Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:09 am
Chemical weapons were used in Syria "on a relatively large scale" on Aug. 21, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report by U.N. inspectors Monday. The attack killed civilians, "including many children," and constitutes a "war crime," Ban wrote. He expressed his "profound shock and regret" at the findings.
Ban received the report over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, who headed the inspection team in the incident that took place near Damascus. The secretary-general briefed the Security Council on the report earlier Monday.
Ten years ago, literary scholar Carla Kaplan released an acclaimed edition of the letters of Zora Neale Hurston. In the course of researching Hurston's life, Kaplan became curious about the white women who were in Harlem in the same period as Hurston, women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the artistic and political movements of the Harlem Renaissance. Now, Kaplan has published a cultural history of those women called Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:20 pm
Not long ago, we reported on a new University of Michigan study that found the more young people used Facebook, the worse they felt. According to the research, Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.
Amid chanting and drumming, a crowd gathers in Sao Paulo and waits for the gods to come to them from the spirit world.
They are celebrating a sacred festival day in honor of Omulu, a deity of life and death. The women wear white dresses with crinolines, colorful belts and headdresses. The men wear lace, pajama-style suits. They sing and dance in a circle for hours; the room gets warmer, the chanting more intense.
Suddenly, they are here: Orixas have possessed the chosen among the faithful. They are spirit gods, the deified ancestors who link humans to the other world.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:10 am
The sprawling Washington Navy Yard, scene of a deadly shooting Monday, is the Navy's oldest shore establishment and has long been considered the "ceremonial gateway" to the nation's capital.
The yard went into operation at the turn of the 19th century. Today, it employs thousands of people and is regarded as the "quarterdeck of the Navy" for its role as headquarters for the Naval District Washington.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:36 pm
New York City Democrats breathed a sigh of relief late Monday morning when Bill Thompson conceded the mayoral primary to Bill de Blasio, avoiding what could have been a nasty intraparty battle.
Thompson, 60, made his announcement on the steps of New York's City Hall in lower Manhattan, flanked by de Blasio and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," said Thompson, a centrist former city comptroller who finished a distant second in last week's nine-candidate primary.
Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.
The punchy L.A. indie-pop band Wildcat! Wildcat! is made up of three members who've been friends since middle school. They've released a couple of singles — including the latest, "Mr. Quiche" — and recently compiled them on a new EP. Hear a couple of the band's songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next.