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Architecture
3:15 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Chinese Architect Wang Shu Wins The Pritzker Prize

Wang Shu's design for the Ningbo History Museum came to him at 3 in the morning. He realized his job was to show people what their city used to look like, and the design recalls an ancient Chinese fortress.
Lv Hengzhong

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

For the first time, the Pritzker Architecture Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that sometimes seem forgotten in today's booming China. Wang says in the 1990s he had to get away from China's architectural "system" of demolition, megastructures and get-rich-quick — so he spent the decade working with common craftspeople building simple constructions.

"I go out of system," Wang says, "Because, finally I think, this system is too strong."

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It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Romney's Wealth 'Gaffes' Seem Less About Money, More About Him

Mitt Romney walks with driver Brian Vickers at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 4:34 pm

By this point, as virtually everyone knows, Mitt Romney has fed a stereotype of himself as an out-of-touch plutocrat through a series of comments the news media have labeled "gaffes."

The word gaffe, of course, as Michael Kinsley once observed, has at least two meanings: the generally used one of something that's a social faux pas, and the Washington one, which the journalist said was "someone telling the truth by accident."

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Colombia's FARC Says It Will Halt Kidnappings

Miriam Lasso, sister of police sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso who was kidnapped by the FARC in Nov. of 1998, holds a candle next to pictures of several police and military hostages of the FARC, in January in Cali.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 3:05 pm

The rebel group that has made kidnapping a central part of its operating procedure in Colombia says it is halting the practice and releasing 10 security force members it has held for as long as 14 years.

"From this day on we are halting the practice in our revolutionary activity," the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement released on its website.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a cautious message on Twitter.

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World Cafe
2:48 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Harriet On 'World Cafe: Next'

Harriet.
Courtesy of the artist

Harriet blends Americana and electronic music to create a sound that embodies the L.A. rock scene: Its debut EP, Tell the Right Story, sounds like a chillwave re-imagination of Kings of Leon or The National. The group combines hoarse vocals, dramatic riffs and electronic flourishes on its debut — available for free on Harriet's website, though probably not for long.

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National Security
2:42 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

U.S., Iran Eye Each Other Warily In Persian Gulf

An Iraqi jet fired missiles that hit the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf in 1987, killing 37 U.S. sailors. Iraq and Iran were at war at the time, and the U.S. wanted to keep open the regiion's vital oil shipping lanes. The current friction between the U.S. and Iran has again raised tension in the Gulf.
U.S Navy AP

History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.

As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.

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