Stories by Newsweek

  • Like Father, Like Son in N. Korea

    By Jerry Guo North Korea's botched currency revaluation last November caused near rioting in a society where even slight criticism can  lead to the gulag. Now news that Kim Jong Il may have executed his top finance official in early March has some pundits wondering if the despot has finally gone soft. But don't believe it. Rather than a bow to public opinion, Kim's scapegoating of Pak Nam Gi, a loyal bureaucrat, seems more like a brutal move to solidify the hereditary rule of Kim Inc.  That's because, according to internal party propaganda, the failed currency reform--which knocked two zeroes off the won, sparking massive inflation--was actually the work of 27-year-old Kim Jong Un, the Dear Leader's likely successor. Blaming and executing Pak is a way for dad to wipe a major blemish off Jong Un's short career, says Marcus Noland, deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. To help smooth his son's ascent, the elder Kim...
  • By the Numbers: Buying Up the West

    As the recession eased in the second half of 2009, rich nations continued to scale back acquisitions in emerging markets, while developing economies--led by China--began buying up Western companies even faster, according to a new study from KPMG:16Percent drop in developed-country acquisitions in emerging markets in second half of 200930Percent rise in emerging-market acquisitions in the developed world47Percent drop in developed-country acquisitions in emerging markets since 200752Percent rise in China's acquisitions in developed countries since 2007
  • Quote of the Day: Robert Gibbs

    "The notion that you don't get what you want, [so] you're not going to cooperate on anything else, is not a whole lot different than I might hear from a 6-year-old." —White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, taking a hard swipe at John McCain and other Republicans who have promised to obstruct congressional business.
  • Quote of the Day: President Obama

    Today, after almost a century of trying; today, after over a year of debate; today, after all the votes have been tallied—health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America. — President Obama at the signing ceremony of health reform today. (Today's runner up here.)
  • The Daily Obsession: Nancy Pelosi

    The Speaker of the House is either a hero or villain. As health-care reform becomes law, we hear from her friends and foes.
  • How a Routine Warning to Ship Captains Became a Worldwide Terror Alert

    By Mark Hosenball and Daniel StoneSometimes there may be less than meets the eye to a terrorist threat reported in the media. The latest example: a series of seemingly alarming reports regarding a U.S. intelligence warning of possible Al Qaeda attacks on ships near the coast of Yemen.The matter first came to the attention of Declassified on Monday morning when we saw and heard a report broadcast on CNN—complete with an on-screen map—about a government warning of forthcoming terror attacks against ships near Yemen. "A warning for U.S. ships off the coast of Yemen," CNN's anchor intoned: "Al Qaeda may be planning an attack. The U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence says it could be like the USS Cole incident. Small boats stuffed with explosives coming up to a military ship. You may remember that." Only at the end of the report was this caveat added:  "There have been no specific threats at this point.” On its face, such a report would seem highly...
  • Newsverse: Fast Cash No Credit Check Drive-By Lending

    “A Consumer Bill Gives Exemption on Payday Loans”—headline in , March 9, 2010When the bills can’t wait till paydayWhen you send up a fiscal MaydayCall Newsverse Fast-Cash Drive-By Lending!Drive on through and keep on spending! We’ll treat you like a long-lost brotherDon’t worry if you need anotherFast-Cash Drive-By Payday LoanYou can borrow on the phone! If your credit score is zeroIf Willie Sutton is your hero Come on down and have no fear!  “No”Is a word you’ll never hear! So—Just pull up and toot your claxonsCollect a stack of Andy JacksonsYou can pay us when convenientYou will find us very lenient*And at a most alluring rateTen percent, or even eight!**And once your crisis has recededWe will lend you even moreThan you ever thought you needed!It’s like a game! Who’s keeping score?***Such close and warm and fond relationsAren’t made by regulations!Rules are just a bunch of twaddleThat’s not the Newsverse business model!We would so much rather coddleYou and always be your friend!...
  • Quote of the Day: Barack Obama

    "If people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health-care reform. And I don't think we should pretend otherwise.... If they don't, if they vote against it, then they're going to be voting against health-care reform and they're going to be voting in favor of the status quo." —President Obama during an interview with Fox News's Bret Baier Wednesday.  
  • Russia's Diplomatic Obstructionism

    By Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova U.S. officials negotiating with Moscow must often feel like the Kremlin's favorite word is nyet. Whether it's sanctions on Iran, missile defense, or arms control, Moscow seems to oppose every issue the U.S. raises. The Kremlin's apparent purpose: to extract as many concessions as possible before ultimately agreeing to some measures, like punishing Tehran or a new version of the START arms-reduction treaty. Exhibit A is Russia's continued blocking of U.S. missile-defense plans. Last year, as a good-will gesture, Washington bowed to Moscow's objections and scrapped designs for a defense shield based in Eastern Europe. Last week, it announced a less-threatening alternative: interceptors in the Black Sea, even farther from Russia's borders--a solution that the Kremlin itself suggested a year ago.So has Russia agreed? Nyet: the new offer is "even worse," says Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, despite the fact...
  • Colombia's Future After Uribe

    By Pablo Espinel On Feb. 26, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that President Álvaro Uribe could not seek a third term, thereby putting an end date on the leader's popular eight-year reign. The verdict has left Colombia in a state of shock and brings up major questions for its future--including whether this spells the end of the center-right, tough-on-crime brand of politics called Uribismo.To replace Uribe, analysts currently favor his former defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, who has a 23 percent lead in the polls. Santos is likely to continue Uribe's crackdown on crime and on the FARC insurgency as well as his orthodox financial policies. No matter who's elected, meanwhile, relations with Colombia's neighbors are bound to improve: Uribe often clashed with über-leftists Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. And even though many of their underlying diplomatic disputes will remain--control of the border regions, alleged support of...
  • Quote of the Day

    THE PRESIDENT: Your own congressman, who is tireless on behalf of working people, Dennis Kucinich. AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Vote yes! THE PRESIDENT:  Did you hear that, Dennis? Go ahead, say that again. AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Vote yes! —President Obama and an unnamed audience member, urging wavering Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich to vote yes on health reform at an event in Strongsville, Ohio.
  • Quote of the Day: Robert Gibbs

    "I am making good on my aspect of my wager with Dimitri, my Canadian counterpoint, who is somewhere several hundred miles north laughing." —White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, explaining the Canadian hockey jersey he wore at the start of today's press briefing
  • Formula One's Comeback Story

    By Emerson Fittipaldi The 2010 formula one season-opener in Bahrain marks the return of perhaps the greatest athlete to ever compete in the sport: after a three-year retirement Michael Schumacher, the former Ferrari star and seven-time world champion, has joined the Mercedes GP team at the age of 41. He will face a slew of new rules designed to keep the sport's skyrocketing costs under control and compete against great drivers roughly half his age, such as 22-year-old Red Bull star Sebastian Vettel. Other top contenders include Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber; two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, now with Ferrari; Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa; and the McLaren team, which recruited last year's champion, Jenson Button, to join 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton.His return will be good for Formula One, on par with Michael Jordan's return to the Chicago Bulls in 1995. Schumacher's name alone draws tremendous interest from fans throughout the world, as well...
  • The Quote of the Day

    "I have very few hard and fast rules. One of them is not to have sword fights in the morning with Rahm Emanuel." --- Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) comments about statments made earlier this week by Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY).