Eric Pape

Stories by Eric Pape

  • bridget-bardot-OV19

    Brigitte Bardot: Sex Kitten or Savior of Kittens?

    Large photos of the youthful Brigitte Bardot compete with each other on the façade of a prominent store on the Champs-Élysées. They convey just how ahead of her time the film star was. Bardot’s young face, body, fashion, and many styles look utterly contemporary. As Burbank, California–based film historian Ken Kramer notes of the old images of her: “That is what women look like now.”
  • tease-asia-fire-floods

    The Roundabout Way to Heal Pakistan

    From the earthquake that ended the lives of 230,000 Haitians to the historic floodwaters that are putting nearly 14 million people at risk in Pakistan, it’s a tumultuous year for the developing world and a trying one for the leaders of wealthy nations trying to help them.
  • "Qu’est-ce Qu’être Français?" and French Identity

    Angry young French minorities in dead-end banlieues have, in mo­ments of frustration, expressed themselves crudely. Some set thousands of cars and hundreds of buildings on fire amid weeks of confrontations with riot police in 2005, leaving Paris to decipher the smoke signals. In calmer times, some of those young men offer coarse, half-joking justifications for their troublemaking along the lines of, "I'll screw France until she loves me." All bravado and misogyny aside, French-Cameroonian author Gaston Kelman suggests that those kids are simply demanding that their country truly recognize them as French--despite their darker skin or exotic names. ...
  • Refugee Groups Use Social-Networking Technology

    Nikola Jovanovic was a senior in high school in 1999 when his prom was canceled. The reason: NATO planes bombed his hometown of Pec in Kosovo. Shortly afterward Jovanovic fled to Belgrade, where he now works for an Austrian bank, and he recently caught up with old classmates on Facebook. For many refugees who, like Jovanovic, resettled in relatively wealthy circumstances, social-networking sites have been a boon for finding lost friends and family members.Now social-networking technologies are being fashioned to reach refugees who aren't part of the Facebook set—tens of millions of internally displaced people and millions of international refugees, including roughly 1.5 million children separated from their parents. In recent years, several refugee groups have had success with Web 2.0 technologies customized to specific populations. They've also used the tools to monitor crises and manage the settlement of new refugees.Last year the United Nations' refugee agency, in collaboration...
  • Travel: Great Skiing In Unexpected Places

    With the global economy sinking along with the temperatures, there's a stronger desire than ever for escape. NEWSWEEK's Winter Travel report finds that the greatest treasures are sometimes located where tourists least expect them.
  • Ramadan Goes Commercial For France's Muslims

    For the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have long indulged in nights of earthly pleasures after daylong fasts. But as the 2008 holiday draws to a close in Europe, participants and experts there say those pleasures are becoming decidedly more commercial. Many families have replaced traditional at-home dinners with fast-food feasts and decadent restaurant affairs. Some Muslims even spruced up the revelry with Christmas-like touches: decorative garlands, bottles of Cham'alal Ramadan sparkling wine (nonalcoholic) and holiday catalogs offering Holy Qur'an Digital Books and the Islamic iPod Qur'an.Big corporations are increasingly turning to Ramadan as a way to promote consumerism in the Muslim world: Coca-Cola decorated cans with the Islamic crescent, which was also used by Volkswagen, Toyota and Burger King in ads for cars and hamburgers. Cell-phone companies offered Ramadan calling deals, while Nestlé sold Ramadan candy boxes. The French supermarket chain Casino even launched a Web site...
  • Sarkozy Hires The Opposition

    As Nicolas Sarkozy took in the political landscape on Bastille Day, he could be forgiven for his giddiness. The new president's approval ratings were in the stratosphere—nearing 70 percent in some polls—thanks in no small part to the new-look government he'd put together, one with an ethnic, racial and gender makeup far more reflective of modern France than any before (consider Rachida Dati, a daughter of North African immigrants, whom he appointed as minister of Justice). Less visible but particularly potent is Sarkozy's political diversity campaign, dubbed ouverture (or openness), that has seen him lure a growing array of prominent Socialists, centrists and other leftist activists to work in or for his conservative government. Admiring the varied team that he assembled at the Elysée Palace on July 14, the president gushed, "I am blown away by so many beautiful symbols."The ones really blown away, however, have been the Socialist opposition, which is reeling. Sarkozy cannily...
  • Vineyards On the Move

