March 2, 2015 |
This is a column about a beautiful Ukrainian helicopter pilot named Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured by pro-Russian rebels and illegally transported from her country to a prison in Moscow. She could die soon. It is also a column about lies so blatant, so contrary to available facts, that they insult the intelligence. Vladimir Putin and his spokesmen repeat such lies over and over about what Russia is doing in Ukraine. Yet Western leaders still refrain from denouncing them as falsehoods.
February 19, 2015 |
THEY LIVE these days floating between impossible and improbable, their decimal-point chances to reach the postseason improved more than tenfold via a point streak that has created light, if not much actual heat. The Flyers finally lost a game they needed to win last night for the same reason they have gained points despite tepid efforts. Ray Emery, whose improbable return to form has been as big a reason as any for the Flyers' post-All-Star surge and that exponential jolt of hope, allowed four Columbus goals on only 24 shots in a 5-2 defeat, battling pucks all night, creating needless havoc in his own zone with fat rebounds.
November 7, 2013 |
Beth Stroud, a Methodist pastor, said she knew what to expect when she told her Philadelphia congregation in 2003 that she was a lesbian. A church trial. A guilty verdict. And a vote to strip her minister credentials. All three happened. What shocked Stroud was the jury vote on her punishment: 7-6. One shy of being able to serve as an openly homosexual pastor in the United Methodist Church. A decade has passed since Stroud challenged the church, drawing intense national attention and supporters and protesters to her trial.
October 28, 2013 |
Doubt too many people at your local supermarket have ever heard of Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, or Anne Bradstreet. But mention Sylvia Plath's name and you're likely to get a reaction. Plath, who committed suicide 50 years ago at the age of 30, is a rarity: a famous poet. She remains popular, and retains a certain sex appeal in an age when poetry, and poets, have become increasingly academic, insular, and marginalized. She has even been immortalized on celluloid by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2003 biopic Sylvia . West Chester University's acclaimed poetry center will celebrate Plath's life and work with a program of poetry readings and discussions by seven women artists and writers Sunday, on what would have been Plath's 81st birthday.
July 22, 2013 |
For Catholics around the world, there is no greater force for change than the views of a pope. Pope Francis gets an opportunity to shed light on what kind of papacy his will be this week when he takes his first trip abroad, to Brazil. This is a visit to watch, for it will not only reveal more about this new papacy, but it may also spark social and economic change in the region. As an Argentine and the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires from 2001 until his election, Francis knows well the plight of millions of poor people in the region.
July 10, 2013 |
LAMPEDUSA, Sicily - Pope Francis on Monday denounced the "globalization of indifference" that greets migrants who risk their lives trying to reach Europe, as he traveled to the farthest reaches of Italy to draw attention to their plight and to mourn those who never made it. The tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa, a treeless strip of rock four miles long, is closer to Africa than the Italian mainland and is the main port of entry into Europe for African...
June 19, 2013
As last week's abortive meeting between the two Koreas illustrated, the region's foreign policy often seems to be at the mercy of Pyongyang's irrational whims. This week, North Korea was at it again, proposing high-level talks with Washington just a few months after it threatened to bomb Austin, Texas. While diplomats debate ad infinitum, many of North Korea's 25 million people live a nightmare. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International estimate that up to 200,000 North Koreans, some of them children, are imprisoned in camps modeled after the Soviet gulags, where they are subjected to torture and forced labor.
June 18, 2013 |
Four parents and school staff members began a fast Monday under a tent outside Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office to advocate for safe schools. The fast, which started about 11 a.m., began in response to the layoffs of about 1,200 noontime aides. The four say they will sit under the tent outside 200 S. Broad St. during the day and forgo all food and drink, save water, until the city's schools are fully funded and the laid-off staffers are rehired. There is no set end date. "Without a safe environment, students can't learn," fast participant Earlene Bly said.
May 24, 2013 |
A Philadelphia family of five lived without a working toilet for a month after the landlord refused to fix it. When the family withheld the rent - which is legal - the landlord locked them out. Because they didn't have an attorney, the family was never able to get back into the apartment. That was one of dozens of stories conveyed at a Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing at the Philadelphia Bar Association in Center City on Thursday on the importance of civil legal help for the poor.