Katie Paul

Stories by Katie Paul

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    Microsoft's Russian Spy Was Greasy, Foreign, and Loved Snickers

    Alexey Karetnikov, the 23-year-old Russian spy at Microsoft busted last week, was "very oily" and "very Russian," according to a fellow dorm resident who lived near him in Microsoft's corporate housing complex. In an e-mail exchange with NEWSWEEK, the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said Karetnikov spoke surprisingly poor English, but was "sophisticated" and knew a lot about Microsoft.
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    Eight Other Pending Executions in Iran

    News of the imminent stoning of one Iranian woman for alleged adultery galvanized a global movement to save her. But sadly, her case was not an anomaly.
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    Sherrod Firing Shows Federal Overreaction on Race Issues

    Less than a day after she was forced to resign from her job as a state-level USDA director following the discovery of a video that purportedly showed her recalling racist behavior toward a white farmer, the tide is already turning for Shirley Sherrod.
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    Bombs in Uganda Signal the Arrival of Jihad

    The Uganda bomb, which killed 74 at World Cup parties, may signal a new theater for Islamist terrorism. African jihadists are planning operations from the confines of the Horn, where their movement is strongest, in those countries they believe to support Somali peacekeeping forces.
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    Iranian Woman Will Not Be Stoned, May Still Be Killed

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose impending execution ignited worldwide outrage this week, will not be stoned to death, the Iranian Embassy in London told reporters on Thursday. She could, however, still face death by other means such as hanging.
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    The U.N.'s Confusion Over Sudan's Omar al-Bashir

    On the one hand, the United Nations wants to prosecute Sudan's president for war crimes. On the other, it wants the whole thing just to go away. Why can't Turtle Bay make up its mind?
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    How BP and the Oil Industry Got Into Such a Mess

    With the release of his new book, investigative journalist Tom Bower gives us a glimpse of what the oil spill debacle must look like from the boardroom. NEWSWEEK chatted with Bower about how the industry got itself into this mess, and where it might be headed next.
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    Security Council OKs Sanctions Against Iran

    The vote represents a long-sought victory for U.S. diplomacy, but don't pop the champagne just yet. Months of heated negotiations watered down the resolution, meaning the new restrictions squeeze Iran only modestly more than the previous round of sanctions.
  • Korean Joint Exercises: Saber Rattling or Just Diplomacy by Other Means?

    In the half-century-old conflict on the Korean peninsula, there have been countless ebbs and flows of tensions. Presently, it's flow time. South Korea and the United States are reportedly set to stage a large-scale naval exercise next week in the Yellow Sea, where North Korea allegedly sank a South Korean warship, Cheonan, about two months ago.
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    Greetings From Afghanistan: Send More Ammo

    Capt. Benjamin Tupper was deployed to the front lines in Afghanistan as part of an Embedded Training Team tasked with training the ramshackle Afghan National Army. He’s simultaneously faithful to the mission and critical of its execution.
  • Pakistan to the Internets: Shut Up!

    What happens when the president of Pakistan awkwardly interrupts a stump speech to lean to the side of his podium and sneer "Shut up" at a group of noisy spectators below? The Internet happens, of course; every smart-ass with a Youtube account promptly gets to work setting Zardari's deliciously unfortunate gaffe to pop music, in loop. But then Pakistan's government happens right back,  shutting down the entire video-sharing site for hours to keep news of the gaffe from spreading. ...
  • Iran Sanctions Watch: The Morning-After Effect

    Yesterday we wondered how much confidence Hillary Clinton really had in her Russian and Chinese support when she announced that all five permanent members of the Security Council were prepared to back a sanctions resolution. Today, we shake off the celebratory adrenaline and reexamine....
  • Thai Protests Escalate in Bangkok "War Zone"

    The streets of Bangkok devolved into violence over the weekend as soldiers launched a crackdown on red shirt protesters, bringing the official death toll since Thursday to 35 in Thailand's deadliest conflict in two decades. The Washington Post described conditions in downtown Bangkok as a "war zone."The protests have been ongoing since March, but the new outburst of chaos was prompted by the assassination on Thursday of renegade general Khattiya Sawatdithol, who sided with the mostly rural and poor red shirt protesters. He was shot in the head by a sniper while being interviewed by a reporter for the New York Times, who wrote a haunting first-hand account of the incident. Thai media reported the general's death on Monday.The some 5,000 protesters are now hunkered down in an encampment in central Bangkok. Their leaders said Sunday that they were willing to participate in U.N.-brokered peace talks, but the government balked, wary of granting their opponents U.N....
  • Karzai's Notably Un-Notable Visit to Washington

    If Hamid Karzai's visit to Washington has been at all noteworthy, it is only because nothing even remotely notable has happened at all. And for that, everyone involved is probably breathing a sigh of relief.The Afghan president came to Washington to repair ties in a relationship that has seemed to crumble over the course of the year. A quick refresher: the U.S. has criticized Karzai for turning a blind eye to corruption and drug trafficking within his government. Karzai, in turn, has accused U.S. officials of failing to give him the support he needs to do his job. The strain worsened when U.S. officials questioned the validity of his re-election. Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. envoy to the region, reportedly stormed out of a meeting with the Afghan leader in one of his notorious fits of rage. Senator John Kerry had to be called in to reassure Karzai that elections can be rough experiences. Once Karzai felt sufficiently snubbed, he made a public show of threatening to join the...
  • Toodles, Gordon: UK's Brown to Step Down in September