    It sounds like a vintner's nightmare: Sharp shifts in temperature help trigger potent off-season rains that bloat grapes with unwanted moisture. Then an overpowering heat wave withers vines and shrivels grapes. Desperate winemakers advance the harvest by as much as a month to save what they can. This is no vineyard horror film; it's a description of some of the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon and merlot harvests in parts of southern and western France.And boy, was it good. In a decade that keeps breaking records for heat, we're already sipping climate-changed wines. Hot years like 2000 and 2006 produced some stellar, rich, full-bodied and mature Bordeaux, but the 2003 heat-wave harvest was the best in memory—at least until the hot harvest of 2005. Global-warming cru is more flavorful, fruitier, less acidic and higher in alcohol content than the average-temperature stuff, a near-perfect fit for today's wine drinkers. And these hot wines tend to come mature, so even a big Bordeaux no longer...
  • The Costa del Norte

    It's the summer of 2060 and you're heading off for your European beach vacation in ... Parmu. Never heard of it? You will. According to a recent EU report, the Mediterranean's multibillion-euro tourism industry will likely shift toward Europe's northern coasts in Scandinavia, the British Isles and the Baltics (home to Parmu and other up-and-coming beach towns like Palanga and Jurmala). Last summer's surge of jellyfish and toxic algae in the Mediterranean didn't merely beach swimmers; it marked a shifting of the tides. Adíos, Costa del Sol; hello, Costa del Norte.Yes, a mighty change is coming. With temperatures warming, snow evaporating and portions of the Alps melting away, forecasts suggest we're looking ahead to a tourism revolution. Warming weather is shrinking prospects at most low- and even mid-altitude ski resorts, from the Rockies to the Pyrenees, while increasingly violent weather is destabilizing traditional beach paradises from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia and the...
  • French Wines Are Fighting Back

    Swirl a richly colored top-notch glass of Hermitage in your glass, give it a sniff, and then close your eyes. You might just be transported to the sloped wine terraces built directly into the rocky Rhône Valley. Then have a sip, and let your tongue search for the rich minerals that imbue this Syrah cepage. If there is one thing that has long driven men and women to wine madness—and what else can you call it when they pay thousands of dollars for a bottle that they will store in their cellar for years?—it is largely about being transported to another time and place, and a specific place at that.Global wine tastes may be shifting toward big, bold and fruity, but the high end of the wine market is still dominated by the regions of France, where nuance and complexity are inextricably bound up in a region's traditional grapes, the unique qualities of the soil and the local weather—what the French call terroir. The 2005 harvest, mostly sold in 2006, was the first in five years in which...
  • China Revives France's Wine Industry

    China's novice wine drinkers can be a pretty gauche bunch. To hide the actual taste of foreign wines, some dilute their Bordeaux with ice or, worse, Coca-Cola. After business people raise their glasses for a toast, they tend to drain them as if they were shots of tequila. Indeed, Ying Qunhua, China's elegant young first secretary of the Chinese Embassy in France, recently admitted during a visit to the limestone village of Saint Emilion in Bordeaux that her colleagues back home sometimes fear wasting a bottle of fine wine on "people who won't actually taste it."But rather than mock or belittle these unschooled wine drinkers, the guardians of France's grandest grapes are asking another question entirely: red, white or rosé? Tired of declining international market share through 2005, French wine merchants are reaching out to China as a potential savior. That means overlooking Chinese nectar naiveté, as well as welcoming Chinese tourists to the wine-growing regions; Bordeaux recently...
  • Oily Waters

    Even now, the beaches and boats are smeared black with thick oil. The private stretch of oceanfront belonging to the luxury Mövenpick hotel lies empty and sticky with grime. In the nearby Beirut fishing hamlet of Raouche, local men have to steer through soupy, tainted water into the sea that provides their livelihood. Beneath the surface, the petroleum is depriving plant and fish life of essential oxygen. Here, says French oil-spill expert Jean-Yves Brehmer, “all will die.”Four weeks after the Israel-Hizbullah ceasefire, Lebanon’s environmental wounds are still bleeding. On July 14, Israeli warplanes hit the Jieh power plant, some 12 miles south of Beirut, to hamper operations by the guerrilla movement that had captured two Jewish soldiers in a cross-border raid three days earlier. The first missile hit before dawn, setting one of the enormous holding tanks ablaze, but the fire was contained until a second missile, then a third, slammed into the compound. The depot exploded; the...
  • Sailing to Success

    As Valencians watch some of the world's most high-tech sailboats run sprints on the Mediterranean, they hope to blow past a group of perennial losers: the hosts of sports spectacles. Spain outbid Marseille, Porto and Naples to win the right to host the 2007 America's Cup for Valencia, promising to spend about ¤1 billion, largely for port improvements. That's more than the take of the two previous America's Cup races in Auckland, New Zealand, combined. "There's a lot of money coming in," says Rosa Mari Roig i Berenguer, a cabinet member in the regional government, "more than most people have ever known."So what's the chance Spain will recoup its money? The record is pretty grim. Montreal will pay off the last of its 1976 Olympic debt only at the end of this year. The ¤8 billion Greece spent on the 2004 Olympics left the most indebted country in the EU saddled with even more debt, and an ¤80 million annual maintenance bill. Yet big cities still line up to host these events, no matter...
  • His Way Works

