Malcolm Beith

Stories by Malcolm Beith

  • 'Just Like High School'

    Twenty-eight years old and already feeling burned out, comedy writer Rodney Rothman decided to escape Los Angeles and retreat to the only place he'd ever really felt relaxed: Florida, where he had visited his grandparents as a kid. So he moved into Century Village, a retirement community in Boca Raton. During his six-month stay, he explored the life that most Americans are working toward--lazy afternoons by the pool, early mornings of shuffleboard, quiet roommates with cats and shameless flirting among seniors of both sexes.In "Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement," (Simon & Schuster) Rothman recounts his close encounter with old age. The people he meets along the way provide him with new insights into what it means to be old in America. There's Amy, who took up stand-up comedy at age 80, and 75-year-old Vivian, the self-professed "femme fatale" who shares stories of past romances with Rothman over several glasses of wine--prompting him to realize that old women can be...
  • Periscope

    Thanks to recent events in the streets of Lebanon, headlines from the Middle East of late have had even serious skeptics believing that freedom may finally be on the march--just as U.S. President George W. Bush promised. But a close look at recent events in Jordan--often touted as a positive example of Arab reform--prove the region still faces a long uphill trek. On Feb. 20, Jordan's Planning Minister Bassem Awadallah resigned. Although the pro-reform, U.S.-educated Awadallah denied he was quitting over political differences, analysts speculated that his desire for Western-style reforms might have proved too controversial for his more traditional peers. Last week saw another blow to progress, as Husain Mijali, the president of the Jordanian Bar Association, stepped down over government moves to interfere with the country's trade unions. A proposed law, currently before Parliament, insists that Jordan's unions must confine themselves to professional issues rather than delving into...
  • Letter From New York: Hallmark Is on the March!

    O woe should be me. yet another Valentine's Day approaches, and here I am, single. Apparently, I should be dreading the day. T shirts emblazoned with love is in pollutes the air stare at me from street stands; hundreds of anti-Valentine's Web sites sell greeting cards that say things like "Crappy Valentine's Day, you f---ing loser" or quote philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset lamenting that "One day, the fantasy evaporates and with it, love dies." I got an e-mail the other day saying that there's an anti-Valentine's "protest" taking place downtown. Maybe I should join in. They do say misery loves company.Nah. Single or not, I love Valentine's Day. John Lennon imagined a world without heaven, no religion, too... all the people living life in peace--woo hoo, that's Valentine's Day! In our globalized world, Feb. 14 is the only holiday that we all share, regardless of race, religion, nationality and marital status. Halloween? A pagan European ritual. Christmas? No getting around the...
  • SPYWARE VS. ANTI-SPYWARE

    The message is unnerving: "Warning! Your computer may be infected with spyware." Too true. Spyware now infects 80 percent of PCs in America. It is a form of adware that tracks your every click and sends the data to advertisers. Spyware goes further, commandeering search engines and home pages, seizing control of your PC and rendering it useless as a surfing tool. But now there is at least hope of better protection. One reason is Lavasoft.Founded nearly seven years ago in Germany and now headquartered in Sweden, Lavasoft was among the first to spot the emergence of spyware in the late '90s, and experience is why it's "at the top of the game," says Internet-security expert Eric Howes. More than 100 million people worldwide have downloaded its free software. In February, Lavasoft plans to begin selling an advanced boxed edition, Ad-Aware SE Plus ($39.95), in the United States. Geared to small businesses, it attempts to block spyware from entering your hard drive (rather than expel it...
  • THE MILLIONAIRE MAYOR

    Jorge Hankrhon may seem an odd choice for mayor, even in Tijuana, the notoriously sleazy Mexican border town less than 20 kilometers south of San Diego, California. The 48-year-old Mexican millionaire owns the city's once glorious Agua Caliente racetrack as well as casinos, hotels and shopping malls throughout the country. Son of one of Mexico's most famous--and richest--20th-century politicians, the late Carlos Hank Gonzalez, Hank's trademark is his eccentricity. A lover of exotic beasts, he's been known to keep pythons in his home and even bring tigers to the office. Within the gates of the Agua Caliente compound, Hank--worth an estimated $550 million--keeps some 20,000 animals in a private zoo. Rare white tigers pace inside their cages, and a hippopotamus bathes in the mud near pink flamingos and a giraffe. Sitting in his new office in city hall, Hank seems just as out of place as his exotic animals do at Agua Caliente. But his eagerness to embark on his latest adventure--his...
  • BEYOND BECKHAM

