I haven't been able to listen to Vic Chesnutt's music much since he took his own life on Christmas Day, 2009. It's just been too heartbreaking. But on a recent, chilly Spring night in D.C. I had my iPod on random and Vic's song "Aunt Avis" came up. It was one of those seemingly innocuous moments when you're off in your own little world and something hits you out of the blue.
On the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, there were two contrasting scenes to consider.
One was of President Obama in Afghanistan on a surprise visit, speaking to U.S. troops as their commander in chief in the nation whence the SEALs departed for their successful raid into Abbottabad in neighboring Pakistan.
Richard Grenell, a long time Republican hired by Mitt Romney's campaign as a foreign policy spokesman, resigned today. Grenell's hiring made news less than two weeks ago, because Grenell is openly gay.
Former Prime Minister George Papandreou stands by the tough austerity measures that ultimately brought down his government — and ended his family's leading role in Greek politics. Here, the then-leader addresses the Socialist party parliamentary group at the Greek Parliament in Athens in November.
Europe's economic crisis has been driving leaders from power, one after another. Among those toppled was George Papandreou, who stepped down as the prime minister of Greece last November, just two years into his government's four-year term.
An influential group of British lawmakers says Rupert Murdoch, shown above with his son James (left) last July, is unfit to lead his global media empire. The scathing report also says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids.
News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch can give a small sigh of relief, perhaps, that U.K. lawmakers investigating the tabloid hacking and bribery scandal did not conclude they misled Parliament in earlier testimony.
But that may be just about the only relief the Murdochs receive.
The scathing report accuses the company and several of its former top British executives of lying to Parliament and of seeking to cover up widespread phone hacking, computer hacking and bribing of government employees.
This week's cover of the New Yorker magazine is a witty drawing by artist Chris Ware of a playground full of young children and their watchful parents. One woman wheels her son in a stroller, only to see that all the other parents are men. The image is called "Mother's Day."
But for all the memorable New Yorker covers out there, an equally large number of covers didn't make it to the newsstand. They were not quite on the money — or were sometimes a little too coarsely on the money.
The latest skirmish in the so-called war on women has to do with, of all things, interest rates on student loans. More specifically, the effort by House Republicans to offset the cost of a federal student loan bill by cutting funding from a $15 billion preventive health fund included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
A suicide bomber killed seven people, including three Somali lawmakers in Dusamareb today. Reuters reports that al Shabaab — the Islamic militant group — took responsibility.
"While suicide bombers sent by al Shabaab militants have struck government targets and African Union troops in the capital Mogadishu often in recent years, such attacks are rare in central Galgadud region.
There's a new superstar pianist on the horizon: Behzod Abduraimov. Haven't heard of him yet? That's not surprising — at just 21, this native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan has kept a very low profile so far. He's spent the past five years in the U.S., but not at a big-name school like the Curtis Institute (like Lang Lang or Yuja Wang, for example) or at Juilliard, where he was accepted as a student. Instead, he went to study with Stanislav Ioudenitch Park University in Salt Lake City Parkville, Missouri, where he's still enrolled.