An undercover officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration ends up in prison when the drug war becomes personal:
"'A lot of people disappear in Mexico,' he says. 'They are buried where no one will find them. Some are eaten by tigers and some by sharks. There are also big tanks with acid in them.' He pauses for a long time between the sentences.
"'We didn't manage to catch all the bad guys. In those cases, we gave the Mexicans their names and said, 'Do what you need to do.' The Mexicans made those people disappear.'
"Martinez sits in his car, holding the steering wheel firmly with both hands. He looks frightened by the memories of his own life. 'Come on, let's go to the cemetery,' he says."
PUBLISHED: March 1, 2013
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3247 words)
The hype and marketing behind the "fastest man in the world":
"It's no surprise that every sports meeting in which he participates is organized around him. When he ran in Ostrava in the spring, there were posters featuring Bolt all over the Czech city, the stadium was sold out weeks ahead and there were young blonde girls in the stands who had painted the Jamaican national colors on their cheeks.
"'Usain?' the stadium announcer shouted.
"'Bolt!' the crowd shouted back. And there were still three hours to go before the 100-meter race.
"The other athletes were mere accessories, Olympic and world champions playing the opening act for the fastest man in the world. The journalists were interested in only two other athletes. One was Oscar Pistorius, who is running the 400-meter race on prosthetic lower legs, and the other was 800-meter runner Caster Semenya who, for a time, was rumored to be a man."
PUBLISHED: July 27, 2012
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3031 words)
At 12, I grasped for the first time who he was. There was a photograph of him in our history textbook with the caption: "Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach" -- leader of the Hitler Youth. I can still see it in front of me: My name was really in our textbook. On the facing page was a photograph of Claus von Stauffenberg, the leader of the failed July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, next to the caption "resistance fighter." The word "fighter" sounded much better. I sat in class next to a Stauffenberg, a grandson like me; we are still friends to this day. He didn't know anything more than I did.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 23, 2011
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2441 words)
How can this work? Can someone simply shed his religious and political power like an old coat he no longer needs? Doesn't this make Tibet like a Vatican without a pope, a place robbed of its unique identity? These are not only religious questions. The struggle over the legacy of the Dalai Lama has to do with more than the reorientation of a government-in-exile. It involves questions of power and influence in one of the world's most important and contested regions. It has to do with military bases in Tibet, new transportation routes for consumer goods, the world's highest railway line, giant deposits of minerals, including zinc, copper and lithium, and the reservoir of water contained in the Himalayas.
PUBLISHED: Aug. 25, 2011
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6532 words)
Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, 80. "I supported Putin during his presidency, and I still support him in many ways today. What troubles me is what the United Russia party, which is led by Putin, and the government are doing. They want to preserve the status quo. There are no steps forward. On the contrary, they are pulling us back into the past, while the country is urgently in need of modernization. Sometimes United Russia reminds me of the old Soviet Communist Party."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 16, 2011
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3889 words)
Does Zong, a member of the Communist Party, see himself as more of a communist or a capitalist? He smiles. "That's a very German question," he says. "I'm a pragmatist." As such, he says, he fights for the rights of business owners and workers. "If there is anyplace in the world where socialism prevails, it's Europe," he says. In Zong's opinion Europe, with its high taxes and welfare states, is a dead end. "People in your country should work harder," says the richest man in China, sounding almost sympathetic.
PUBLISHED: June 27, 2011
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5096 words)