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  • Another Kind of Rescue

    My new neighborhood teems with cats. As I'm driving home late, I see them race up the sides of trees. Their eyes glint from the bushes. They perch on fence posts.One met me in the street, as if she'd been waiting like an old debt. No collar, no tags. I opened a can of tuna. She ate, smacking and purring, and then slid out the door like a liquid shadow.Afterward, I lay in bed and listened to the wails and shrieks of cats, fighting or mating. I should know the difference; my grandmother once owned 35 cats. She welcomed every stray that showed up, and kept her cat lodge a secret from the outside world. People might not understand, she said.Her husband, Carl, would not have understood, nor would he have tolerated the dirt, the smell or the cost of food. Carl, though, had left her for a woman he met at the power plant. My grandmother's sadness lasted the rest of her life. "How could he do me this way?" she asked me. Growing up with her in the Midwest, I had no answers. I tried to...
  • The First Champion

    The man who led the Green Bay Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls, and took home the first two Super Bowl MVP trophies, was making the rounds recently in his role as a spokesman for United Healthcare’s Secure Horizons health-care plans. Starr, still trim and fit at 73, stopped by NEWSWEEK with his wife, Cherry, for a quick chat with senior editors David Noonan and George Hackett. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: What made Vince Lombardi a great coach?Bart Starr: The thing that impressed me as much as anything occurred at our very first meeting after he came to the Packers. He said, “Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because perfection is not attainable. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because in the process we will catch excellence.” He paused for a minute and said, “I am not remotely interested in being just good.” That's how he opens the session, and God, I didn't even need a seat for the rest of the day, I...
  • That’s Entertainment!

    Spectators, I think you’re in for a heck of a show on Sunday. Above all, of course, there’s the game itself and all the outrageous ads. But there’s also the entertainment. To get a preview, I headed over to the Super Bowl Media Center for a press conference with the artists who will be performing.Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based troupe with the ethereal costumes and eye-popping stunts, will get things started with the pregame show. Given that the Super Bowl is family fare, we won’t be getting any of the erotic displays they put on in Las Vegas (bummer). This will be much more wholesome. Brazilian artist Romero Britto is collaborating on the costumes and visuals, which means lots of stripes and polka dots and blindingly bright colors. DJ Louie Vega is supplying the musical score—a fusion, he says, of “African, Caribbean, Brazilian—even marching bands.”At the press conference, a Cirque rep handed out a list of performers. There will be six stilt walkers, 29 Cirque du Soleil...
  • Media Day

    Ah, Miami. Land of palm trees, sultry weather, bare flesh and breast implants. Little wonder that the National Football League has selected the city to host the Super Bowl a record-tying nine times, including this one. For the past four and a half years, I’ve been NEWSWEEK’s bureau chief down here. I’ve covered hurricanes, election fiascoes and a variety of sordid, surreal, only-in-Florida stories. Now, thankfully, I get to cover something a little more fun: America’s premier sporting event.Starting today, and continuing until Game Day, I’ll be your roving correspondent in this football-crazed city crawling with celebrities and frenzied fans. Don’t expect sharp analysis—I’ll leave that to my esteemed colleagues who are much better equipped to deliver it. Instead, I’ll offer a daily diary of snapshots from the plenitude of events—from the cheesy to the extravagant­—building up to Sunday. Come along for the ride.It’s a ritual of every Super Bowl. On Media Day, players and the press...
  • The Media Party

    Arian Campo-Flores, NEWSWEEK’s bureau chief, continues his series of dispatches from inside the belly of the Super Bowl party machine in Miami.Miamians aren’t very good at some things—electoral democracy, driving, English—but they’re damn good at one thing: partying. This is the kind of place where you can rage continuously through the weekend, from party to after-party to after-after-party. Sure, you have to deal with French doormen with beaucoup attitude, wanna-be models with sharp elbows and crappy cocktails at $15 a pop. But hey, you get to dance to earsplitting music all night surrounded by hotties (like my fiancée!).This year’s Super Bowl features a roster of suitably over-the-top bashes. There’s the Penthouse “Goin’ Deep Super Party,” the Playboy party, featuring girls outfitted only in body paint, and the Hawaiian Tropic Party, with more than 100, presumably oiled-up, models. There’ll be performances by J. Lo, Marc Anthony, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and many more. The clubs will...
  • The Other Miami

    Someone always has to ruin the party. In the case of the Super Bowl, it’s the earnest folks at the Service Employees International Union, the Miami Workers Center, Jobs With Justice and a number of other groups determined to save humanity. They’ve decided to put a damper on all the fun by seizing on some sobering stats. Like the fact that Miami is the third-poorest city in the country, that one in five kids here live in poverty and that one in four households can’t afford a place to live. To bring these impressive numbers to life, they’ve organized a “Reality Tour” for the media—designed to, as they put it, “get a first-hand glimpse of the great disparity of wealth in Miami.”Not what I had in mind when I signed up for this diary, but, fancying myself a serious journalist, I decide to join. I board the bus at 10:00 a.m. this morning and meet a handful of other serious journalists, including a reporter from the Florida Jewish News and a Goth-looking French TV reporter who doesn’t...
  • House Of Healing

