed Goodfinch, the protagonist of Darryl Pinckney's Black Deutschland , is a gay expatriate in 1980s Berlin. In the first paragraph, Goodfinch - after conjuring the ghost of Christopher Isherwood, another gay man who went to Berlin in search of himself - cops to a vision of Berlin as a place featuring "white boys who wanted to atone for Germany's crimes by loving a black boy like me. " In his native Chicago, Goodfinch has dropped out of college, disappointing his Hyde Park parents, and gone through drug and alcohol rehab.
December 22, 2015
Kurt Masur, 88, a renowned conductor who led the New York Philharmonic for 11 years and played a crucial peacemaking role in the weeks before the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, died Saturday at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. He had complications from Parkinson's disease, the New York Philharmonic said in a statement. Mr. Masur spent much of his career in communist-controlled East Germany, gaining international renown as music director of Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra.
November 16, 2015 |
BUCHAREST, Romania - This isn't the first city Americans think of visiting on a European vacation. During the Iron Curtain years, Romania was an elusory country known for turning out Olympic gymnasts and for steering an independent, yet totalitarian, course from the rest of the Soviet Bloc. Tourism was not a priority. The breach of the Berlin Wall in 1989 set off a chain of relatively peaceful transitions to freedom through most of Eastern Europe. Romania, however, endured violent protests in which more than 1,000 people were killed, leading to the Christmas Day execution of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena.
October 26, 2015 |
His cell sat directly above the torture chamber in the East German prison, Frederic Pryor recalled, but he didn't know it at the time. He only knew that he could occasionally hear screams. Of the international Cold War drama that swirled outside the jailhouse walls, and the chance it could spark his freedom, he knew nothing, kept in the dark by his communist captors. Now, everyone knows. The new Steven Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies , tells the tense, true story of how the United States and the Soviet Union traded spy for spy at a moment when each nation threatened the nuclear annihilation of the other.
March 2, 2015 |
Ralph V. Cacciutti, 77, of Gladwyne, owner and operator of his family's foundry for many years, died Tuesday, Feb. 24, of a stroke at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mr. Cacciutti was the CEO and chairman of West Philadelphia Bronze Corp., a bronze foundry and one of the leading national manufacturers of large castings for the shipbuilding industry. The business was established in 1947 in West Philadelphia by his father, Ralph Cacciutti, and uncle, Charles Cacciutti, both now deceased. In 1986, the firm moved to Chester, Delaware County, after acquiring the Crown Foundry there.
November 10, 2014 |
The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a good time to reflect on the dimming regard for democratic government - at home and abroad. Nov. 9, 1989, the day that East Berliners scaled the wall and embraced their fellow Germans from the West, marked the zenith of global faith in democracy's promise, shortly before the communist empire collapsed. I was lucky enough to witness East Europe's democratic uprisings firsthand. In November 1989, in East Germany, I watched tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Leipzig roar for a united, democratic Germany, in a series of Monday protests that helped seal East Germany's fate.
November 10, 2014 |
I was strolling along Bernauer Strasse during a foggy night typical of Berlin. The low-lying mist shrouded the streetlamps, casting sepia shadows on the neighborhood. The hues were reminiscent of old newsreels from August 1963, when this street became a last-gasp escape route for those seeking to flee over the Berlin Wall, a structure that was erected overnight in its initial crude form of concrete blocks and barbed wire. It encircled West Berlin to keep East Germans from escaping to the lone outpost of freedom behind the Iron Curtain.
June 20, 2013 |
BERLIN - President Obama on Wednesday called for reducing the number of deployed U.S. strategic nuclear warheads by one-third if the Russian government agrees to a similar cut, reviving a goal outlined early in his presidency to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. Obama's proposal, which met with a cool reception in Moscow, came during a much-anticipated speech here that sought to shake Western nations from complacency that he said has taken hold since the end of the Cold War. Speaking at the Brandenburg Gate, a historic backdrop for U.S. presidents, Obama said the dissolution of the Soviet Union has brought "a sense that the great challenges have somehow passed.
June 18, 2013
By Tobias Peter 'I ch bin ein Berliner . " Those were the famous words John F. Kennedy used to express solidarity with the people of Germany in June 1963, when he became the first U.S. president to visit the German capital after the Soviets divided it with the Berlin Wall. So what will President Obama tell the Germans when he speaks to them during his visit this week, nearly 50 years later? "People of Berlin, Germany, and Europe: I've been reading your e-mail"? If only half of what Edward Snowden has leaked about U.S. Internet surveillance is true, it will be a huge burden for transatlantic relations.