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered to resign as the head of the Labour Party today, sweetening Labour's offer to the Liberal Democrats of a forging a "progressive coalition." Both Labour and the Tories are courting the third-party kingmakers, since none of the top three parties earned enough votes in last week's elections to govern on its own....
  • Gulf Oil Spill: Containment Dome Drops; New Orleanians Stock Up on Seafood

    At last, it's here: after more than two weeks of waiting, the eerie pinkish-orange foam mixture of seawater and crude oil that has been creeping ominously closer to has now begun to wash ashore the barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana. It lapped up Thursday onto the Chandeleur Islands and New Harbor Island, both national wildlife refuges, and has now also been spotted at Freemason Island. The gooey substance apparently looks like soggy cornflakes, probably due to the dispersant chemicals intended to break up the oil before it hit land, which is itself highly toxic. Wired says a better product could have been used. Big rusty streaks and hundreds of dead jellyfish are floating west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, where Louisiana officials have now barred shrimping.Further out to sea, a massive dome began its descent into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday night to cap the gushing oil leak. The giant 100-ton concrete and steel box has to be lowered about 5,000 feet below...
  • Why the U.N. Nukes Conference Is Already Bad for Iran

    After a week of oil spillage and Times Square terrorism, Barack Obama could probably use a breakthrough. He might have gotten a glimpse of one yesterday at the United Nations.More than 180 countries are convening this month for the eighth review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Cold War agreement that determines the world's nuclear haves and have-nots. Predictably enough, such gatherings are usually rife with friction. Nonnuclear states argue that major powers have used the treaty to develop a "nuclear caste system," as Colum Lynch has dubbed it; they see it maintaining the nuclear prowess of existing powers and their allies (India, Israel, and Pakistan), while leaving vulnerable the overwhelming majority of NPT signatories. On the other side, nuclear states have shown little eagerness to voluntarily curtail their own power. At the last NPT review conference in 2005, the Bush team, lead by John ...
  • As Oil Spill Worsens, Questions Emerge on Obama Policy

    Earlier this week, the working estimate on leakage from the BP rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico was 1,000 barrels of oil each day. That changed Wednesday night, when Coast Guard and BP officials announced they had discovered a brand-new leak, upping the estimate to 5,000 barrels a day gushing into the water off the coast of Louisiana. Depending on the wind patterns, the 100-mile-wide slick could push into the coast as soon as Friday night, hitting the environmentally sensitive Mississippi River Delta....
  • Revamping PEPFAR Causes Concern in Africa

    But today, despite treating 32,000 AIDS patients, he does not have a message of success. Instead, he was back in Washington in March, this time to warn that the stagnation of PEPFAR funding is beginning to “result in chaos.”
  • In Western China Earthquake, Ghosts of Sichuan Loom

    At least 400 people are dead after six earthquakes struck this morning in western China's Yushu County, a barren and mountainous area of Qinghai province mostly populated by ethnic Tibetans. In Jiegu, the county seat, about 90 percent of houses were destroyed. The Chinese government is rushing coats, blankets, and temporary housing to the region, where nighttime temperatures reach below freezing, but transport of equipment and materials is proving difficult. Under normal circumstances in Yushu, goat tracks are more common than major highways. Now, with the road to the nearest airport badly damaged, rescuers have taken to digging through the rubble with their hands.
  • The Beef in Kyrgyzstan, Vol. II: Russian Edition

    After a day of bloody riots and chaotic looting, the dust seems to have settled in Kyrgyzstan today. That's not to say the fat lady has sung; ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told the BBC that he was still in southern Kyrgyzstan and had "no plans" to leave. But even he admits that he doesn't "have any real levers of power." In the meantime, city-service employees in Bishkek are going about the business of cleaning the capital, while residents stroll through the city surveying the clutter; it's a scene almost eerie in its mundane similarity to Times Square on New Year's Day.But while the capital may be settled, Russia's role in the whole affair is most certainly not. "Russia played its role in ousting Bakiyev," Omurbek Tekebayev, an opposition leader working in the new transitional government, told Reuters. "You've seen the level of Russia's joy when they saw Bakiyev gone." Such ecstasy in Moscow...
  • The Multiple Beefs Behind the Kyrgyz Government Overthrow

    Protestors overran Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, forcing the country's president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, to evacuate the capital city of Bishkek on his presidential plane. Police fired bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades into the crowds, killing 41 people (opposition leaders say the toll is much higher, perhaps 100). The protesters, for their part, have bloodied the cops by hurling rocks, brandishing sticks, overturning vehicles, and crashing vans through gates. The opposition succeeded in taking over national television channels, though news Web sites were being blocked....
  • Iran Sanctions Watch: China on Board

    It's official: China has joined the club of six world powers pursuing a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran, closing the last remaining gap among the five countries with veto power on the U.N. Security Council. As per Reuters (via an unidentified source "with knowledge off the talks"): "It has been agreed with China to start drawing up sanctions on Iran," the source said. "Drawing up of a Security Council resolution is to begin in the next few days." Diplomats say China has been slowly and reluctantly falling in line with the other powers involved in the negotiations on Iran by backing the idea of new U.N. sanctions against Tehran but Beijing wants any new steps to be weak. They say the four Western powers would like a resolution to be adopted next month, before a month-long U.N. conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May, but acknowledge that negotiations will probably drag on at least until June. A few quick thoug...

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