Who's winning the 'coca war'?

Jun 11, 2002

Who's winning the 'coca war'?

LA PAZ, Bolivia — On a hot December afternoon last year, 150 farmers in Chimore, a town in the Chapare region of central Bolivia, unloaded bananas and pineapples onto the Santa Cruz-Cochabamba highway. There was no market in sight and even if there was, ...

A cup of green tea in the jungle

Jun 11, 2002

A cup of green tea in the jungle

OKINAWA, Bolivia — Shiko Asato is glued to the TV set as NHK news shows the highlights from a recent sumo tournament. His wife Shizuko sets out cups of green tea, a plate of manju bean-paste buns and a couple of cans of nicely ...

'Gringo mayor' does local politics his way

Jun 11, 2002

'Gringo mayor' does local politics his way

PORONGO, Bolivia — Mike Bennett came to Bolivia 18 years ago looking for gold. And he found it. But as he searched the nation for the precious metal, the 46-year-old geologist from Staffordshire, England, also uncovered other treasures — Spanish, which he speaks fluently, ...

Celebrate football's field of dreams

Jun 5, 2002

Celebrate football's field of dreams

It’s twenty minutes before England’s opening World Cup game at Saitama Stadium and I’m sitting almost directly behind the goal, sacred posts that I’m hoping Michael Owen will tune his gold-plated radar into the moment he walks onto the pitch. Nervousness sets me off ...

Are local tracks up against the odds?

May 12, 2002

Are local tracks up against the odds?

There is little glamor at Kawasaki Racetrack. Under grubby baseball caps, cigarettes and pencil stubs are jammed behind the ears of tense punters. The odor of ramen wafts along the betting slip-littered corridors and stairways under the stands. The racetrack terraces host a variety ...

Stars & strikes: a revolution from above

Apr 28, 2002

Stars & strikes: a revolution from above

Just 18 months after surrendering in the Pacific War, more than 3 million people throughout Japan were preparing to bring the shattered, hungry nation to a standstill. On the morning of Feb. 1, 1947, telecommunications would be cut and rail routes disrupted. Public offices ...

Apr 21, 2002

Abode of the gods

An indentation on the peak of Sri Pada, a mountain in central Sri Lanka, is reputed by some to have been made when Buddha first set foot on Earth. The mountain is also said to be the place where butterflies go to die. Another ...

The tower and the story

Mar 17, 2002

The tower and the story

On Christmas Eve, 1958, thousands of people poured through Hamamatsucho Station in Tokyo’s Minato Ward to take in Japan’s first postwar shot at a “public attraction.” There was nothing particularly cute about it; no fearsome rides, or cuddly characters to have your photo taken ...

Mar 10, 2002

Shall we sizzle?

At first glance, Koji Kanazawa looks like any other desk-beagle: neatly pressed gray pants, white shirt and bland tie topped off with a bashful, almost apologetic bow. But as the 24-year-old advertising salesman steps off the streets of Roppongi thronged with pamphlet touts and ...

Feb 24, 2002

So you think stress is all in the mind?

It’s as inevitable and, in most cases, as unwelcome as that overcrowded rush-hour train. Stress: We’re all its victims to some degree. But do we know what causes it, and what its long-term effects on the body can be? At its most basic level, ...