Covering the Quake

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The new NEWSWEEK continues its evolution. The story that has shocked the world is the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We continue our commitment to news photography by printing six pages of heart-rending photos of the destruction. Simon Winchester, the renowned author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and Krakatoa, writes in a haunting column that the worst may be yet to come.

It’s a fair bet that few realize just how many have been killed in that short time since the horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her staff in Tucson. A less-than-radical change in our gun laws could modify the ease by which Americans are murdered—our Andrew Romano and Pat Wingert investigate why it hasn’t happened. It’s an appropriate moment to ask: the 30th anniversary of the attempt to assassinate President Reagan (the subject of this week’s My Turn column), which launched a failed effort to control the gun problem.

Unhinged, tiger-blooded, and last week finally fired, Charlie Sheen is still careening around the mediasphere. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis writes that the fallen star, whom he calls “the most fascinating person wandering through the culture,” is giving America exactly what it wants: wig-out interviews, a goddess harem, temper tantrums—and provides us a new framework for thinking about celebrity.

In Washington, nobody who has watched the budget standoff can help but pine for days when the city was more than Tea Party bachelors shacked up on C Street and spouses left home in the provinces. Michelle Cottle went to the parties in the new Washington—what’s left of them—and discovered something more about why the city doesn’t work anymore.

Then, out West, Tony Dokoupil and Ramin Setoodeh trekked to Las Vegas, the city arguably most devastated by the Great Recession. He finds Sin City pinning its hopes on…Celine Dion, whose grandiose show has surpassed the Rat Pack as the city’s biggest draw. The less fortunate, meanwhile, live in pipes underground.

My thanks to all the readers who have responded with comments and critiques on the redesigned magazine. One of the joys of my last two years in cyberspace, as the navigator on THE DAILY BEAST, has been the iterative nature of a journalistic enterprise that gets constant feedback and grows from it. Keep ’em coming.

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