    Pennies from kids who thought they were giving a fortune. Checks written in modest amounts from ordinary families. And one eye-popping anonymous contribution of $22.5 million. It was private donations like these from more than 600,000 Americans that paid for a comprehensive new rehabilitation center for wounded troops that opened Monday at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Military brass and privates shuffling on crutches joined senators, actresses and country-music stars under a chilly South Texas winter sky at the ribbon cutting for the Center for the Intrepid, which opened along with two new Fisher House suites that house the families of the recovering troops. The pomp and pageantry, including a fighter-jet flyover and the crooning of singer John Mellencamp, was meant to pay tribute to the wounded and fallen and to the citizens who tried to repay their sacrifices with world-class medical and support facilities."Today is a celebration of life, heroism, duty, honor and commitment,"...
  • When Best Intentions Aren’T Good Enough

    I am a gym rat. And my gym, like gyms all over the country, has been really crowded lately. I used to get a little peevish about this January surge in traffic on the treadmill and Stairmaster, but I no longer do. As a regular, I know that most of these newly dedicated fitness buffs will be gone by February.This is not arrogance. I’ve had my share of relapses. The fact is, it’s really hard to keep the promises we make to ourselves, including New Year’s resolutions. Not only will the January joggers soon be drifting back to their couches, others will be restocking their liquor cabinets, tossing their nicotine patches and bingeing on Chunky Monkey—in short, giving up on all those optimistic visions of healthy living.Why are we so bad at adhering to our most well-intended commitments? Psychologists are very interested in this question, because of the obvious public-health implications, and they recently have been probing beyond the common and unhelpful answer: weak willpower. What does...
  • Please Don’T Help

    Amid reports that Iran is prepared to offer Iraq help with reconstruction and other forms of economic aid, President George W. Bush warned Tehran today that any helpfulness on its part would be met with “swift retribution” from the United States.Speaking from the White House, Bush warned Iran not to entertain any thoughts of being helpful, vowing, “No good deed will go unpunished.” The president also issued a stern ultimatum directly to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warning him against “future provocative offers of help.”“Iran can continue down this dangerous path of helpfulness, or it can resume its role as an international pariah,” Bush said. “The choice is clear.”The president appeared bent on isolating Iran to punish it for its threatened acts of helpfulness, even naming it to what he called “The Axis of Constructiveness.”In Tehran, Ahmadinejad seemed almost emboldened by Bush’s remarks, even taunting the U.S. president with threats of his own: “Iran will continue to be...
  • No Child Left Untested?

    The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced last week that it will be holding four regional summits promoting random student drug testing in public middle and high schools. The controversial program, which has already been implemented in nearly 1,000 middle and high schools across the country, requires that kids submit to random drug testing if they want to participate in competitive extracurricular activities like athletics. The Department of Education offers grants to schools that want to develop or expand a drug-testing programs for children in grades 6-12, but decisions about whether to test and which drugs to test for are made on an individual school level. The testing is usually done by a school nurse with a urine sample taken on school premises. If there's a positive result, the sample is sent out for verification by a lab. Tests can also be done with blood or saliva. Samples are generally tested for cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, opium-based substances,...
  • New Sensible Eating Rules for Kids

    Every day at 6:15 p.m., 4-year-old Payton and 7-year-old Avery Lumeng sit down for dinner with their parents, who let them eat as much or as little as they'd like. They're free to be excused when they're finished—even if it's after only 15 minutes. If they're hungry when it's not mealtime, they eat snacks—including occasional cookies and candies. "If you have all these hard and fast rules—'My children are never going to eat candy'—it makes it all the more tempting," explains their mom, Dr. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan's department of pediatrics and Center for Human Growth and Development. She should know: she worked on "Healthy From the Start," a new booklet on healthy eating just out from the nonprofit group Zero to Three (zerotothree.org) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.In the booklet, Lumeng and her colleagues redefine the rules of healthy eating for kids. Faced with a childhood-obesity epidemic (about one in six U.S. kids is fat), experts are...
  • An Otherworldly Tale

    Fairy tales and religions give us our best stories, and what gives those stories their power is their vivid belief in another world just outside the world of our daily life. The other world of fairy tales is the world of imagination, and the other world of religion is the world of imagining the sacred. But both other worlds draw us in and implicate us in ways that transform us.In great sacred stories, rituals are often the arms used by the story to draw us in. The ancient story of Jesus' resurrection is not merely remembered but personally consumed in the Eucharist feast. The ancient story of the Exodus is personally consumed in the ritual of the Seder meal. In these ritual meals, the story enters us and we enter the other world where the story is born. Because fairy tales do not generate rituals, their world always remains at arm's length away. There is no ritual that helps us enter Wonderland or Oz, but when the priest says that the wafer is the body of Christ; when the Passover...
  • Hollywood Royalty