    Nursing a broken foot, Wayne Rooney hobbled off the pitch just 27 minutes into England's Euro 2004 quarterfinal against Portugal to the applause of millions of television viewers worldwide. His tournament was over, but what a formidable run it had been: Rooney had slotted in four goals and given his team the boost a lackluster David Beckham had failed to provide. Surely the 18-year-old Rooney was the One, thought giddy football pundits from Birmingham to Bangkok, the golden boy who would replace Beckham as the new face of football. But the hype died down as soon as the question of dollars translated into sense. Sure, Rooney is a very good player, declared one commentator, but what could he possibly sell--"potatoes?"In the Age of Beckham, it takes more than deft ball skills to become a global football icon. A player's ability to sell team shirts, shaving cream and everything in between has become ever more crucial to a football club's ability to establish itself as a global brand. At...
  • LATINOS AND LUCRE

    Four Latinos--a Dominican, a Mexican, a Cuban and an Argentine--walk up to the bar. Each asks for the best beer in the house in his own colloquial Spanish, and the bartender--the maestro de idiomas, or master of languages--serves up Heinekens. No, this isn't the beginning of a bad joke; it's one of the hottest Hispanic ads of the year, lauded as a masterpiece in marketing circles for its ability to appeal directly to distinct Latino subgroups in the United States. "It celebrates the differences," says Tony Ruiz of the New York-based Vidal Partnership, the ad agency that produced the spot. "It gives consumers a chance to see themselves, and connect on a higher level."Prior to the 2000 U.S. Census, Hispanic marketing was little more than an afterthought to most of corporate America. "When companies considered Latinos, they thought, 'Sombreros and no money'," says Isabel Valdes, a California-based Hispanic marketing expert. But over the past four years, corporate America has come to...
  • TRAVEL: OH, TO DO THE D.R.

    As the clouds over the Caribbean begin to clear, now's the time to head to the Dominican Republic. But once you get there, don't just make like a manatee and laze around in the water all day. The capital of Santo Domingo has too much to offer:Savor the history of this vibrant colonial city. Founded in 1496, Santo Domingo boasts the New World's first cathedral, its oldest monastery (the Monasterio de San Francisco) and its first citadel, the Fortaleza Ozama.Stay at the Gran Hotel Lina (from roughly $80 a night at barcelo.com), home to one of the best restaurants in the country, the Restaurante Lina. Sample local delicacies like lambi (conch).Shop for some of the oldest amber in the world, or larimar--a beautiful ocean-blue stone exclusive to the Dominican Republic--at the Swiss Mine on the edge of the Parque Colon or the Museo Mundo de Ambar.See the Avenida Venezuela, where you can alternate between dancing at one of the many discos and drinking Presidente beer while watching...
  • JON STEWART

    Since taking over "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central in 1999, 41-year-old Jon Stewart has turned the satirical news show into a comedic hit--and a major media player. The program is broadcast around the world on CNN International, and surveys show that more than 20 percent of young Americans look to satirical programs like "The Daily Show" as their primary source of news. Stewart and his writers on the program--responsible for some of the smartest critiques of the U.S. election campaign as well as the funniest--have just released a book, "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction," which takes readers on a rip-roaringly funny journey through U.S. history. NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith spoke to America's most respected (in some circles) political pundit last week. Excerpts:BEITH: Your show has gone from a relatively obscure cable show--STEWART: To a more mildly obscure cable show.But you're an internationally renowned media pundit now. How do you feel about that?I feel...
  • FAST CHAT: STEWART 'INACTION'

