April 21, 1988 |
Beside the grassy banks of the muddy Mahaweli River, the crocodiles vanish in silent submersions when the local elephants are taken for their midday baths. As the sun passes through the white sky, the lean mahouts, barefoot and dressed only in loose-fitting sarongs, shout at beasts 100 times their size and strength, "Mahaida," "Daha," yelling at the animals to come and go in a language that only the elephants and their drivers understand. N. Muthubanda was 18 when he became a mahout 32 years ago. He started working with elephants because he could find no other job. Now, he works with a mild-tempered female named Nona who towers over him and sometimes affectionately nudges his cheek with her trunk.
September 6, 1989 |
A guy from a radio station called and said he was doing a Labor Day feature. He wanted to know what the worst job was I'd ever had. I was busy, so I quickly told him the worst job I ever had was answering questions from radio stations. But after we hung up, I started thinking about the question. What was the toughest thing I ever did to earn a buck? When I was a kid, I set pins in bowling alleys, which was hard, tedious labor. But it was good exercise, gave me walking-around money.
July 6, 2013 |
TOKYO - An American imprisoned in North Korea has told a pro-Pyongyang media outlet that he wants the United States to "try harder" to help him gain amnesty from a sentence of 15 years of hard labor for alleged crimes against the government. In what appears to be his first media interview since his November arrest, Kenneth Bae told the Tokyo-based Choson Sinbo in an article published Wednesday that he had hoped to be out by Thursday. That was not only Independence Day but his father's 70th birthday.
February 21, 2010 |
First of two parts. He was one of the first great chefs of Philadelphia - in fact, of the young nation. The chief cook in President George Washington's home here in 1790 had only one name: Hercules. In the mansion's open-hearth kitchen, where elaborate banquets were prepared, where spitted meats sizzled and "fricaseys" simmered in cast-iron pans over hickory fires, underlings scurried to execute the orders of Hercules, "the great master-spirit," according to one account, who seemed to be everywhere at once.
November 21, 1995 |
When the results of the congressional election held last November were tabulated, something occurred that we hadn't seen since the 1950s: The Republican Party had gained control of both houses of Congress. Was this a one-time phenomenon or the beginning of a trend? At the time, most political analysts believed the public had accepted the view that big government was costly, wasteful and counterproductive. The new Congress presented a contractual obligation to reduce the size of government, both in terms of the number of programs and in terms of dollars spent.
November 19, 1997 |
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of Egypt's militant Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, also known as the Islamic Group, is incarcerated at a special hospital for federal prisoners in Springfield, Mo. Abdel-Rahman, 59, who is blind and suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole after being convicted in New York of involvement in a conspiracy that planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing,...
August 15, 1998 |
Summer vacation usually means memories of beach heroics and bad sunburns. But for 19-year-old Michele Keegan, of Hamilton Township, N.J., summer brought the risk of five years' hard labor in jail and, ultimately, deportation from a small Southeast Asian country. What a vacation! Keegan and 17 others were found guilty of distributing pro-democracy leaflets in Myanmar. The country formerly known as Burma is under military rule and has for years been criticzed by some international human-rights groups.
August 7, 1995 |
As the only nation to be attacked with an atomic bomb, Japan is entitled to a leadership role in the crusade against the dangers of nuclear arms. However, its authority is seriously compromised by its reluctance to take its responsibility for its deeds during World War II. Japan, in contrast to Germany, has neither acknowledged its crimes nor paid restitution to its victims. During my internment in Japanese concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), humiliation - a Japanese specialty - was the order of the day. No eye contact with the master race was allowed.
December 20, 2011
The obits for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il are filled with details about his weird personal habits and his country's nukes, but the history books will reveal him as one of the great mass murderers of our times. One of my most chilling journalistic experiences came in 2004 in South Korea, when I was interviewing a handful of North Koreans who had managed to escape to Seoul, and listening to the horrors they'd endured in their home country. Only a few thousand North Koreans have made it out, and they bear witness to the terrible suffering that Kim and his father, Kim Il Sung, inflicted on the North Korean population.
November 29, 2009 |
The William Way LGBT Community Center is telling one of the Holocaust's least-known stories - the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It's a story of men and women who were arrested and often sentenced to hard labor for what were called indecent acts. The victims were mostly men. Some faced judicial proceedings and criminal charges. Others were simply picked up by SS officers and locked away in concentration camps. Through Friday, the center is displaying "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: 1933-1945," a traveling exhibition of 32 large panels featuring reproductions of historic photographs and documents.