The first question for many relatives of the victims of MH17, as for us after Lockerbie, will be whether their loved ones suffered.
In the wake of the important decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to block mining in Alaska's Bristol Bay in order to protect the wild salmon population there, it's a good moment to take stock of the many dangers facing our world's waterways -- and our world's fish. It turns out the wild salmon of Bristol Bay are one of the five least toxic fish to eat around the globe and thankfully will stay that way, thanks to the Obama administration. But what are the other four? And why are the world's fish and water under such threat?
I watched the steady hand of my first officer, Jim, advance the thrust levers of our Boeing 777. With the assistance of 115,000 ponds of thrust from each of two GE engines, the airplane began its lumbered roll down the center line of Runway 22 Left at JFK. We accelerated toward a rotation speed of 153 knots. At rotation speed, Jim applied gentle pressure to the control yoke, lifting the nose of our 602,000-pound airplane skyward. This would be one of the most critical phases of our flight to London.
Tobacco has been ingrained in our society since our nation's earliest days. But if cigarettes were introduced today, they'd most likely never be approved for market.
In 2007 and 2008, the American economy suffered through its greatest crisis since the Great Depression. The Treasury Department estimates that from 2007 to 2009, the heart of the Great Recession, more than 8.8 million American jobs disappeared and more than $19 trillion in household wealth was lost.
We are all Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The callous, brutal shooting down of an airplane carrying 298 human beings could have happened to almost any other aircraft, carrying any other people, from anywhere in the world.
According to Congress's watchdog agency, there is a new threat facing the nation's armed forces, and the Department of Defense is not doing enough about it.
The displacement, injury, and death of civilians in war is always tragic, and the current fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is no exception. But unlike the vast majority of conflicts in history, Operation Protective Edge, as Israel calls it, is one in which images of civilian suffering play a central?and potentially decisive?role in the outcome.
On his HBO talk show, "Last Week Tonight," comedian John Oliver aired a blistering segment about President Obama and the issue of income inequality. Oliver reminded viewers that "last December, the president made it clear that income inequality" would be a "big priority," since in a speech he called it the "defining challenge of our time."
He was the logical synthesis of John Wayne and Jack Benny. Interlace the Duke's measured drawl and virile swagger with Benny's comic timing and shrewd use of wordless exasperation, and you have James Garner, who died Saturday night in Los Angeles at 86.
The tragic fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, believed shot down by a missile in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board, has cast a new light on the series of gambles Russian President Vladimir Putin embarked on in late February.
The front-page headline put it plainly: "MURDERERS," it accused in huge capital letters, trying to capture the national mood in the Netherlands during a time of grief and anger.
After being sued for sexual harassment, a Yahoo executive is countersuing a former employee who leveled the original accusations against her. While the stakes of the sexual harassment claim are large, the underlying facts are actually quite common in this variety of litigation.
Madness has gripped our border. I am not talking about the migrant children fleeing from crime and violence in their home countries in Central America and looking for the opportunity to live a better life. I am talking about the misguided protesters?and the right-wing public officials that egg them on, railing against anything they think even might be an immigrant.
Today, we are all mourning the loss of 298 people who died in the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Ukraine and Russia have been trading blame on who is responsible for shooting down the aircraft. As more details come in, U.S. officials believe that pro-Russian rebels fired the missiles.
When White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week that President Barack Obama had "substantially improved the tranquillity of the global community," many observers reacted with disbelief.
The shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine may finally force Washington and Europe to wake up to the danger of the conflict there escalating into full-blown war between Russia and Ukraine.
Did you have a Franz Ferdinand moment when you first heard about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashing in eastern Ukraine?
U.S. officials say they believe that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, resulting in the death of 298 people over eastern Ukraine.
When life gives you Comcast, make a "shamecast."
If we can put a man on the moon ...
Watching the flood of immigrant children from Central America seeking, and gaining, entry into the United States, one is struck by the chaos at all levels. It is a crisis, but hardly a surprise.
