Aug 11, 1999
For those who remember the days of recession, high unemployment and high inflation in the 1970s, the state of the American economy in 1999 is remarkable. We are enjoying the longest peacetime recovery in U.S. history, a record low unemployment rate (4.3 percent in May), and few signs of inflation, despite rapid expansion of output and jobs. The strength of the U.S. economy is largely the result of unusually strong spending by consumers.
For many there wasn't even time to say good-bye. CNN had reported that Serbs were leaving Kosovo in droves and that the refugees' old towns and villages suddenly stood open. It took only a few minutes for most Kosovar refugees to reach the same conclusion: they needed to get back to their homes as soon as possible to protect them from looting or vandalism, whether at the hands of the departing Serbs or the returning Kosovars.
Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
The shoes of the fisherman, in Carlos Ventura's case, bear an historic obligation. Carlos's father, Severo, wore them for years during protests against the U.S. Navy, which in 1941 took over two-thirds of the island of Vieques, located just off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Before Severo Ventura died, he passed on the shoes and the responsibility that accompanies them. "The old man made us promise him that when he was no longer here, his children and grandchildren would continue the struggle," says Carlos.