Stories by Newsweek

  • Senators Seek Ways to Fix Afghan Police Training Program

    By Ryan Knutson, ProPublicaState and Defense department officials took a tongue-lashing today, trying to explain to a Senate subcommittee how the government has poured $6 billion since 2002 into building an effective Afghan police force with disastrous results. ProPublica and NEWSWEEK examined the problems with police training in Afghanistan in a story published last month. The program, managed under a contract with DynCorp International, has faced challenges on every front, from recruitment to inadequate training periods to corruption to poor officer retention. "Everything that could go wrong here, has gone wrong," Gordon S. Heddell, the Defense Department's inspector general, told an ad hoc subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In January his office, together with that of the State Department's inspector general, completed a six-month audit that found significant lapses in the program.Subcommittee chair Sen. Claire...
  • By The Numbers: Health-Care Woes

    China's ever-widening wealth gap has been pegged as a major source of the country's domestic instability, but a new study from Beijing-based Horizon Research shows that inequality is the least of China's worries: 14.7Percentage of Chinese who cited the wealth gap as their biggest concern in 2009. 28.5Percentage who cited real-estate and housing prices. 31.5Percentage who cited layoffs and employment. 34.8Percentage who cited health-care reform and costs.
  • Quote of the Day: Robert Gibbs

    "A lot of Republicans get to church; very few of them have made it to the altar." —Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, describing Senate Democrats' efforts to reach a deal with several successive Republican counterparts on financial regulatory reform.
  • Introducing 'Race for the Robe'

    To mark this, the season of shortlisting, we at NEWSWEEK are proud to introduce a new feature on the Gaggle capturing the daily horse race to fill an emptying Supreme Court seat—based on news, and not just Beltway buzz. Can Elena Kagan, who leads the pack, withstand the vetting? Is the White House floating a dark horse to appease an interest group? We break down the names—and how they rank—each morning, here.
  • Quote of the Day: Nuclear-Security Summit

    “Just the smallest amount of plutonium—about the size of an apple—could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it.” —President Obama at the full plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday, to leaders from 47 countries.
  • Today in Ads You Can Really Only Find in D.C.

    Have you ever been sitting at the bus stop, waiting for the 42, and catch yourself wondering "Just where does Kazakhstan stand on nuclear weapons?" Well, wonder no more.
  • Quote of the Day: John Boehner

    "They got everything else in the entire bureaucracy that they need to control our health-care system ... with the signing of this bill. That's why repealing this bill has to be our No. 1 priority." —Rep. John Boehner during a radio interview today
  • Quote of the Day: John Roberts

    "I suspect it's like people look at their families.... It's a tremendous sense of loss." —Chief Justice John Roberts on what it's like when a justice leaves the Supreme Court.
  • Newsverse: Gone With the Windbags

    By Jerry AdlerNOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens—Proclamation by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.Now I don’t know what country Bob McDonnell thinks he’s from.The one that I was born in fought, in 1861,A war for its survival, when Virginia tried to bolt.And only barely won it, thanks to Grant and Samuel Colt.I’m sure that Bob McDonnell is a patriotic sortWho wouldn’t ever be accused of wanting to consortWith enemies who hate us and our sacred way of livingNo terrorist should count on Bob McDonnell for forgiving.Except, of course, for those who fought, away back in the dayIn service of secession and against the USA.Now I’m not one for waving flags, but can we set some ground rules?It isn’t love of country that’s the last refuge of scoundrels. It’s sentimental longing for a mythic past of bravery(Careful to avoid the part that has to...
  • What if the RNC Held a Parade, and Nobody Came?

    By Justin VogtRepublican National Committee chairman Michael Steele has vexed GOPers ever since winning the post last year and promising that, as the first African-American chairman, he would be able to expand the GOP's appeal by introducing its principles to "hip-hop settings." This would be accomplished through an "off the hook" rebranding effort. Steele pledged that the PR campaign would be unlike anything either political party had done before. "It will be avant garde, technically," he explained to The Washington Times.Indeed, his tenure has frequently seemed like an exercise in performance art—technically and otherwise.  Perhaps Steele was aiming for a sort of Brechtian alienation effect when it was revealed that the RNC had funded a night out for young GOP donors at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub in Los Angeles that bills itself as a "destination for provocative revelry."Conservatives, at least, were provoked. The...
  • Quote of the Day: Playground Antics

    "It’s kind of like getting out there on the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.’” —Sarah Palin on Sean Hannity about President Obama’s nuclear review that promises not to threaten nuclear action against a country in compliance with international proliferation standards.
  • Quote of the Day: Bob McDonnell

    The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed.... Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation. —Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, in a statement about his controversial proclamation naming April as Confederate History Month. Read the full statement here.
  • BRICs' Investment in Africa Takes Off

    Africa has garnered attention as the next hot spot for foreign investors—and it's not just the West that's looking to the continent. Despite the recession, direct investment by the BRICs has soared, and at a much faster pace than those of Europe and the U.S. A look at foreign direct investment from 2007-08 (the latest year available): Percentage increase in EU investment in Africa, to $27.3 billion Percentage increase in Brazilian, Russian, and Indian investment in Africa, to $2.35 billion Percentage increase in Chinese investment in Africa, to $5.5 billion Percentage decrease in American investment in Africa, to $3.3 billion Source: Overseas Development Institute
  • Quote of the Day — Rep. Steve Cohen

    "He looked more like a captured soldier in North Vietnam than he did a United States senator. It was very sad and, I tell you, his wife Cindy, she was about ready to just drop dead."—Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, referring to Sen. John McCain's body language at a campaign rally last month that featured Sarah Palin.
  • Newsprose: The Recruit

    By Jerry Adler"If you and the international community pressure me more, I swear ...
  • Newsverse: The Light in the Tunnel

    By Jerry AdlerAfter 16 years and $10 billion, there was joy in the meadows and tunnels of the Swiss-French countryside Tuesday: the world’s biggest physics machine, the Large Hadron Collider, finally began to make subatomic particles collide. —The New York Times, March 31, 2010Thirteen billion years ago,  Beginning with a pinpoint glowThe Universe we’ve come to knowEmerged, and then commenced to grow.And all that ever was and isPrecipitated from that fizzOf X-rays, gamma rays, and lightThat cosmic burst of clarityThe moment before symmetry Lost its grip, began to shatter.And left behind the photons’ flightSomething new was forming: matterTwo protons, call them “A” and “B”Colliding with an energyNever felt before on EarthRe-creates the violent birthOf the Universe. The pangOf Creation: the Big Bang.And leaves us with a tiny frisson.Though logically, there is no reasonFor concern. No earthly chanceA new black hole could swallow FranceSuck it down by gravityInto a singularity.A...
  • Quote of the Day: Guam Might Capsize

      "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." —Rep. Hank Johnson, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on a budget request to relocate naval personnel to the island of Guam. Guam is 212 square miles with a population of 175,877 (2008 estimate). Later asked to clarify the remark, a spokesman for Johnson said he meant that population increases could lead to a "tipping point" destructive to the island's overtaxed ecosystem.