Nation / World

Kirk Douglas Publishes Poetry Book

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kirk Douglas may be one of the biggest actors of his era, with starring roles in 1960’s Spartacus, 1949’s Champion and 1951’s Ace in the Hole. But on a recent crisp morning, he was having a grand time simply reciting his poetry by heart for an audience of one. With a twinkle of his blue eyes, he proclaimed: Romance begins at 80 And I ought to know. I live with …

On Fashion: Ugly Christmas Sweater Season, When Grandma’s Trash Is a Nation’s Treasure

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Elbow deep in ugly, the Christmas sweater connoisseur is immersed in a daily ritual: bows and bears, sequins and shoulder pads, gold glitter thread woven into non-denominational holiday wishes, snowmen of the literal button-nosed variety and ... “I know it is here,” she says, digging to the bottom of the pile. Santa has a velvet rucksack. Carrie Kraft has black plastic trash bags. …

For and About Women’s Sections

Sunday, December 21, 2014

“For and About Women”: The very name of this daily and Sunday section that ran for decades in The Washington Post now draws patronizing smiles and, recently, worse. In appreciations of the late Ben Bradlee, justified praise for the snappy Style section he founded in 1969, which changed feature journalism throughout the newspaper …

Stocks Inch Higher After Two-Day Rally

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New York — Oil and gas companies led the stock market up Friday, helping the Standard & Poor’s 500 index notch its second-best week this year. With little news to give them direction, traders continued to push indexes higher. That extended a rally from Wednesday when the Federal …

Lyme Disease Hit Region Hard in 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Portland, Maine — Environmental factors and improved reporting methods led to another year of high Lyme disease totals in northern New England. Reported cases are expected to be on par with or even top recent records set in …

Oil’s Plunge: The Hurting, The Hopeful

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New York — Oil’s plunge is spreading both pain and gain across the globe. The price of a barrel has fallen by about half since June, punishing the economies of some major exporters. Russia’s currency has nose-dived, for …

As Muslims Flee to Maine, She Interprets Their Pain

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Portland, Maine — Qamar Ahmed looks into the eyes of her client, a mother of five whose years in Baghdad haunt her sleep. She holds the woman’s shoulder and speaks softly in Arabic as the two wait for …

Richard C. Hottelet, Last of CBS News’ ‘Murrow Boys,’ Dies

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Richard C. Hottelet, a former longtime CBS News correspondent who was the last living member of the “Murrow Boys,” the elite group of reporters who covered World War II for CBS under the legendary Edward R. Murrow, has died. He was 97. Hottelet died in his sleep early …

Report Doubts FBI Work in Anthrax Case

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Washington — For a second time in three years, an inquiry cast doubt Friday on the FBI’s assertion that genetic testing had cinched its conclusion that a now-dead Army bioweapons researcher mailed anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized the East Coast in 2001. The long-awaited report …

Sale of Assets Ends U.S. Role in 2008 Auto Company Bailouts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Washington — The Obama administration has turned the page on one of the most controversial chapters of the 2008 financial crisis: the auto bailouts. On Friday, the Treasury Department said it sold its remaining stake in the auto lender Ally Financial, the last major recipient of federal funds …

Coal-Ash Rule Draws Complaints After Spills

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Washington — The Obama administration has issued the first rules for coal ash at power plants, drawing complaints from environmentalists for abandoning a proposal to deem it hazardous and to deal with risks at old, abandoned sites. The rule from the Environmental Protection Agency, issued Friday, follows contamination …

Most States Unprepared to Handle Disease Outbreaks, Report Finds

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Washington — Most states are not prepared to handle outbreaks of severe infectious diseases, according to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases found that half the states and the District of Columbia scored …

N. Korea Proposes Hacking Probe

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Seoul, South Korea — North Korea proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack. The proposal was seen by …