Seventeen years ago, Mary J. Blige shook up the world of R&B when she released the record My Life. It ushered in a new sound: soul music over hip-hop beats. Instantly, Blige became known as the queen of hip-hop soul.
My Life was about pain — about Blige's rough childhood, abusive relationship and battles with addiction and depression. Seventeen years on, she's revisited that album. Her new record is called My Life II ... The Journey Continues. She says it's about strength.
Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 12:00 pm
When the word "recall" makes headlines, it usually involves the removal of a defective product from store shelves or perhaps the testimony of some nervous executive at a congressional hearing saying, "I don't recall."
But 2011 has been the year of another kind of recall: the recall election. Angry at elected officials' handling of the economy, budget cuts and other issues, voters across America are taking the "Throw the bums out" approach to new heights.
The Wisconsin State Capitol building has been the scene of protests since February, when Gov. Scott Walker started the process of passing a law that severely limits collective bargaining for public employees in the state.
Yesterday, the Walker administration took a step that is likely to antagonize protesters further. His administration enacted new regulations that would require permits to protest at the Capitol and other state buildings.
The controversial part is that the bill allows officials to charge groups for the security and clean-up costs of such events.
Afghan women walk in the northwestern city of Herat on Nov. 23. Women still have few rights, and can end up in jail on adultery charges when they accuse a man of rape. There are fears that women's rights will be further eroded when Western troops leave the country.
This week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced the pardon of a 19-year-old Afghan woman who was imprisoned for adultery after being raped by a relative, in a case that has attracted international media coverage.
But what happened to the woman, Gulnaz, who has been in prison for two years, is not an isolated episode.
Many other women have suffered similar fates. A recent U.N. report suggests that laws to protect women in Afghanistan from rape and forced marriage are still not being enforced — with devastating results.
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.
Yesterday I was told I had approximately 20 hours to write an essay: 450 words about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm quite partial to the event. Still, I thought about declining the essay, given the time constraint.
But then I decided, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, that it was rather silly to say "oh, I can't write 450 words in less than a day" So here we go:
Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 5:55 pm
Not long ago, economists and others expressed concerns that China's economy was expanding too quickly. Now, the latest data are raising concerns about a slowdown — and the woes it could trigger.
With a sluggish U.S. economy and troubles in the eurozone, Chinese exports are taking a hit, causing a slowdown on shop floors in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Earlier this week, the Chinese Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to its lowest level in nearly three years.
There's word from Rock Hill, S.C., that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says he'll be making an announcement on Saturday about the future of his presidential bid, The Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, here's a related bit of news to consider: His campaign just launched a "Women for Cain" effort, chaired by the candidate's wife Gloria.