    "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his writers have a new satirical textbook: "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction"--already a best seller. PERI's Malcolm Beith spoke with Stewart:Thanks for taking the time. I know you're busy these days.I'm just sitting here playing minesweeper.I don't know if you read the reviews--I can't read. I did the book phonetically.Anyway, The New York Times suggested that perhaps your book should be nominated for a history Pulitzer.Hmm. Is that a cash prize?What's your political leaning? I heard your nickname is Lefty.Lefty? I didn't realize that. That's actually a testicular condition. I do write left-handed.Do you find it hard to be lighthearted sometimes?Absolutely. Many days start with a soul-crushing analysis of the state of the world. Then the entire digestive process of the show is to try and turn whimpers into laughter.How do you see the election shaping up?Any pundit asked what's going to happen should answer the same way: ...
  • A Flowering Basketcase

    From Failed State To Model Reformer In Just A Few Years, Can It Be Colombia?
  • WHEN THE MOOD STRIKES

    Hanging out with their friends in East London, Aysha and Sara can seem wise beyond their teenage years. They speak passionately, for instance, about the plight of children in Iraq and Sudan. But when the topic turns to sexually transmitted infections, they're as naive as they come. Aysha, 15, insists that there's a cure for AIDS. Neither girl uses condoms, even when one of them has sex with a guy she just met during a night out clubbing. Why should they? After all, they're on the pill. Sara, 17, says none of her friends cares much about catching diseases. "My friends think, 'This pill is going to stop me from getting pregnant'," she says, "and then they don't think about the other consequences."These days ignorance about sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, is a common bond among teenagers and young adults the world over, and it's leading to a new global health crisis. Each year 340 million new cases of STIs are reported--a 40 percent increase since 1990, according to the World...
  • DANCING FOR THEIR LIVES

    Visiting Cuba tends to produce more questions than answers. How has the country's unique brand of socialism managed to stay afloat in the face of a strict U.S. embargo? How can the Cuban people remain so proud of their system when they live in such despair? When Fidel Castro dies, what will happen? And how in the name of Che did these islanders learn to dance so well?In "Last Dance in Havana: The Final Days of Fidel and the Start of the New Cuban Revolution" (272 pages. Free Press), The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson poses similar questions. Using music and dance as his window, he illuminates a huge swath of Castro's Cuba. "Today all of Cuba dances to live; today all of Cuba lives to dance," writes Robinson. Understanding the rhythms and tensions of Cuban dance is critical to understanding the country. To escape abject poverty, Cubans dance each night as if there is no tomorrow. But dance also serves as a metaphor: ordinary Cubans, desperate for U.S. dollars to buy luxuries like...
  • 2004: TARGETING HISPANICS

    The ad fight is on for more than 20 million potential Hispanic votes. "Honor," the Dems' latest Spanish-language TV ad, is part of what the Kerry-Edwards team calls the largest Hispanic ad buy in prez-campaign history, at $1 million. President Bush has produced four Spanish-language ads. "Honor" portrays Kerry as a man of faith, family and honor--"messages that are important to Hispanics," says Manuel E. Machado of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Bush's ads mirror his general-market spots, a potential "pitfall," says Machado. "You can't just go on language alone. You have to be able to communicate in culture and context."Bush's latest ad uses a female narrator, which Hispanic advertisers say conveys warmth and reflects the important role of mothers; a man provides Kerry's voice-overs to indicate authority. The narrators for both camps utilize the neutral-dialect "universal Spanish," which, while speaking to everyone, speaks to no one in particular. Using regional...
  • MANIPULATING MY MOTHER TONGUE

    I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Or rather, I was born with a British accent in my mouth. Actually, to be honest, I wasn't born with the accent, I developed it while spending my formative years at a British boarding school. So I lied. But that's the point: here in America, it doesn't really matter whether I'm telling the truth. When I speak, most Americans believe me. And it's all thanks to my British accent.Americans have always been suckers for an accent, none more so than a British one. If I had a dime for every time a Yank has told me that I should play mine up, because "chicks dig it," I'd have, well, quite a few pounds sterling. But it's the assumed wisdom of my words that never ceases to astound me. Once when I was in college, a friend actually pulled me out of a conversation I was having with some other students. "Malcolm," she whispered, "From now on, you really have to preface everything you say with 'I believe' or 'I think.' " Apparently, my peers took my wacky...
  • MORE THAN JUST A GAME

