December 5, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Fighting between rebels and government forces raged near the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, forcing an inbound commercial jet to turn back while the U.N. said it was withdrawing staff because of deteriorating security conditions. Lebanese security officials said Jihad Makdissi, a polished Foreign Ministry spokesman known for defending the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in fluent English, flew from Beirut to London. But it was not immediately clear whether he had defected.
December 3, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Syrian warplanes and artillery blasted parts of Damascus and its rebellious suburbs on Sunday, part of what activists described as intense fighting as rebels try to push their way into the center of President Bashar al-Assad's power base. In central Syria, a car bomb killed at least 15 people, the official news agency reported. The fighting over the last few weeks in Damascus is the most serious in the capital since July, when rebels captured several neighborhoods before a swift government counteroffensive swept them out. The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighter jets struck twice in the suburb of Daraya as regime artillery pounded other districts just south of Damascus.
December 1, 2012 |
Rock and roll hath no fury like the sound of Neil Young & Crazy Horse. "I might pick up a pen, scribble on a page / Try to make sense of my inner rage," the enduring 67-year-old guitarist and songwriter sang in "I'm From Ontario" early in a hellacious, 13-song, two-hour-plus show that went on ringing in satisfied customers' ears long after they exited the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. With his longtime cohorts Crazy Horse - the primeval trio of guitarist Frank "Pancho" Sampedro, drummer Ralph Molina, and bass player Billy Talbot, with whom Young released both the covers album Americana and double-disc of originals Psychedelic Pill this year - Young lets his inner rage roar through a maelstrom of unapologetically unkempt guitar noise.
November 23, 2012 |
SANDY BROUGHT the seawater, and Kevin McCarty's bringing the suds for one last party in his storm-swamped house in Brigantine before the wrecking ball comes. McCarty, a 30-year-old artist, bought his Cape Cod on the island a few years ago and dumped all his savings into remodeling it. On a recent morning before Thanksgiving, his cold, bare living room resembled an art gallery before a big show, except for the faint smell of mildew in the air and the rolls of paper towels stacked up along the buckling wood floor.
November 21, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel and the extremist group Hamas edged closer to a cease-fire Tuesday, but after a day of furious diplomatic efforts involving the U.S. secretary of state, U.N. chief, and Egypt's president, a deal remained elusive and fighting raged on both sides of the border. Israeli tanks and gunboats pummeled targets in Gaza in what appeared to be a last-minute burst of fire, while at least 200 rockets were fired into Israel. As talks dragged on near midnight, Israeli and Hamas officials, communicating through Egyptian mediators, expressed hope that a deal would soon be reached, but cautioned that it was far from certain.
November 8, 2012 |
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - A U.S. agent who investigated the massacre of 16 civilians in southern Afghanistan in March recounted the volatile reaction from local villagers Wednesday and said it was three weeks before American forces could visit the crime scenes less than a mile from a remote base. By that time, bodies had been buried and bloodstains had been scraped from the walls, Special Agent Matthew Hoffman of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command said Wednesday. Other stains remained, on walls and floors.
October 15, 2012 |
Allow this humble narrator to correct a misapprehension held by listeners who don't know Swans intimately. Michael Gira's shifting membership noise rock ensemble does not embrace doom or gloom in its sound or lyrics. During its nearly 30 years of an on-and-off existence, there's certainly been dread, existential or otherwise, in Gira's incendiary words, his handsomely low vocals, and his thunderously looming sound-scapes. But there are God, love, and bright shards of luminescence in the bandleader's dense, abrasive shadow play as well.
October 5, 2012 |
BARRY Le LAND knows a man who talks of kicking a skull around when he was a boy after the Queen Lane Apartments high-rise was built in 1955. "A couple of fellows said they were playing kickball and thought they were kicking a rock, but then they saw it was a skull," Le Land said. "I have seen bones over there. But we didn't know it was a potter's field. " Residents said the bones started to appear after the Philadelphia Housing Authority finished building the high-rise in 1955, at Queen Lane and Pulaski Avenue, the site of an all-but-forgotten burial ground for African-Americans.
September 27, 2012 |
MADRID - Spain's government was hit by the country's financial crisis on two fronts Tuesday as protesters, enraged with austerity cutbacks and tax hikes, clashed with police near Parliament while the nation's borrowing costs increased in an auction of its debt. More than 1,000 riot police blocked off access to the Parliament building in the heart of Madrid, forcing most protesters to crowd nearby avenues and shutting down traffic at the height of the evening rush hour. Police used batons to push back some protesters at the front of the march attended by an estimated 6,000 people as tempers flared, and some demonstrators broke down barricades and threw rocks and bottles toward authorities.
September 12, 2012 |
Bomboy is editor-in-chief of the nonpartisan National Constitution Center . The U.S. government's role in the detention and trial of alleged terrorists at its Guantánamo Bay Naval Base is still under debate on the 11th anniversary of the attacks. On Monday, the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Said al-Shihri, was reportedly killed in Yemen. That group is considered one of the world's most dangerous terrorist groups by U.S. authorities. Al-Shihri was a Guantanamo prisoner, officially #327, who was released by the U.S. in 2007, and it appears he was killed Monday in a drone attack in southern Yemen.