Tim Ferriss is one of those personalities you want to hate, a guy so wildly successful it’s almost comedic. His productivity manifesto, "The 4-Hour Workweek," was an instant New York Times bestseller when it debuted in 2007, despite Ferriss’s not knowing the first thing about publishing.
My first encounter with Nordic cuisine was in Iceland, where over the course of a wintry week two years ago, I tried whale, reindeer, and hákarl, shark meat that is left to rot in the ground for two months and dried for a few more. (The recommended chaser? A Brennivín schnapps, lovingly called the “black death.”)
Iran is routinely lambasted for its use of torture, summary executions, and midnight raids to quell the political opposition. One of the regime’s stalwart defenders is Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the judiciary’s human-rights council. He is part of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s inner circle and one third of Iran’s most powerful family: his brothers run the judiciary and legislature. He spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo in New York about why Iran is misunderstood. Excerpts:
Every street corner in New York these days, it seems, has a dry cleaner, pizza joint, dive bar, and neighborhood designer hotel. New York has hundreds of hotels, including at least 50 luxury properties. So why, over the past year, has the city suddenly given rise to a slew of new high-end designer properties? After all, this is where the global financial crisis started.
The Korean Peninsula is in crisis mode as North Korea shelled a South Korean island—injuring civilians for the first time in recent history—and South Korea responded by threatening to strike the North's missile bases.
Not satisfied with simple vote rigging, Burma’s generals elect a class of tycoons to help them rule by proxy.
Getting stranded in the Sahara is not everyone’s idea of a dream holiday. But I was not worried when I burst a tire off-roading through the Martian landscape of southern Morocco. Indeed, being stuck in the middle of nowhere was almost the point of this four-wheel-drive overland trip, which included joyriding through some epic sand dunes. My partner on this new Abercrombie & Kent expedition was Joel Aubertel, a 54-year-old rally instructor and former logistics officer for the famed Paris-Dakar Rally; suffice it to say, we didn’t bring a map (although we did have a GPS unit on hand).
Ciudad Juárez is at the center of Mexico’s drug war. Just across the border from El Paso, Texas, the city has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, who regularly receives death threats for his efforts to quell the cartels, recently spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo.
Billionaire Richard Branson, an extreme-sports fanatic, is taking another big risk—this time with his latest venture, Enterprise Zimbabwe. The nonprofit seeks to encourage the return of investment to Zimbabwe, which is reeling from the disastrous political strife and record hyperinflation of 2008. He recently sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo in New York to discuss Africa’s potential. Excerpts:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is facing mounting problems at home, from disgruntled hardliners and senior clerics to continued criticism from the Green Movement opposition. Perhaps more dire, the Iranian president may need to cut $100 billion in government subsidies, partly as a result of this summer’s new sanctions, aimed at forcing Iran to come clean on its nuclear programs. But in New York last week for the U.N. General Assembly, he remained defiant. He sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
Contrary to the macho James Bond image it may conjure, heliskiing at first seemed to me like a sport for lightweights. My pilot met me at the Santiago airport in Chile, made a fuss about taking my bags, and then shuttled me into his helicopter for the 15-minute transfer up Maipo Valley.
Korn Chatikavanij, Thailand’s finance minister, is a quintessential policy wonk who managed to steer his country to a quick economic recovery, in large part due to a $30 billion stimulus package he devised. The Oxford-educated former investment banker spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo about the country’s tumultuous politics and its economic potential.
Barack Obama calls the new round of Western sanctions against Iran the “toughest” yet, but take a closer look. U.S. sanctions approved last month have been hyped by the media for a supposedly crippling potential effect on Iran’s refined-petroleum sector.
On a recent weekend hunting retreat, I managed to do practically everything but hunt. I ate two barbecues in the field, where I was offered at least seven different varieties of meat; enjoyed four-course dinners served by waiters in suits; and contemplated getting a massage before deciding my time was better spent on the free, high-speed Wi-Fi watching YouTube videos of other people hunting.
Although best known for his 1958 masterpiece, "Things Fall Apart," about a simple yam farmer in tribal Nigeria, novelist Chinua Achebe is still writing about Africa a full half century later. The 79-year-old author and social critic spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo about recent developments in his home country and politics on the continent.
Since the 2008 uprising in Tibet, the region has been sealed off to Western journalists, making it virtually impossible for outsiders to assess conditions there. Last week, at his Himalayan residence in McLeod Ganj, India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo to discuss what’s happening on the ground in Tibet, Chinese policy, and the Tibetan movement. Excerpts:
Norway was the only Western industrialized state to escape the global economic meltdown relatively unscathed. It boasts a healthy banking sector, record-low unemployment, and one of the hottest sovereign wealth funds around. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg sat down with NEWSWEEK's Jerry Guo in Oslo last week to talk about lessons learned from the crisis. Excerpts:...