    Security was tight. For the first time, NEWSWEEK'S annual roundtable was held in public, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. We made sure to keep a few of the celebrities' names secret, and arranged for all of them to arrive via an inconspicuous side entrance to the theater. So imagine our surprise when Brad Pitt--the most paparazzi-hounded star on the planet--was dropped off on Hollywood Boulevard and strode blithely through the theater's front doors, disguised only by a pair of sunglasses. Onstage, Pitt was joined by five other remarkable actors of 2006: Cate Blanchett, Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren, Penelope Cruz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Needless to say, the audience was buzzing. But so were the stars, who listened with obvious delight as their fellow actors discussed their lives, their craft, their passions and their fears. Pitt teased DiCaprio, who said he didn't appreciate being seen as "a piece of cute meat" after "Titanic." "That you are ," Pitt told him. Blanchett, who...
  • The Big Sleep

    Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a narcoleptic.OK, while I haven’t announced my condition with brazen acceptance to a semi-circle of strangers drinking watered-down coffee from Styrofoam cups, the term “narcoleptic” has wriggled its way onto my list of defining characteristics, right there with “recent college graduate” and “dog lover.”I’ve had the symptoms for about eight years. For years, I would routinely sleep for 14-plus hours and still nod off during “Desperate Housewives.” If my presence was not required somewhere (school, work), getting out of bed seemed pointless since I would fall asleep again within an hour. Friends knew better than trying to coax me out of bed, and even my dog learned to hold her bladder for a surprisingly long period of time. Further hindering my motivation was a diagnosis of depression pinned to my shirt at age 18.  Eventually, I resigned myself to being a chronically slothful person.I made decent grades in college, and was offered a good job at a well...
  • Mail Call: A Closer Look At Managing Menopause

    Passionate responses poured in from women who read our book excerpt on menopause. "Your illuminating article boosted me out of my menopausal cranky mood," said a 52-year-old "in the throes" of the midlife change. Readers debated hormone-replacement therapy, some saying they'd never give up hormones and others explaining they've used black cohosh and other herbal remedies to control symptoms. Many criticized the 2002 Women's Health Initiative study, while others argued in favor of bio-identical hormones. A few said they are part of the "lucky minority" who never experience hot flashes. "Indeed, it has been a cause of monthly celebration," said one. And several readers found humor in their situation. One recalled a large refrigerator at Costco with a congregation of women her age. "No need to say a word. We just had an understanding of why we hang out in places that are 40 degrees. It's a woman thing!"Thank you for your article on menopause ("The New Prime Time," Jan. 15). After my...
  • The Stage Of Grief No One Admits To: Relief

    I'm so sorry. we did everything we could." The surgeon's haggard face proved his words. My 31-year-old husband was dead, killed in a car accident on his way home from work. Doctors and nurses gathered around me, ready to catch me if I fell.Then convention took over, and I found my voice. "Thank you," I said to the surgeon, taking his hands in mine, "for everything you did to try to save him." Mechanically, I turned to the next set of hands, and the next, thanking each person as they all watched me warily. I'm sure they thought that as soon as the words sank in, I'd fall to the ground.I was in shock. But I was also aware of a bewildering mix of sadness, anger and, as hard as it was to admit, overwhelm-ing relief. The truth was, I had been unhappy in my marriage for several years and had kept up appearances as I tried to salvage our floundering relationship. I was initially very confused about what to do with the feelings I was having. I was equally aware, even in those earliest...
  • A Call For ‘Radical Change’

    President Bush’s State of the Union address may not have done much to improve his popularity. But it did succeed in jump-starting debate over one of the leading—and most contentiously lobbied issues—on his domestic agenda: health-care reform. In his speech, the president proposed offering tax subsidies to encourage more people to buy their own health insurance. The goal: to provide equal treatment to those who buy insurance on their own, and those who get it through their employers. Under the Bush plan, the administration estimates that 80 percent of workers with employer-based health plans would pay lower taxes—while 20 percent of those with more costly workplace plans (branded “gold-plated” by Bush) would see a tax hike, unless they decreased their coverage.Democrats on Capitol Hill, along with labor unions and consumer groups, pilloried the Bush plan, arguing his proposal would do little to help America’s nearly 47 million uninsured—and could wind up hastening the demise of...
  • Last Word: Frederik De Wahl

    In 2003, a Danish company called Skype changed the way we make phone calls, offering a free Internet-based communications system to users around the world. Having already established its reputation with the launch of the music-sharing site Kazaa, cofounders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis quickly attracted a solid customer base, and in 2005, eBay bought the company for $2.6 billion.Now they're entering the world of TV. Last week the brains behind the online telephony service introduced Joost, which claims to be the world's first broadcast-quality service on the Internet. Although no precise launch date has been set, the site, joost.com, is currently operating in order to inform prospective customers of the service's potential. Joost CEO Frederik de Wahl, a Swede who previously ran a peer-to-peer software business and who holds a master's degree in both electrical engineering and economics, held a press conference last week in London to announce the service. NEWSWEEK's Ginanne...
  • Travel: May I See Some I.D.?

