From the New York Times:
For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe's highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.
Ronald Poppo, the homeless Miami man who had most of his face eaten off by Rudy Eugene a few weeks ago, is battling a major infection, needs his nose reconstructed, and has lost full vision in at least one eye. But he's walking and talking, and figured that as long as the media were hovering, they could convey a message for him:
Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl walked off his base in Afghanistan three years ago and was promptly captured by the Taliban.
Now America's last prisoner of war, Bergdahl is at the center of sensitive prisoner exchange talks as the conflict winds down. He also is the focus of a story published today in Rolling Stone that asks: Will the Pentagon leave a man behind?
Here is an excerpt from the letter he wrote his parents a couple days before he went missing:
The future is too good to waste on lies... And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be american. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting. ... In the US army you are cut down for being honest... but if you are a conceited brown nosing sh*t bag you will be allowed to do what ever you want, and you will be handed your higher rank... The system is wrong. I am ashamed to be an american. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools. ... I am sorry for everything here... These [Afghan] people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.... We don't even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks... We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them. ... I am sorry for everything... The horror that is america is disgusting.
Retired NFL player Wade Davis once played for the Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins, and the Seattle Seahawks. But in a new interview out today, the 34-year-old reveals how his biggest challenge in the NFL was going to extremes to hide his homosexuality from everyone around him.
The entire interview is terrific, but here's the money quote -- asked whether he thought a non-star should be the first player to publicly come out, Davis answered:
I'm going to be flat-out honest with you, it probably shouldn't if he wants to keep his job. If he's the 53rd man on the roster, if he's a free agent who's fighting for a job, maybe he shouldn't.
Then Davis backpedaled:
You know what, yes, it should be. Screw it. I don't want to be in the business of telling anyone they can't live their life authentically.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is aghast -- and rightly so -- over news that Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given access to Seal Team Six and information about the death of Osama bin Laden for their upcoming movie Zero Dark Thirty.
If this facility is so secret that the name cannot even be seen by the public, then why in the world would the Obama administration allow filmmakers to tour it?
The administration has shared with the filmmakers information defended from Freedom of Information Act inquiries, Congressional committees, and anyone else not involved in making movies about war zones.
"I'm not transgender. I. Am. A. Boy," says 5-year-old Tyler, who born a girl. He first insisted he was a boy at the age of 2, and eventually was diagnosed with gender identity disorder.
Now, his parents allow him to present himself as a boy, and Tyler's mom doesn't think he's going through a phase (though doctors say many children with gender identity disorder eventually switch back to their biological gender). "I just want my child to be happy," she says.