    Shortly after José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero became Spain's prime minister, his chief economic adviser ran a little business-school experiment. Go out and start a company, Miguel Sebastián told a handful of aides. Sure enough, they were quickly caught up in the morass of red tape that ensnarls most startups looking to hire (and, if need be, fire) employees in one of Europe's least business-friendly labor markets. "It was so complicated they quit," says Sebastián, formerly chief economist for Spain's second-largest bank. "The P.M. was appalled."For Spain's young leader, just 43, it was the first of many crystallizing moments. Taking power two years ago this week, in the aftermath of the infamous Madrid bombings, Zapatero came to office as a lefty bent on reforming Spain's hidebound and highly conservative social landscape. But quickly he came to recognize a fundamental fact of political life: if he were going to transform Spanish society with his left hand, he would have to manage the...
  • Helping Rwanda to Weep

    There is rarely anything resembling a “full recovery” for genocide survivors. Visions of people slaughtered by machete, their bodies left strewn over church pews, don’t just disappear. Such bloodshed stains people—and nations—for lifetimes.So it goes in Rwanda, a country where 12 years ago remarkably well-organized Hutu extremist militias systematically murdered hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Tens of thousands of people—stirred on by virulent state radio broadcasts, profound economic resentments and plenty of alcohol—eliminated "cockroaches,” who had once been compatriots, friends or even family. Fearful of becoming embroiled in an African quagmire that might risk Western lives, the United Nations Security Council did little more than observe the carnage for months. A nation's roadmap back from genocide is usually improvised. The tendency is to simply bury the past. But even some tiny semblance of closure can be crucial. On the April 6 anniversary of the...
  • More Watchful Eyes On the Continent

    Last year French drivers killed fewer than 5,000 people on the roads for the first time in decades. Credit goes largely to the 1,000 automated radar cameras planted on the nation's highways since 2003, which experts reckon saved 3,000 lives last year. Success, of course, breeds success: the government plans to install 500 more radar devices this year.So it goes with surveillance these days. Europeans used to look at the security cameras posted in British cities, subways and buses as the seeds of an Orwellian world that was largely unacceptable in Continental Europe. But last year's London bombings, in which video cameras played a key role in identifying the perpetrators, have helped spur a sea change. A month after the London attacks, half of Germans supported EU-wide plans to require Internet providers and telecoms to store all e-mail, Internet and phone data for "antiterror" purposes. In a British poll, 73 percent of respondents said they were ready to give up some civil liberties...
  • Who's That Girl?

    French politics has always been a manly world, no place more so than the Elysee Palace. Almost forever, it seems, France's presidents have been cut from similar cloth, distinguished by a shared hauteur if not grandeur, self-imagined or otherwise. De Gaulle comes immediately to mind. So do Mitterrand and Chirac. Yet as the latter's star continues to wane among the French populace, a new figure has burst upon the scene. Her name: Segolene Royal. Though very much not a man, this elegant version of the sensible soccer mom could well become France's next president.We are 14 months from France's presidential election--almost an eternity in a nation notorious for its fickle politics. But make no mistake: something is afoot in France, and it bears watching. With due caveats, you might even think of it as revolution . Consider: a disillusioned electorate, recent surveys show, is profoundly fed up with politicians who speak eloquently but say little. They are tired of leaders who affect to...
  • The Mobile Phone Rings: You're Fired!

    Are you afraid of storms, bursting levees and killer tsunamis? Hold on to your cell phone--it may soon be warning you of impending catastrophe. Starting on Feb. 1, cell-phone owners in flood-prone regions of the Netherlands can expect a ring and then a text message warning with evacuation instructions in case of flood. And it's not just the water-watchful Dutch. South Korea is working out the kinks in a cell-phone storm-warning system. Finland, Malaysia and India are mulling similar plans.Not long ago, texting, also called SMS, was the domain of the young. But now it appears to have joined the letter, phone, fax and e-mail as a bona fide communications tool of institutions in government and the private sector.The biggest users, at least among wealthy Europeans and Asians, have until now been the under-30 crowd. For them, texting is fully integrated into their lives, says Per Holmkvist, CEO of Swedish cell-phone firm Mobiento. According to surveys, a majority of young Europeans would...
  • A Recipe for Good Health