    Attention, all snow bunnies and sun seekers. Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, starting Tuesday, all Americans will need a passport to enter or re-enter the United States by airplane from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. (Until now, only a driver's license was required. Those traveling by boat, train or car from those destinations will be able to get back into the United States with a driver's license and birth certificate until Jan. 1, 2008.) If you don't have a passport yet--and 79 percent of us don't--go to travel.state.gov for instructions and applications that can be downloaded. The fee is $67 plus $30 for processing. Oh, and go to smartertravel.com for info about some Caribbean countries like Nassau and Jamaica that are rebating passport fees for travel this winter and spring. How's that for a break?In "May I See Some I.D.?" (TIP SHEET, Jan. 29) we erroneously referred to Nassau as a Caribbean country. It is, in fact, a city. NEWSWEEK regrets the error.
  • The Sounds Of Stories

    When celebrated Mexican film director Alejandro González Iñárritu set out to score "Babel," the final and most ambitious chapter of a trilogy that began with "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams," he had his work cut out for him. Just shooting a picture (with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) that toggles between three separate narratives unfolding on three continents and spoken in Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese was headache enough. But who could possibly unify the strands of this intricate story in a single, coherent soundtrack? Gustavo Santaolalla, of course.The Argentina-born musician and composer is no stranger to challenging assignments. He had already taken on three other Iñárritu extravaganzas, beginning with the hypercharged "Amores Perros" (1998), transposing that throbbing triptych of tales with a mixture of Mexican pop rock, Latin hip-hop, and edgy guitar chords. Moviegoers first got wind of this nervous new sound in "The Insider" (1999), when a taut solo on the ronroco, a...
  • International Mail Call: The Politics Of Dress

    Readers of "Beyond the Veil" questioned the reasons Muslims give for covering up. "The veil is being used by women in the West as a political statement to emphasize their Islamic roots," one said. Another declared: "God does not care about the length of a woman's dress; people do."The heated debate in Europe about the higab ("Beyond the Veil," Nov. 27) is a mere fig leaf hiding broader fear about Islam, immigration and European cultural identity. These fears are largely unfounded and reflect only our own insecurities as we go through fast-paced social change in the 21st century. On its own, the higab should be a non-issue since the number of Muslim women wearing it are still a tiny minority, although by all accounts a growing one. Moreover, mature and liberal Western societies must be expected to accept the higab as much as they accept any other form of nonmainstream attire as part of the freedom of individual choice that forms the bedrock of our liberty. But those who wear the...
  • Return To The Top

    Serena Williams proved Friday night what we already knew: That when she’s playing her best, no one can touch her. In a breathtaking performance, she stomped on, whipped, flogged—the thesaurus sure is fun in moments like these—the No. 1-ranked Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open . Unseeded and ranked 81 at the start of the tournament, Serena’s own number zoomed up to 14 by its thrilling end. Sharapova retains the top slot in the computer, but last night was its own verdict.It’s been a difficult two years for Serena, since her last win in 2005. In 2003 she had surgery to fix an injured knee. Then, while she was home in Florida recovering , her half-sister, Yetunde Price, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. After that, Serena’s game has never quite been the same—the dominance was gone, the spark had flamed out. The knee kept nagging her, yes, but that seemed only half the struggle.For her fans, these last few years have been especially trying. We worried that her...
  • Learning My Instincts

    "Doll, help me get into my floral nightgown hanging there," my grandmother said, pointing toward the hospice closet.I pulled out the nightgown. It was made of an itchy, polyester blend, long, with three plastic pink buttons at the top and huge pink and blue flowers. It was something that I couldn't imagine putting on in a million years, but my grandmother adored bright colors. She thought the blacks and browns that I preferred were an unfortunate side effect of my romantic life in New York City.She slowly swung her legs over the side of the bed and prepared to sit up, laboring over every movement. Her lungs were slowly turning to stone. At least that's how I understood it. The doctors called it pulmonary fibrosis. They guessed that the disease had first taken root in her tiny body as she tended the chickens on the family farm back in Kearney, Neb., seven decades past. Now every exertion was accompanied by a quiet, but painful-sounding, inhale.Wordlessly, she pulled off her nightgown...
  • Norah Jones: Familiar But Not Predictable

    The best-selling female artist of the 21st century—that's quite a title—and quite a lot to live up to. But for singer Norah Jones, who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, it's not the kind of thing that keeps the 27-year-old up at night. What does keep her up is writing, playing and recording music like she did for her third record, "Not Too Late," her first collection of songs entirely written or co-written by the eight-time Grammy winner.As huge as she is, Jones still keeps her music and her music-making down home: her writing partner/bass player and boyfriend, Lee Alexander, produced the new CD in their home studio. Old friend Jesse Harris, who wrote the massive hit "Don't Know Why" for her 2002 debut, "Come Away With Me," shares in the work again, but this time it's by playing guitar as part of her studio band. Other players on the record are people she's known for years. Any master chef will tell you that you don't mess with a good recipe, and in this case, it's this...
  • The Latest in Battlefield Surgery

    The military has rewritten the book on wartime surgery to combat the wave of injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest strategies for helping fallen warriors.
  • So You Want To Be A (Grrrl) Rock And Roll Star

