Judgment Days

Valentina Abinanti / Polaris

Was the rapture guy right? The world may not have ended on May 21, but it’s clear that something increasingly ominous is going on.

The twister that ravaged Joplin, Mo., last week brought the tornado death toll past 500 for 2011 alone. As natural disasters and deadly weather patterns rip through the headlines, it’s time to realize that havoc is the new normal. This week NEWSWEEK discusses the frightening implications of what all the warnings about climate change, unheeded by the previous administration, now mean. And as our celebrated science writer Sharon Begley shows, we’re not remotely ready.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the genocidal Bosnian Serb general, Ratko Mladic, has been nabbed at last. Janine di Giovanni finds a psychological fault line dividing his atrocities before and after the suicide of his daughter.

Check out also Christopher Dickey’s excellent piece on the dedicated sex-crime cops in the NYPD Special Victims Division sorting truth from fiction in some of the city’s most harrowing cases, including that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged assault of a New York hotel maid.

Some sanity is to be found in the stoic German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be honored next week by President Obama. Joshua Hammer bagged a rare interview with the wunder woman on page 52.