Kingston, JAMAICA — The screaming of the newly widowed let the people of Common know revenge had visited them that Monday morning. A fierce current, taking hold of the Caribbean basin, lashed rolls of thunder and heavy rainfall down upon the tough uptown community’s ramshackle buildings. Flyposting, advertising downtrodden reggae dancehalls and erotica clubs, grew soggy and limpid, giving way to graffiti tags sprayed on the walls underneath. A congealed sludge of soil skimmed along the streetscape, dirt and leaves clogging in the strip of potholes and fissures that passes for Red Hills Road. A lone jerk vendor, braving the […]

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EXTRA TIME — More on the IRS investigation of Washington’s foreign embassies: The German Embassy has complained to the Revenue that the Feb. 20 deadline for embassy employees to file back taxes from 2003 through 2005 is “unreasonably short” and asked for an extension to June 30. The extra time would “afford employees the possibility to prepare” their returns, the embassy said in a letter written to the State Department for forwarding to the IRS, as protocol demands. In November, the IRS proposed what it called a “settlement initiative” for thousands of non-diplomatic employees — both foreign and U.S. citizens […]

China’s recent decision to blast one of its own satellites from the sky using a ground-based missile has re-ignited concerns in Washington that a potential military rival could be seeking to “weaponize” space. While China’s Foreign Ministry stressed that the “test was not directed at any country and does not constitute a threat to any country,” the destruction of its own satellite has created a hotbed of speculation regarding Beijing’s possible ulterior motives. Some China experts contend it was an attempt by Beijing to pressure Washington to negotiate an international treaty banning weapons in space. The Bush administration, however, remains […]

WASHINGTON — As “civil war” rages in Iraq, so does the increasingly furious fight between Democrats and the Bush administration over what to do now that the holidays — and with them the season of election-year posturing — are finally over. The rhetorical salvos could not have been more piercing across Washington yesterday as the new Democratic leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convened the first in a series of hearings on how to change the current course of action in Iraq — just hours before President George W. Bush appeared on national television in an apparent attempt to […]

Recent prominent changes in the Bush administration’s war leaders and Iraq policy have overshadowed an important personnel shift in the Department of Energy (DOE). On Jan. 4, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman announced his decision to dismiss Ambassador Linton Brooks as head of the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Congress established the NNSA in 2000 as a semi-autonomous agency within the DOE charged with managing the use of U.S. nuclear energy for military purposes. Its responsibilities include maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of U.S. nuclear weapons, countering nuclear proliferation, developing nuclear propulsion systems for the U.S. Navy, and responding […]

At a Dec. 16, 2006, meeting in Beijing, the Chinese government awarded U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation a multi-billion dollar contract to supply China with its next generation of nuclear reactors. The Westinghouse deal represents the single largest international nuclear power transaction in history. During the next few months, the two countries will negotiate a framework agreement to govern the sale. After that, Westinghouse and China National Nuclear will sign a detailed sales contract for the four 1,000-megawatt reactors. Chinese and American companies will build two of the four reactor units at Sanmen in Zhejiang Province and two at Yangjiang in […]