    When the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls held a benefit auction Tuesday night at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom, items on the auction block included an electric guitar and guitar lessons, a kid-sized bass autographed by the Beastie Boys (that went for $725) and a designer handbag by Marc Jacobs. Pretty cool stuff for an auction (cool enough to raise $20,000 by the time the night was over). But what really put a big smile on the faces in the crowd was not cool merch but an electrifying performance by a duo called Magnolia. Opening for a line-up that included the indie favorite Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Zora Sicher and Hugo Orozco, both 11-years-old girls, worked through their repertoire of self-penned songs, including “What Cha Gonna Do,” with Orozco playing punk power chords over a steady beat laid down by drummer Sicher (they switched instruments midset—very rock and roll). The girls are veterans of the rock camp, and they are also its hardcore fans. They attended for the first...
  • The Threat From Within

    This may be the first generation in which children live a shorter life span than their parents. If this were caused by a new virus or pathogen, or if some madman was harming our children, there would be a call to action from most parents, an uprising and an uproar. But it's not some external germ or sinister force that's eating our young; it's what our young are eating—too much fat, salt and sugar. And it's not only what they're doing, but also what they're not doing—a lack of regular exercise.So many kids in our country are overweight, they're getting sick and dying prematurely. Overweight kids suffer disproportionately from diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and other serious health problems. A study last summer in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that being overweight at 18 is associated with an increased risk of premature death in younger and middle-aged women.Since 1970, the percentage of kids who are overweight or obese has risen almost fourfold, from 4.2 percent to 15...
  • Super Bowl: Settling The Score

    A few seconds after Tom Brady’s last-gasp pass died in the arms of an Indianapolis Colts defender, my phone rang. I figured it for the first of many condolence calls to be exchanged between my fellow lifers from section 132 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.Instead, it was my daughter on the line—ah, the swift and dexterous dialing fingers of youth—and I immediately detected the anxiety in her voice. “Are you all right, dad?” she asked. I thought, “What kind of jerk does she think that I am, that my physical and mental health couldn’t withstand the heartbreak of a New England Patriots defeat?” Then, of course, I realized: exactly the kind of jerk she’s known for the 20 years of her life.So I took a quick inventory and, a little too my surprise, discovered I was, in fact, all right—a little disappointed but not remotely devastated by the defeat. Which by the time I caught up with my buddies seemed to be the consensus. It had been a great game. We were outplayed. All those breaks,...
  • A Brief History Of Sundance Outrages

    Sundance wouldn't be Sundance if someone wasn't getting all hot and bothered about some outrageous, shocking, weird, utterly out-there movie leaping off the screen at the film festival in Park City, Utah. Among the movies getting tongues wagging this year are "Zoo," Robinson Devor's documentary about bestiality, inspired by the true story of a Seattle man who died after having sex with an Arabian stallion; the lurid Southern melodrama "Black Snake Moan," with Christina Ricci as a scantily clad white-trash nymphomaniac who gets chained to a radiator (for her own good, mind you) by Samuel L. Jackson; and another Southern Gothic tale, "Hounddog," which elicited angry protests (even though none of the protestors had seen the movie) because of a scene in which a 12-year-old girl, played by Dakota Fanning, is raped.It was ever thus. Here's a brief timeline of some of the supposedly and actually shocking movies that debuted at Sundance. A few went on to make scandalous waves in the real...
  • Beliefs: When Not All Publicity Is Good Publicity

    In late October 2006, Alexandra Pelosi turned over to HBO her finished documentary, “Friends of God,” a two-years-in-the-making road-trip tour of the country’s massive evangelical Christian community. Then two major events occurred that utterly transformed her documentary, even though she hadn’t touched a frame of it. First, her self-described “tour guide” throughout the journey, Rev. Ted Haggard, the former president of the 30-million-strong National Association of Evangelicals, resigned in a scandal over his relationship with a male prostitute. Then, a week later, the mid-term election gave Democrats control of both houses of Congress—an outcome that made Pelosi’s mother, Nancy, the country’s first-ever female Speaker of the House. (And a few weeks after that , Pelosi, 36, gave birth to her first child.) Suddenly, her modest one-hour film had become scandalized and politicized. With “Friends of God” premiering on HBO on Thursday, Pelosi spoke with NEWSWEEK’S Devin Gordon about her...
  • Don’T Forget The Artificial Tears

    When our book, “Is it hot in here? Or is it me? The Complete Guide to Menopause” ( Workman ), was released a few weeks ago, “The Today Show” invited us on to talk about the topic and put together a “menopause survival kit.” After the show ran, we got lots of e-mails asking for a list of the contents. While this “kit” is not all-inclusive, these items will help you weather the menopause transition more successfully. Here’s a breakdown of our purchases:Face wipes. Stow these in your purse or desk drawer. They’re great for mopping up after a sweaty hot flash.Water bottle. Drinking some ice water helps many women reduce the severity of hot flashes. Keep it handy.Nightwear made of fabric that wicks away moisture. We have a friend who sleeps in a flannel nightgown and then complains of night sweats. A simple solution is to buy T-shirts or sleepwear made of wicking fabric. That way, you won’t feel so cold and clammy. Look for the same fabric you see in athletic wear.Cream moisturizer....
  • Gender And The Pulpit

    In 1973, Eric Karl Swenson was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and went to work doing what he’d always dreamed of: ministering to a congregation of the Southern Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. More than 20 years later, one dream almost ended when another began. When the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta discovered in 1996 that Swenson had finally fulfilled another lifelong desire—having sex-change surgery to become a woman—it started proceedings to revoke Swenson’s ordination.At the time of her “transition,” Swenson did not resist the church’s questions nor blame its reluctance. “I had been in the closet for 30 years, learning to accept myself,” she says. “It is difficult for me to be angry at others for not accepting.” Married with two daughters before her transition, Swenson described her struggle, years later, in a sermon: “I had spent the better part of four decades wrestling secretly with the unreasonable and incorrigible desire to be female.” After almost three years of...
  • Who Will Oscar Go Home With?