    Despite a fondness for goose-liver pate, chocolate mousse and puffy pastries, the French have the lowest body weight per capita in the Western world. According to best-selling author and diet guru Michel Montignac, this proves that to eat well is to eat healthily. His latest book, "The Montignac Diet: Eat for Pleasure--Stay Slim Forever," will be released in 12 countries in February. Montignac spoke by phone from his country home near Geneva with NEWSWEEK's Eric Pape. Excerpts: ...
  • 'Yes I am Afraid'

    Cambodia's leader Hun Sen, a one-time mid-level Khmer Rouge commander, has overseen many crackdowns during the two decades he has stood at or near the helm of power. The United Nations oversaw historic elections in Cambodia in 1993, but Hun Sen never relinquished his grip, even though he lost. In fact, the dozen years since have only seen him consolidate his power. Opponents and rivals have been bought off, terrorized or physically eliminated. He went on to win two subsequent elections, in large part, thanks to his political party's domination of the electoral apparatus.Last year, Cambodia's courts began targeting his highest-profile opponents in politics, the press and even human rights organizations, using an outdated defamation law. Those who criticize Hun Sen, or who are somehow linked to such criticism, are discovering crowded jail cells await them. On Dec. 31, heavily armed police came for Kem Sokha, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights. He was taken to a cell at...
  • Raiders of the Lost Art

    For decades, tombaroli --tomb raiders--have pillaged Italy's archeological sites for artifacts. Despite a 1939 law prohibiting the export of antiquities pulled from Italian soil, they--aided by ingenious traffickers and see-no-evil curators--have helped stock the world's major museums with Etruscan vases, Hellenistic silver sets and Roman statues. It's proved an extremely difficult trade to stop--but now Italian authorities think they see their chance. The trial of former J. Paul Getty Museum curator Marion True for allegedly trafficking in stolen artifacts is set to reconvene in Rome this week. And authorities are mounting a huge spectacle--including 200 witnesses and regular leaks by the prosecution about evidence--to guarantee it has maximum impact. "Museums have to stop plundering our cultural heritage," says Paolo Giorgio Ferri, the leading prosecutor in the case. "It harms not only Italy, but mankind."With True facing 10 years in prison and a massive fine if convicted, the...
  • A World Without Laughter

    In the future there will be no sex, intimacy or love. Desire and passion will endure only in the typed word. Forget about laughter and tears. People no longer will be humans, but rather "neo-human" clones, looking back on their originators' past trying to understand all that has been lost.That's the grim future envisioned by French literary provocateur Michel Houellebecq in his latest novel "The Possibilite d'une ile" ("The Possibility of an Island", in French. 485 pages. Fayard) and judging by the initial French sales, it's a world that hundreds of thousands of French readers find convincing. The book contains elements that have helped turn Houellebecq's previous works into best sellers: a quirky fascination with science, joyless but explicit sex, a clear relish or Western society's decadent decline and a selfish antihero who offers a jaded but honest look at a dehumanized society even as he sinks into hedonism. It's a cautionary tale for a society that doesn't realize that is...
  • A Hard Man To Beat

    The latest issue of Paris Match delivered a bombshell for French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. He and his wife, Cecilia, had been on the magazine's cover several times in recent years, but always as the telegenic perfect political couple. Not this time. Photos showed her hand-in-hand with another man while dining at Paris's posh Esplanade restaurant. The cruelest cut was the identity of her seeming beau, Richard Attias. The pair apparently met while he was orchestrating a glitzy celebration to celebrate Sarkozy's taking over France's ruling political union, the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire--a hoped-for steppingstone to the presidency. Ouch.The scandal comes at an awkward time. As France's most popular conservative politician, Sarkozy has long painted himself as his nation's would-be modernizer--a charismatic challenger to the powers that be, ready to engineer a reversal of France's declining political and economic fortunes. If he had a model, it might be John F. Kennedy-...
  • THE 'HUNGER SEASON'

    Gusting rain swept into drought-ravaged Niger late last week. With luck, the upcoming wet season won't quit early, as last year's did; the locust swarms won't be back, and this October's harvest will be a good one. Even so, aid groups predict, thousands of children living today may never see it--not even with the hundreds of tons of famine relief that finally are reaching the destitute sub-Saharan countryside. At the latest count, 160,000 children in Niger were still suffering from serious malnutrition, and the lives of 32,000 were at immediate risk.August is always a hard time in Niger. They call it the hunger season--when all the grain has been eaten and the autumn harvest has not begun. This year, food ran short months ago. Relief groups have been warning of an impending famine since last October, but their pleas went mostly unheard, especially after the South Asian tsunami in December. The delay's consequences were visible last week all around Maradi, a town of perhaps 150,000...

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