More than 30 years ago, Congress wisely passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Yet today, many pregnant women still experience unfair and unnecessary challenges on the job.
In the last few days, two Ukrainian warplanes were brought down over Eastern Ukraine (one allegedly by a Russian jet) and on Thursday a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed in the area, apparently with the loss of all 298 souls on board. If it turns out that the unfortunate civilian airliner was also shot down, Russia and its local allies could again be implicated. Understandably, the international community will wonder whether this portends an escalation in the Kremlin ambitions there.
As an American, I am appalled by Dick Cheney and his relentless, pathetic and ultimately doomed effort to revise the history of his failures.
Before my parents left Taiwan in 1967, they were given a gift box full of America: A collection of the greatest Broadway cast recordings of all time, lovingly pressed into 50 sleek disks of vinyl. For over a decade, the contents of the box were the only music played in our home.
In the beginning, one might have considered it bold -- even inventive -- to oppose every single thing President Obama supported.
Ever feel like you're losing the cell phone battle with your teenager? I did, too. But I'm about to share a genius move with you that will help you win it again.
More than five years after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression, lawmakers should ask themselves whether they have done enough to reduce the risk of another financial crisis. In our view, the answer is no.
I never thought my Afghan translator would save my life by killing two Taliban fighters who were about to kill me. Janis did just that. I'm here today because he had my back in a way I only thought an American soldier would.
Some of the world's most well-known companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Boots and Starbucks have become successful partly by convincing us through their products that their corporate values align with consumers' personal values.
Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! What the heck was that flaming thing streaking across Australian skies?
By July 20, a historic deal may be reached to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff.
While the Zintan militia leads the battle for control of Tripoli's airport, another set of militia and radicalized Islamist insurgents in the east are threatening a fragile Libya.
Sometimes a single moment in time captures the essence of an individual. That became clear to me in late June 1995. We were at the end of a grueling three days in Alabama interviewing George Wallace, the state's former segregationist governor and nemesis of President Kennedy, for John's maiden interview in his new magazine, George.
From Nebraska to Maine, and all throughout the country, families face common struggles: balancing responsibilities at home with duties at work; stretching paychecks to make ends meet; the pressure of raising young children while caring for elderly parents. Even with moms and dads working two or three jobs, some families find it hard to get ahead.
I walked into the Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) on London's Cork Street in Mayfair two weeks ago. Opposite the Burlington Arcade, right at the heart of the art establishment, on gallery row itself, African art formerly seen as a niche interest, now officially playing with the big boys. And the best thing ... GAFRA is owned and run by a woman: Liberian born Bendu Cooper.
Back in July 1969, I stood on the talcum-like lunar dust just a few feet from our home away from home, Eagle, the lunar module that transported Neil Armstrong and me to the bleak, crater-pocked moonscape.
So, where'd everybody go?
The summer vacation season is already in full swing across the United States, and for many families that means loading up the car and heading to the beach. But as temperatures rise, so do the instances of air, road and railway congestion.
Growing up in the Jim Crow-era South, we saw firsthand the great disparities in health care suffered by African-Americans. The lack of access to basic services, the dearth of black physicians and the often overtly racist attitudes of white health care providers contributed to higher rates of infant mortality, chronic illnesses and shorter life expectancy.
Want to try for a cease-fire to end the burgeoning conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza?
While most of the country moves forward on legal protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons (LGBT), Republicans in Texas have retrenched their opposition in a shocking manner.
As we try to grasp the enormity of the crisis involving at least 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border looking for safe haven, Americans should stop casting blame and be realistic.
Once upon a time, Ronald Reagan said, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Today, it's not only socially acceptable to attack your conservative peers, but it has actually become part of campaign strategy. Identify someone who represents a minority view within the GOP, tear him or her to shreds and hope that it establishes you as a voice of the mainstream.
On ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who happens to be black, suggested that opposition to him and President Barack Obama in part is due to racial animus. For that, he has been vilified.