    This Year's Race For Best Picture (Dream On, 'Dreamgirls') Is Anyone's Call, But The Critics Seem To Have The Inside Track.
  • Who Isn't Running For President?

    For the first time in American history, the number of Americans running for president in 2008 will actually be greater than the number of Americans voting for president, electoral experts said today.With politicians throwing their hats in the ring at a torrid pace, by November 2008, one out of every two Americans is expected to be running for the nation’s highest office—an extraordinary figure by any measure.While the negative tone of recent election campaigns has turned off voters in record numbers, the appeal of being the world’s most powerful person has never been greater, causing the two trend lines to cross.In the last week alone, Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Sam Brownback have established exploratory committees, but so have some 40,000 other Americans, according to Carol Foyler, executive director of the Committee on Exploratory Committees. Foyler said that the sharp increase in the number of Americans yearning to be president can be credited to President George W....
  • Escaping From The Shadow Of The 'Wall'

    Next month, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the most-visited monument in Washington, D.C., will be honored with the 25-Year-Award from the American Institute of Architects, as the most significant structure completed a quarter century ago. The memorial’s stunning abstract design radically changed the conventional view of war monuments, and it has had a profound impact on memorial design ever since. Yet when the design was first selected, after a blind competition with more than 1,400 entries, it was considered astonishing—even controversial in some quarters—in part because its designer wasn’t a well-known architect or artist but a 21-year-old Yale undergraduate named Maya Lin. NEWSWEEK’S Cathleen McGuigan caught up with Lin, now 47, in New York, where she’s been working for more than 20 years on projects ranging from art—both outdoor earthworks and gallery installations—to architecture, furniture and books.NEWSWEEK: The Vietnam Memorial catapulted you to fame when you were very young...
  • The Relief Cycle

    Last fall, when the Naples police were mopping up blood from the cobblestones near Piazza Plebiscito after a fatal Camorra shoot-out, the orchestra at the nearby Teatro di San Carlo opera house was preoccupied with another violent scene: the battle in Leonard Bernstein's "Candide." Given the violence outside, those inside the San Carlo had reason to believe it would be a good season; in the house's 270-year history, trouble in the streets has often translated into better attendance. So far, the San Carlo has sold nearly 84 percent of its season tickets for this year--some for as much as €800--making it one of the best-attended seasons in recent memory. "In times like these, this opera house has always been a wonderful escape," says Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, director of the Teatro di San Carlo. "Naples is a difficult, if not desperate, community to entertain."But escalating violence is not the only reason Naples's opera house is full. Despite budget cuts that have plagued all of Italy...
  • Stop Or They'll Shoot!

    Armed & famous," CBS's new reality series about celebrities turned cops in Muncie, Ind., is one of those abominations that get people moaning about the plight of American culture, but if nothing else, the show justifies its existence by giving us scenes where someone can utter the phrase "Officer La Toya Jackson." The seven-episode series is like a cross between "Cops" and "Scooby-Doo," only instead of Shaggy, the team doofus is 4-foot-7 Jason (Wee-Man) Acuña of "Jackass" fame. (WWE wrestler Trish Stratus, Erik Estrada of TV's "CHiPs" and Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy, round out the show's crack crimefighting unit.) In recent years, the citizens of Minnesota and California have put celebrities in the governor's mansion, so maybe it's not such a leap to give them live ammunition. Still, even the show's executive producer Tom Forman sounds surprised that his idea made it onto network television. "When you condense this show down to one line," Forman says, "it does sound like a joke....
  • A Super Bowl Showdown

    There are undoubtedly some folks waiting for the hypefest in Miami in two weeks under the misapprehension that it is the Super Bowl. But any true football fan knows the Super Bowl was played in Indianapolis Sunday night—when the hometown Colts beat the New England Patriots 38-34 for the AFC Championship.The game may have set a record for clichés available to sportswriters: two heavyweights; got up off the canvas; monkey off the back; a defense that bends and, in this case, finally broke. But none do justice to the magnitude and the brilliance of the Colts’ victory. Indy came back from 18 points down and years of heartbreak to score the winning touchdown with just a minute left in the game. It came on a masterstroke of deception. With a third-and-two at the Patriots’ three-yard line, the NFL’s premiere passer, Peyton Manning, eschewed the air and, instead, handed the ball off to rookie Joseph Addai, who scooted into the end zone.Then Manning retired to the bench, barely able to watch...
  • Woman Waging Peace