    Only Brazilian midfielder Kaka could boast of better timing. As Franklin Foer's new book, "How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization" (255 pages. HarperCollins), hits stores, the world has football on the brain. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's recent bid for Liverpool FC dominated Asian headlines. South Africa has been awarded the 2010 World Cup. European Championship fever is dying down just as Latin Americans rev up for the Copa America. The only people not obsessed with the sport this summer are the Americans, content to sit on the sidelines and watch baseball.The author, an American who knows his football, is an exception to the rule. And as an editor at The New Republic, Foer knows his globalization, too. The result: a riveting analysis of football's struggle to come to terms with the forces of free trade, multinational brands and cultural imperialism.Foer kicks off by tackling "the failure of globalization to erode ancient hatreds in the game...
  • GOOD TIMES IN MEDELLIN

    Luis Fernando Betancur Merino gazes out of his eighth-floor office window, overlooking the Colombian city of Medellin, and smiles at the bustling panorama. Betancur is Medellin's administrator for urban development; every new license for construction must get his stamp of approval. He's been busy lately. Last year over 1.2 million square meters of property were developed in Colombia's second largest city, more than double the figure from five years ago. All around Medellin--which sits 1,500 meters above sea level in the Andes--new housing, hotels and office buildings are springing up, keeping Betancur happily buried in paperwork. "These are good times," he says. "We are experiencing a boom."It's been a long time since Medellin was described with such upbeat words. Billionaire cocaine king Pablo Escobar, who headed the Medellin cocaine cartel from the early 1970s until his death in December 1993, had turned the so-called City of Eternal Spring into the City of Eternal Violence....
  • THE AWAKENING OF THE SLEEPERS

    Washington, D.C., is under attack! Swarms of Qaedas are invading the nation's capital. The chatter, as experts call the communication between these envoys of doom, is the most intense it's been since 1987. Qaedas in recent weeks have attacked weddings and graduations. They've infested homes, woods and fields, even office buildings. Fearful citizens are postponing barbecues and putting off jogging until autumn. For years, these Qaedas have been lying low, living underground. Sleepers. Now they've emerged to challenge all that America stands for.Oops. I stand corrected. It's cicadas that are attacking, not Qaedas. Every 17 years the bulbous, vaguely revolting species of bug known as Brood X emerges from the ground to grow wings, molt, breed and die, all within the span of a few weeks. Males emit high-decibel mating calls, a sort of screeching twitter which might be romantic if they weren't counted in the trillions. As I write, Brood X cicadas are attacking in 15 states, from Ohio to...
  • LIVING LIKE LOCALS

    Last fall 57-year-old Geoff Wright and his wife traveled from Britain to rural Pennsylvania to stay with an online buddy they'd met on VirtualTourist.com (VT). Their host drove them around for two days, showing them the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and Penn's Cave, a limestone cavern full of stalagmites and stalactites--"places we just wouldn't have seen on a package tour," Wright says. A few days later he and his wife headed south to Gettysburg, where they met another VT contact who gave them a personalized tour of the battlefield, then hauled them off to Virginia to meet his family. From there the Wrights made their way north to Rhode Island, where they lodged with VT friend No. 3 and her family. "Without these VT friends, we would probably have just traveled to one or two places," says Wright. "Touring around with them gave us a better understanding of the American way of life."Travelers have grown quite savvy at using the Internet to research destinations, book flights and hotel...
  • THE POPE: TEXTING THE GOOD WORD

    Feeling out of touch with your faith? Pope John Paul II's offering a remedy: a daily text message to America's most tech-savvy Roman Catholics. For 30 cents a message, Verizon Wireless is offering subscribers a "Thought of the Day" from the pope himself. "He's pretty dexterous," jokes Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon spokesman. (The messages are lifted from speeches and homilies--no actual papal typing is involved.) The Irish, British and Italians have been able to subscribe to the service since last year. The question is whether young Americans--who remain slower than the rest of the world in taking to text messages--will embrace the idea. David Early, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a believer. "Why would this not work? Young people today are tech-savvy and they are looking for a deeper relationship with their spirituality."Signing on is as easy as praying: users need only send a text message reading pope on to the address "24444," and the next day at noon they...
  • NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