Most Americans don't think that midterm elections really matter. The majority of voters come out only for presidential elections. Midterms are left to the most activist parts of the population, the people who like to follow politics in off hours and who care as deeply about who wins elected office as they do about sports teams or celebrities.
This World Cup final looked to answer a question that has been surfacing throughout this tournament, and perhaps -- considering the hold King James has had on U.S. basketball fans in the past few weeks -- all of sports: Is it the team, or is it the star?
As America grapples with a crisis of children on its southern border, another image from another time seems inescapable: that ship full of Jewish refugees off our shores as World War II approached.
Great baseball players know every pitch is an opportunity. As with fastballs, international crises also present opportunities. And the current clash between Israel and Gaza offers several potential game-changers.
New York Law School professor Robert Blecker was on the radio the other day, telling NPR's "Here and Now" that we should have the death penalty, even if there is a risk that innocent people might be executed. I wonder if Blecker or other death penalty supporters would sacrifice their lives to keep this broken system going.
Seth Rogen and James Franco do not amuse North Korea whose president Kim Jong Un is apparently livid over the October release of "The Interview," a comedy starring Rogen and Franco as TV people trying to score an interview with Kim, but are recruited by the CIA to take the president out.
We moved to suburban Akron in January 2003, just months before LeBron James graduated from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It's been a great week for Cleveland. On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced its intention to hold the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland. Then on Friday, LeBron James said he was "coming home" to the Cavaliers.
I am sorry to report that Colorado has shut down all government and civilian activities under a haze of pot smoke. Trains will not run. Store shelves are bare. Citizens are rioting in a pot-induced trance. Tourists are avoiding the Sodom and Gomorrah called Colorado. Keep your children indoors and your money in the mattress!
Eden Foods has become the new front line in the contest over religion, health care and the workplace.
Amos Yadlin, formerly chief of Defense Intelligence for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), observed this week that the Israeli public typically goes through wartime "cycles": first showing sweeping support and then, as civilian and military deaths begin, growing impatient and putting pressure on politicians to end hostilities. Therefore, as Yadlin put it, "the ability of the Israeli home front to withstand a campaign that lasts for more than a week is a key factor in the outcome."
Say "urban poor," and the image that most likely comes to mind is one of young black men caught up in a swirl of drugs and violence and irresponsible single women having babies. But this pervasive stereotype overlooks a surprising reality: Many whites live side by side African-Americans in some of the country's poorest urban neighborhoods.
Those who live in fear today imagine that America is being overrun by foreign, disease-carrying, tax-sucking criminal hordes. They cannot imagine that immigrants, whether documented or not, could ever contribute to our country. They refer to the children and families trying to cross the southern border as "illegals."
Germany may be America's most important European ally, but the relationship between the two countries is on the rocks.
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
These are tough times for hard-working families. Too many Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Families are juggling bills they can't pay. Many believe they are working harder but only falling farther and farther behind.
It's the law of unintended consequences.
Complete shock, surprise and disappointment -- that was my reaction to revelations from documents released by Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency monitored my e-mails from 2006 to 2008 after I left the Bush White House.
Detroit's recent bankruptcy draws attention to a festering problem in America -- many of our cities are in trouble.
It's time for some good news from the Middle East. The region is a tangle of sectarian bloodshed, territorial clashes and ideological disputes. But there is one bright light, an important, positive development that we should pause to appreciate.
This week, Washington state opened recreational marijuana stores for the first time. And these stores don't just carry your father's kind of weed. In addition to highly potent cigarettes -- which are much stronger than those some people might remember from Woodstock -- stores will also soon sell super-strength, pot-infused cookies, candies, sodas, vapor and wax concentrates.
Leave the wife alone. Many of you should admit it. You think there's "something suspicious" about her.
President Barack Obama is in Texas today.
World War I ushered in an era of chemical weapons use that lingers, lethally, into the present day.