    Swanee Hunt's life story is as modestly opulent as a meal of black-eyed peas and corn bread served on fine china. Her father, a self-made oil magnate, preached hard work and frugality yet jetted around the world on a private plane. Swanee was born out of wedlock to a mistress 30 years Hunt's junior, who was "kept" in a modest home near his lavish estate. After the death of Hunt's first wife, Swanee's parents married and she moved into the home of the father she hardly knew. There, she developed the tenet that would determine her life's direction: "Every person is responsible for changing the world."Her engaging new memoir, "Half-Life of a Zealot" ( 393 pages. Duke University Press ), tracks that aspiration from her early role as a preacher's wife to her current position as director of Harvard's Women and Public Policy Program and chair of the Women Waging Peace network. It is an intensely personal book. Hunt, 56, describes a miscarriage, the breakup of her first marriage, her...
  • Fame Junkies

    Troy sawyer first auditioned for "American Idol" in 2002. He drove from his home in Kansas City, Mo., to Detroit, where he performed the country ballad "Tonight I Want to Be Your Man." A producer rejected him, but Sawyer wasn't about to give up. "I saw a lot of gimmicks people used to make it," he says. In 2003, he trekked to Houston to perform "Rockin' Robin." Rejected again. In 2004, he dressed in Pillsbury Doughboy pajamas--"I figured I needed to stick out"--and crooned "Soul Man" in St. Louis. "I was told I had a really good voice, but I should take it more seriously and not dress up," he says. That same year, with money he raised washing cars and selling bubble gum and taffy, he hit Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and San Francisco. No luck. The next two seasons are a bit of a blur, but they included stops in Austin, Denver, Chicago, Las Vegas and, finally last summer, Memphis. In case you've lost count, that's a total of 11 auditions . "I don't have the Justin Timberlake or...
  • Mail Call

    Readers saddened by the death of Gerald Ford recalled the events that shaped his legacy, most notably his historic ascension to the presidency. "Ford may be considered an 'accidental president,' but he was precisely what our country needed at a time of turmoil," one said. "He brought decency back to the White House, and that was no accident." Others continue to be less generous. One described Ford's pardoning of Richard Nixon as "fumbling the most important decision of his presidency." Readers also found parallels in concurrent news events. On a dire note, one observed that Ford's death coincided with the death of the United States' 3,000th service member in Iraq. "Some spent many days mourning the one; some barely acknowledged the many," she wrote. Another hoped that with Saddam Hussein's execution, Iraqis might now be fortunate to "find a leader like Ford to end their long national nightmare."Among the many blessings Gerald Ford enjoyed in life is that he lived long enough to...
  • Send Me To Space

    As she entered her sixth decade, Sara Davidson found that, as she puts it, she "couldn't get arrested." The author of 1978's best-seller "Loose Change," Davidson suddenly found herself single, out of work and an empty nester all at once. She bottomed out--so she wrote a book, "LEAP! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives?. Inspired by her story, NEWSWEEK asked boomers to list the three things they still want to do--no matter what.One of the world's best-selling novelists, with more than 25 top sellers under his belt, King has built a loyal fan base of millions by consistently scaring them. His latest, "Lisey's Story," came out in October last year."I'd like to outlast George W. Bush's second term of office." ...
  • The Man Who Wore His Heart On His Shoes

    Your shoes say a lot about you. The sign was obviously handmade. Lettered with black shoe dye on an old shoebox lid, it stood upright in the window of Joe's shoe-repair shop on the streetcar line just beyond Pittsburgh's north side. I was 12 years old and naively believed the sign was Joe's original idea. I also thought it was the closest shoe dye had ever come to pure wisdom.My first thought about Joe's statement was how it divided the kids whose fathers were working steadily from those whose weren't. Shoes tell that story quite plainly. When I thought of classmates who had good shoes but never cleaned them, that said something about them, too.My dad, being a clergyman, owned black dress shoes, two pairs of them. He shined them often, putting one foot up at a time on the hickory stool in his study and buffing away. He wore moccasins instead of slippers at home and they, too, were spotless, if not shiny.On Sunday mornings, I began to pay attention to the shoes of regular churchgoers...
  • Cosby's Darkest Hours

    I was surprised by a phone call at 5 a.m. from our New York office one morning in 1997. There were reports on the wire services of the death of a young man with the last name of Cosby, and my editors wanted me to find out if he might be related to Bill. I dialed actress-director Debbie Allen. Debbie was a longtime Cosby friend and associate, and of course her sister, Phylicia Rashad, had starred as his wife in both of his family-comedy hits. "Yes, it was him," Allen said in a low voice. My stomach dropped. To complicate matters, I'd made arrangements with Cosby's publicist to visit him on the set of "Cosby" the following week in New York. I assumed everything would be canceled because of the family tragedy, so imagine my surprise when I was told to make the trip. Cosby would be returning to work the very next week.Grief is a very individual thing, and Cosby seemed not to want to grieve alone. In speaking with Cosby's personal assistant before leaving Los Angeles, I was told to be at...
  • Fidel V. Ramos: We Were The First Iraq

    The Philippines has had four leaders in the two decades since the fall of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, but only one who did not disappoint. During his tenure from 1992 to 1998, Fidel Ramos got the economy moving, broke up several powerful monopolies, tempered corruption and contained the communist and Muslim rebels in Mindanao. He left office as his country's most effective modern leader, and one of the region's strongest advocates for greater economic and polity unity. He is in the group of eight "eminent persons" writing a new charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which could bring the dynamism of majority voting to a group that has been stymied by consensus rule from intervening with wayward members like Burma. NEWSWEEK's Marites Vitug spoke to Ramos on the eve of this week's ASEAN summit in Cebu, Philippines. Excerpts: ...
  • Baby Boomers: What's Next in Life?

