June 3, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - It was a risky but successful operation: British and other NATO forces stormed a cave tucked in the mountains before dawn Saturday and rescued two foreign female aid workers and their two Afghan colleagues being held hostage by Taliban-linked militants. Helicopters, flying under the cover of darkness, ferried the rescue team to extreme northeastern Afghanistan where they suspected the hostages were being held. After confirming the workers were there, they raided the site, killed several militants, and freed the hostages, ending their nearly two-week ordeal.
April 29, 2012 |
DEER LODGE, Mont. - Montana officials on Friday rejected parole for a notorious "mountain man" who abducted a world-class athlete in 1984 to keep as a wife for his son, and then shot her and left her to die during a rescue attempt. The state Board of Pardons and Parole held its third parole hearing for Don Nichols as federal authorities search for his son Dan, accused this month of new drug and gun crimes. During his 20-minute hearing, Nichols, 81, expressed contempt for the board.
April 28, 2012 |
Surveying a battery of Tibetan percussion that had been transported down Himalayan mountains on horseback, Mendelssohn Club music director Alan Harler had to admit he could not really predict what he was about to hear as 200 singers assembled onstage for rehearsal with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Yet any apprehension about Andrea Clearfield's new choral work, Tse Go La (At the threshold of this life), to be premiered Sunday at Church of the Holy Trinity, was short-lived. The warm, direct music Philadelphians have come to expect from Clearfield, who teaches composing at University of the Arts, has become all the more distilled as it is increasingly influenced by travels to the loftiest regions of Tibet, where she collected folk music and Buddhist songs in 2008 and 2010.
March 20, 2012 |
DENVER - So much for Tebowmania. Pending final contract negotiations, Peyton Manning will join John Elway's Denver Broncos with hopes of winning another Super Bowl. Still to be decided is what happens to last season's quarterback sensation, Tim Tebow. The Broncos and Manning's agent Tom Condon spent Monday working out parameters of a deal expected to be worth about $95 million over five years after the NFL's only four-time MVP called Elway, the Broncos' revered QB-turned-executive, and told him he had decided to come to Denver.
March 19, 2012 |
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Xavier, a March Madness mainstay, defeated upstart Lehigh, 70-58, on Sunday night at the Greensboro Coliseum to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years. The 10th-seeded Musketeers (23-12) will face No. 3 Baylor (29-7) on Friday in Atlanta. Hulking Xavier center Kenny Frease scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field, and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Musketeers. Xavier senior all-American guard Tu Holloway scored 21 points.
March 18, 2012 |
BRANDON HILL, Jamaica - A few years ago in this mist-shrouded mountain town, steep slopes were quilted with some of the world's most valuable coffee trees. Farmers scrambled to increase acreage and pickers painstakingly filled wooden boxes with ripened berries at harvest time. Today, much of the terrain is overgrown with underbrush and bamboo as a declining luxury market in Japan and a voracious beetle drive thousands of frustrated small farmers away from tiny plots of leased highlands.
March 12, 2012 |
Hiring the first employee can be so costly that many entrepreneurs never do it. They prefer to stay in solo businesses, which number more than 10 million in the United States. A brief summary of the regulations involved makes it clear why many decide not to become an "employer. " My electrician refuses to have an employee, citing the regulatory and tax hassles he would have to endure. Here's what he is talking about. Once a candidate accepts a job offer, the Fair Labor Standards Act kicks in, regulating minimum wages, overtime pay, and child labor.
February 13, 2012 |
As anyone with a laptop or cellphone knows, battery life has made great strides over the years, but has plenty of room for improvement. That's one of the goals behind some new research at Drexel University, where engineers have developed a new class of materials that take the form of whisper-thin "nanosheets. " The team recently reported that these layers - so thin that it would take thousands of them to match the thickness of a human hair - could be used to store a charge in a lithium-ion battery.
January 17, 2012 |
I received such a response to my column last week on Wilt Chamberlain, I have decided to include a few comments from readers. I should also note that the 76ers will host a tribute on March 2 on the 50th anniversary of Wilt's 100-point game. Readers smacked me down hard, as they should have, in response to my question about who was the more esteemed Overbrook High graduate - Wilt or Will Smith. "Michael - Will Smith in the same story as Wilt??? Seriously," from Fred Lavner.