    Time stands still for no man. Time takes its toll. Time is of the essence. During a recent visit to Burma's Shan state, the heart of the infamous Golden Triangle, I thought often of those commonplace English expressions--partly because almost none of the clocks told the correct time.Perhaps there's good reason. Burma is half an hour behind Thailand. But the town of Mongla, on the Chinese border, ticks on Chinese time--an hour ahead of Thailand. Traverse a mere 200 or so kilometers, south to north, and you zigzag between three time zones. Why even bother with precise timekeeping?In Burma it's hard to know what year it is, let alone what time it is. The country is stuck in 1962, when it invented a brand of socialism that's a bit like the abandoned sandals I saw lying on the main road in Kengtung--as if one day the Burmese simply stopped walking with the rest of the world. Water buffalo have yet to be replaced by modern agricultural equipment. The traditional longyi (sarong) is still...
  • Letter From New York: Just Gay Enough

    "I know what a duvet is, for god's sake." He muttered this in shame. Summoning up his courage--at least six beers' worth--he gushed out what was really bothering him. "We're a generation of men raised by women!"Hear the cry of the all-American heterosexual male, who's at a bit of a loss these days. Apparently it's not enough anymore to drink Bud, weigh 250 pounds, grow body hair, make sexist jokes and cook exclusively on a grill, if he cooks at all. A new species of man has emerged, the so-called metrosexual.You may have read about him in the New York papers. He gets manicures and pedicures on Saturday nights; he shops till he drops; he conditions his curls, and he watches "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"--the TV hit wherein five gays make over average Sloppy Joes--and actually picks up its tips.This metrosexual may be the new guy on the block, but I think I've always mixed a little metro with my hetero. After all, I'm British, which means I am begrudgingly somewhat European. (In...
  • Sidney Brichto

    With an estimated 3,000 translated versions of the Bible, does the world really need another? London-based American Reform Rabbi Sidney Brichto thinks so. Over the past two years, Brichto has published eight volumes of "The People's Bible," which he hopes will transform the Bible back into the literary masterpiece it was once considered.So far his work has been received favorably by respected critics, and despite his emphasis on readable, fluid narrative, none has accused him of "dumbing down" the Bible. With 10 more volumes to come, NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith thought this would be the right time to ask Brichto exactly what he intends to achieve. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: There have been some 3,000 translations of the Bible to date. Why another?BRICHTO: The Bible has been tainted by holiness. No literary person really wants to read it. I want people to read it as literature. They're good stories. [But] people have to feel that they can keep reading without feeling they have to stop reading....
  • Q&A: Looking Into The Future

    It's tough to predict what will happen tomorrow, let alone what the world holds in store for us nearly 300 years from now. But some of the world's top demographers are trying to forecast just that.Earlier this week, more than 20 of these experts, from as far away as India and China, met in New York with Joseph Chamie, director of the United Nations Population Division, to look at past and current trends in population, migration, fertility and mortality and to try to create a scenario for the world in 2300. They will release a report in the fall, the first comprehensive country-by-country, long-term demographic forecast of its kind. NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith spoke to Chamie.NEWSWEEK: Is there any point in forecasting so far into the future?Joseph Chamie: We can't really tell what's going to happen beyond 25 years, because so much could change. But the projections for 300 years are useful because they get away from dealing with short-term crises like AIDS, SARS or fighting in Liberia...
  • Can He Do The Job?

    Ana Maria Sagaon, 62, is one of 16 million Mexicans who voted for Vicente Fox three years ago, vaulting him to the presidency and breaking the 71-year reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. She thrilled to his vision of "a new Mexico for the 21st century," a "vigorous, competitive" nation, free of the corruption and economic mismanagement that besmirched previous governments. But these days she's having second thoughts. "All he has are good intentions," she says. "The job is too big for him."That perception has taken root across the country. The president's once ambitious reform agenda has been blocked by a hostile Congress. The economy is a mess, partly because of the global recession. But top industrialists have lately begun blaming Fox as well; just recently, the head of the Alfa Group, one of the country's largest conglomerates, publicly railed against what he called "the ineptitude of the current administration." Once chummy relations with the United States have...
  • Doris Meissner