    In this book excerpt, author Sara Davidson describes 'the narrows,' the phase in life where everything gets harder—before it gets easier.
  • Quindlen: Write For Your Life

    Wouldn't all of us love to have a journal, a memoir, a letter, from those we have loved and lost? Shouldn't all of us leave a bit of that behind?
  • Mail Call: Fathers And Sons

    Our Nov. 20 cover story drew criticism of President Bush over Iraq. "Western security is in jeopardy due to one stubborn man. We had better save democracy instead of Bush's presidency," one said. Another agreed: "We can be grateful for any salvaging George H.W. Bush's team can manage."It is a grand irony that Bush I is now coming to salvage the presidency of Bush II ("The Rescue Squad," Nov. 20). Just five years ago, in the afterglow of his September 11 performance, some commentators argued for the coronation of George W. as likely one of the best presidents in American history. Now his stock sinks to the level of one of the worst presidents, if not the very worst. Tragically, he's taken the country's reputation with him. George H.W. Bush and his insiders are working to offset egregious leadership mistakes and a profoundly bad legacy. We can be grateful for any salvaging he and his team can manage if it brings into order the messes of the son and his constellation of disastrous...
  • Newsmakers

    Q&A: MIA FARROWThe eternally ethereal Mia Farrow plays the grandmother in "Arthur and the Invisibles." She spoke with Nicki Gostin.It sure was--the food alone. Let me count the ways: the Camembert, the baguettes, fresh fish, unbelievable wine at lunch, not that I partook. And I love [director] Luc Besson. I'm endlessly fascinated by who he is and the way he expresses himself. I could watch him brush his teeth.No. What a good idea. He's an extremely ethical person and has a profound respect for human beings. We see this reflected in the movie. These two tribes need each other and feel responsible for each other--and this brings me to an issue of the utmost importance: the genocide in Darfur.I think kids have an acute sense of what's right and what's wrong and a sense of outrage.I don't have Brad Pitt, though. Give me Brad Pitt and we can talk.No! What are you talking about?No, it's not like that.I don't know. If I'm lucky enough.14.That's not in my plans, though none of my life...
  • More Political Science

    Last summer President Bush invited several scientists to the Oval Office to revisit one of his earliest--and most contro-versial--decisions: to fund, but strictly limit, stem-cell research. Bush wanted to explore the impact of his 2001 policy to approve research only on existing stem cells drawn from human embryos. So he asked the scientists about the viability of the 21 approved stem-cell lines. And he quizzed them about possible contamination with mouse cells. One month later, he issued the first veto of his presidency against an expansion of stem-cell research.With a new Democratic-led Congress, Bush is now facing a greater political challenge than he was then. Last week House Democrats voted once again to approve funding for research using stem cells drawn from embryos slated for destruction at fertility clinics. The final vote fell short of a veto-proof majority, and the White House promised to block it again.But this time around, Bush's aides feel far more confident about...
  • A Life In Books: Geraldine Brooks

    She may have won a Pulitzer for her novel "March," but Geraldine Brooks confessed to PERI that her To Read list still includes Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks." Yeah, we haven't gotten around to that one, either. A profile of the writer as reader: ...
  • Off To The Graveyard

    And so, an era is over. After more than a decade of delighting English football fans at Manchester United and Spanish aficionados at Real Madrid, David Beckham is coming to America. But is it the right move? Responding to a reported $250 million, five-year deal with the L.A. Galaxy, The Independent of London blared leaving real life for la-la-land.Most football pundits would argue that Beckham has been in La-la Land for some time now. At the very least, he's become too big for his boots. In 1998, Beckham broke a nation's collective heart at the World Cup semifinal when he petulantly kicked Argentina's Diego Simeone. The resulting red card sent England home in tears. (I was in a pub in London, and have never seen so many grown men bawl.) Then there was his wedding to Posh Spice. Deemed 1999's celebrity wedding of the year, it came complete with golden thrones for the bride and groom, as well as a crown for her "majesty." Sponsored by everyone from Gillette to Motorola, Beckham the...
  • When The Body Attacks Itself

    The immune system is what keeps most people's bodies healthy and free of disease, but for as many as 23 million Americans, it is a cause of disease, too. In autoimmune disorders, the system goes haywire, mistaking the body's own tissues for foreign invaders and destroying them. Drugs for these conditions, which include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus, have been elusive. But on Sunday, scientists are reporting in the journal Nature that they have found a set of 30 genes that go awry in autoimmune disorders—and that could be potential targets for cures. NEWSWEEK's Mary Carmichael spoke with two of the discoverers, Richard Young, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Whitehead Institute, and Alexander Marson, an M.D./Ph.D. student in Young's lab. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: What do these 30 genes normally do in a healthy person's body?Richard Young: There was a very, very important discovery made about a decade ago, which was that a specialized class of ...