As the situation in Iraq escalates, the U.S. finds itself awkwardly aligned with a country once vilified as part of the "Axis of Evil." While Iraq loses control of its western border to ISIS rebels, the U.S. decides to pragmatically turn to its geopolitical interests to calm this disaster.
Although vaccines are required for entry into school in most places in the United States, the government does allow for exceptions, like religious reasons.
It was a beating, a thrashing, a rout, a waxing, a debacle. Sport is well-equipped with words to describe what took place in the semifinal match between Germany and Brazil on Tuesday, but none of them, at least not yet, can capture what really went down.
I would like to think that the horrific killings of Israeli and Palestinian children in recent days -- and the ongoing escalation between Israel and Hamas over Gaza -- will force a moment of truth, more rational thinking and real options to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But I know better. There is still not enough pain and prospects of gain to warrant that.
House Speaker John Boehner's threatened lawsuit against President Obama has elicited scorn from the right and blistering attacks from the left. So why is Boehner pursuing it? Perhaps because he thinks he just might win in the end.
Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died so blacks would no longer be viewed as inferior but rather enjoy the same inherent rights given to whites in America.
Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that's the good news.
A recent pair of racially charged political incidents in the South illustrate the pitfalls -- and potential benefits -- that await the national Republican Party leadership if it makes good on an oft-repeated pledge to woo black voters away from the Democratic Party.
Leaders of the tech industry, long treated as national heroes, are looking a lot less heroic these days.
It was a mother's worst nightmare. On March 31, 2014, at 11 p.m., I received a phone call from my 25-year-old son.
Following the preliminary hearing of a Georgia father accused of allowing his child to die in a hot car, most legal experts agree that the prosecution will likely upgrade the charges to malice murder after the case is presented to a grand jury.
Over the past few weeks, about 18 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed in the occupied Palestinian territories. Although President Barack Obama rightly condemned the tragic killing of three Israeli teenagers, the majority of Palestinian victims have been largely reduced to faceless, nameless statistics who do not elicit comparable reaction.
After meeting Monday with six victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed against them and begged forgiveness "for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse."
President Obama needs to send U.S. marshals to Southern California. They can protect the Central American women and children whom the federal government has sent out West, with more due to arrive every 72 hours under an immigrant redistribution plan hatched by the Obama administration.
United States leaders have rightly said that defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and resolving Iraq's deepening civil war will require urgent political change in Baghdad. But the military assistance that Iran and Russia are speeding to Shiite groups in Iraq imperils that change.
Former Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker passed away recently. Although he was known for many things, Baker's most enduring moment came in the middle of the Watergate scandal, when he asked: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Earlier this year, a European court ruled that search engine operators such as Google could be held responsible for personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties and found through their searches.
The human footprint on the ocean, from the shoreline to the deepest abyss, is growing.
Dear Speaker Boehner,
HBO has just launched a new TV series based on a novel by Tom Perrotta called "The Leftovers," which in turn is based on the fundamentalist Christian idea of the rapture. Apart from the title, which suggests a refrigerator full of stale food, the series looks promising.
Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.
Three weeks and about 400 miles ago, I started a trip down the "most endangered" river in the United States, California's San Joaquin. The underloved river is born in the Sierra Nevada and snakes across one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, California's Central Valley.
The best summer movie ever made premiered 50 years ago this weekend. It had no sharks, robots, zombies, superheroes or alien invaders. Nobody met somebody else in cute "rom-com" fashion and no one traveled in time. Though explosive in its way, there were no explosions; indeed, no special effects of any kind. There wasn't even much of a story; at least not the kind with a beginning, middle or end.
During the civil rights era, Alabama Gov. George Wallace was asked by a supporter why he was fixated on the politics of race. Wallace replied, "You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n*ggers, and they stomped the floor."
This week, the country witnessed one of the most irresponsible acts that we have seen from this Republican Congress, since they deliberately shut down the government less than a year ago.
Mark Twain famously said, "There's lies, damned lies, and statistics." Lord only knows what he would have said about polls.