The opposition to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tried everything to end his long rule: huge protests, a coup and an oil strike. Nothing has worked, but now opposition leaders have coalesced into a united and focused movement that is preparing to choose one candidate to run against the president, posing the strongest electoral challenge to Chavez's populist rule.
As tensions between Israel and Iran ratchet up, one community is caught in the middle: Iranian Jews living in Israel. There are some 250,000 people of Persian descent living in Israel, and they maintain strong ties with their homeland.
As a result, they are uniquely conflicted over the possibility of war between the two countries.
In a small cluttered apartment in Jerusalem, Naheet Yacoubi cooks a traditional Persian meal for her Shabbat dinner. Originally from Tehran, she came to Israel when she was a child.
In the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, 76-year-old Genaro Rodarte Huizar rides his donkey along a dry riverbed. On his left is a dried out pasture; on his right is what used to be a cornfield; now it's just long furrows of gray, dusty dirt.
Rodarte says that for the past two years, the crops that he's planted here have failed. Normally, he plants beans and corn to feed his family, and oats to sell. He says he hasn't harvested anything because the land is too dry and there's no water.
GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is reaching out to social conservatives in a new way. At a rally in the gym at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday night, Romney rolled out some new material: the rights given to people by God.
"I am just distressed as I watch, as I watch our president try and infringe upon those rights," Romney said to the capacity crowd. "The first amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice."
President Obama says it's time for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Yet Monday's decision to shut down the U.S. Embassy in Damascus reflected the deteriorating conditions in a country that appears locked in a protracted conflict with no end in sight.
"The closing of the U.S. Embassy is a clear signal to the international community that it's not safe for diplomats in Syria," says Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat.
Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:09 am
Polica's sound is crisp, minimalist and mesmerizing. Singer Channy Leaneagh plays her voice like an instrument, using AutoTune both in the studio and at live shows to manipulate her vocals. Against the sliding violins, saxophone solos, relaxed bass and dueling drums of Polica, it's hard to believe that before this, Leaneagh sang folk music for six years in her previous band, Roma di Luna.
Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:26 pm
In his interview with NBC's Matt Lauer which aired Super Bowl Sunday and Monday, President Obama was asked how he would respond to a disenchanted 2008 supporter frustrated that he didn't transform Washington.
The president acknowledged that the soaring idealism of his 2008 campaign rhetoric ran smack into the wall of reality that is the nation's highly partisan politics.
Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:50 pm
A while back, the MIT economist Andrew Lo set out to review a couple books about the financial crisis. Those books led to a couple more books, which led — you see where this is going — to 17 more books.
The economists who predicted the housing crisis tend to be a gloomy bunch, as Adam Davidson notes in his latest Times Magazine column. Dean Baker is the rare exception. In the following guest post, he explains why he has parted ways with the economic pessimists.