    Last week the U.S. Justice Department's Inspector General issued a long-awaited report on the government's treatment of hundreds of illegal immigrants detained in the wake of September 11. Among its findings: the government failed to inform many detainees of the charges against them, denied them bond, prevented many from seeking legal representation and tolerated "a pattern of physical and verbal abuse" by corrections officers at a center in Brooklyn. Out of the 762 detainees, not one was indicted on terrorism charges. NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith spoke with Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Bill Clinton and now a senior fellow at Washington's Migration Policy Institute, about the scandal. Excerpts:What are your thoughts on the report?I think it really corroborates what a lot of outside observers have been talking about, which is that in the name of responding to the terrorist attacks, there have been substantial violations of...
  • Over-The-Top Tips

    "Excuse me?" I asked. The young lady sitting alone at the bar repeated her insult. "A $1 tip for five drinks? That is so cheap.""Actually, it was three drinks, for $12, which makes the tip nearly 10 percent," I countered. And wondering why I was defending myself, I asked: "Are you with the Service Industry Secret Service or something?"Any foreigner in America will sooner or later have an awkward encounter over tips. I'm beginning to think that arrival signs for immigration in this country should read: WELCOME TO AMERICA. PLEASE LEAVE AN ADEQUATE TIP, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY.You see, here you tip everyone--and well. Since I've lived in the United States for the past eight years, you'd think I would have figured that out by now. But no, I'm still a cheapskate, it seems, oblivious to the fact that "waitpersons" in this country have to live on their tips. Their salaries, if they're paid at all, are well below minimum wage. So when it comes time to settle a bill, pay...
  • Travel By The Book

    If Pausanias, the ancient Greek writer who by most accounts penned the first travel guidebook in A.D. 180, walked into the travel section of any large bookstore today, he would surely be shocked by the volumes beckoning from the shelves. "Caribbean Cruises and Ports of Call," "Around Paris With Kids," "Istanbul to Cairo on a Shoestring" --the only thing missing is the "Rough Guide to Travel in Outer Space." (That, too, will surely come one day.) It's unlikely Pausanias could have imagined the trend he would spawn with his "Guide to Greece," which explained the treasures of his homeland to foreigners (primarily Romans). But like so many of his compatriots' works, Pausanias' tome transformed civilization as we know it.During the next two millenniums, the production and use of guidebooks continued at a steady pace. But it wasn't until Lonely Planet debuted with "Across Asia on the Cheap" in 1973 that the modern guidebook boom was born. The book inspired a flood of competitors-...
  • Mexico's New Wave

    Back in the early 1990s, Mexico City artist Eduardo Abaroa was hardly an international name. He showed his abstract sculptures--made from everyday objects like metal, cotton swabs and mirrors--in borrowed houses and sold them to friends. His work, like that of many other young Mexican artists, was often overlooked by the country's state-run museums. "Contemporary art had no space back then," says the reserved 34-year-old. Now, almost a decade later, Abaroa's life could not be more different. He lives in a spacious apartment-cum-studio in one of Mexico City's hippest neighborhoods and flies around the world visiting galleries where his art is on display. His pieces are selling faster than ever before, for around $3,000 apiece. "I used to be very angry with people who saw art as a career," says Abaroa. "But then I said, 'Well, what are you going to do? This is how it is'."After decades on the periphery, the Mexican contemporary art scene is finally establishing itself on the...
  • The Last Word: Kenny Gluck

    The war in Iraq seriously damaged the country's clean-water supply and sewage-treatment systems, causing a wave of diarrheal diseases, including but not limited to cholera. Although the World Health Organization has confirmed only four cholera cases in Basra, local hospitals have identified dozens of victims, prompting the WHO to declare a cholera "outbreak" in southern Iraq. If identified early, cholera is treatable. But Iraq's hospitals remain in a chaotic state, facing shortages of doctors and supplies. Kenny Gluck, the director of operations for Medecins sans Frontieres, the international humanitarian group, recently returned from Basra, where his team of aid workers is helping to restore the health-care system of Iraq's second largest city. Gluck spoke with NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith in mid-May. Excerpts:Is Basra on the verge of a cholera epidemic?We don't think so yet, but it's really hard to tell. We're looking at the demographics of the [current] cases to see whether this is...