July 19, 1992 |
At the end of a news conference in Belgrade last week, Milan Panic, the American who has become prime minister of Yugoslavia, was asked if he wasn't just a puppet of Serbia's ultra-nationalist president, Slobodan Milosevic. "Do I strike you that I could be the puppet of anybody?" responded the ever-confident Panic, a self-made millionaire businessman and naturalized American citizen who speaks his native Serbian language with some difficulty. The answer drew laughter, which Panic's supporters interpreted as meaning their man obviously was beholden to no one. But less than a week after Panic took office, it is far from clear to whose drum he might be marching and why he decided to return to what is left of Yugoslavia.
June 26, 1998 |
At halftime of last night's final World Cup match for the United States, when even a reprieve from the eventual 1-0 loss to Yugoslavia would not have diminished the overall disappointment, five veterans gathered on the field for a poignant group picture. Alexi Lalas, Tab Ramos, Eric Wynalda, Marcelo Balboa and Jeff Agoos threw arms around each other's shoulders and produced wry, ironic grins for the photographer. "I wanted at least one picture of me on the field," Lalas said later.
October 11, 1991 |
With large chunks of the world descending into civil war, I find myself looking to Lebanon to find out what lies ahead. I didn't used to look to Lebanon as an example. Lebanon was supposed to be the place that showed what happened when the civilized veneer was peeled away from society. It was supposed to be the example of how the rest of us would never live. Lebanon was the country where educated people constantly predicted that civil war was about to cease because, after years of suffering and dying, all Lebanese were weary of fighting.
September 29, 1988 |
Yugoslavia vs. the Soviet Union. Tonight, 10 o'clock, for the gold medal. The gold medal in men's basketball. Not team handball, men's field hockey or the 110-kilo class of weightlifting. Men's basketball. America's game. Minus Team USA. This is not the way NBC had planned it six months ago. That is when peacock network officials sat down with Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee people and blocked off starting times for the Olympics' main events. You know, the ones you remake your weeknight schedules for - the Carl Lewis big four, the Flo-Jo events, the Greg Louganis diving shows, the Karch Kiraly spiking exhibition, the boxing finals, and any swimming pool race involving Matt Biondi or Janet Evans.
August 2, 1996 |
Australia, just like every other men's basketball team in these Olympics, was interested last night in seeing just how it stacked up against the United States' NBA/Olympic team. The answer: Pretty well, give or take a couple of dozen points. The Americans won, 101-73, and the game was spiced with a little shoving match between Karl Malone and Andrew Vlahov, which resulted in a technical foul on Malone. Actually, the game was fairly rough, with several little glaring contests following bumps and bounces.
March 29, 2001 |
In grainy black-and-white starkness, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic looms like a menacing godfather on billboards across this broken city. A visitor might mistake the images as ads for a gangster movie. But they are part of a student organization's crusade to bring the nation's most notorious nationalist to justice. "He's guilty," one billboard proclaims. Another poster features Milosevic peeking through what appear to be prison bars. "When?" the caption reads.
May 12, 1991 |
They were old friends, old neighbors, and now they were old men who lived quiet lives in the rural beauty of this rich farm region. Together they fished for carp in a river that rolled slowly toward the Danube. They farmed some to pass the time, beckoned by the black soil that promised bumper crops of wheat, rye, soybeans and corn. They had so much in common, but there was one flaw - and it proved fatal. Stevan Inic was a Serb. Mijo Gelancin was a Croat. And the conflict between the two groups has driven Yugoslavia to the brink of civil war. In this corner of Croatia flush up against the border with Serbia, it is hard to tell the difference between a Serb and a Croat.
February 3, 2001 |
It wasn't that long ago that Milan Protic - sweating in a denim jacket - ran across a Danube River bridge among a crowd of protesters, pursued by baton-wielding riot police. "We're not giving up," Protic said on that warm October evening in 1999 when Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was too powerful to topple. "We'll be back. " The protesters returned. Milosevic was eventually driven from office. And Protic, a tall, bristly haired street activist with a gift for clever sound bites, entered a government that had once branded him a criminal.
December 20, 1993 |
At the McDonald's on Slavia Square downtown, a Big Mac sandwich costs 17.5 billion dinars. But that's a relative bargain by today's prices. Customers are queuing up to get it while they can, knowing full well that within days, it will cost them double. Along with other dubious claims to fame, Yugoslavia is about to set a historical record for hyperinflation. The official inflation rate is 197.7 billion percent annually, a figure that should boot Weimar Germany and most of Latin America right out of the Guinness Book of World Records.
November 11, 1993 |
Sitting in a cafe, sipping a vodka and tonic at the Hotel Admiral at 11 a.m., Monika Brunner has only one worry on her mind. When will it stop raining long enough to permit a stroll along the boardwalk? Here on the gentle coast of the Adriatic, on the edge of the war-torn remnants of the former Yugoslavia, danger is far from her mind. Brunner says she feels safer than she would in, say, Miami. "Florida, I've been there before. Miami, Orlando, Cape Canaveral. It's too dangerous.