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  • West Wing Story: The E-Mail Wars

    I thought August would be a languorous time on the White House beat. It turns out that the Democratic National Committee had plans for me and the rest on the Bush beat. While President Bush and Congress were away, the DNC's top man, Terry McAuliffe, decided it was time to play politics, by stepping up a public-relations campaign over the Internet. He hired three former Clinton staffers to run his press shop, put them to work unearthing the e-mail addresses of all the White House press corps and lined up a stable of Democratic experts primed to spin on almost anything.As the e-mail traffic and briefings from the White House died down, the DNC began sponsoring conference calls on everything from stem cells to the budget. "August is our time," McAuliffe told his war room. Hanging around the Crawford Elementary School gymnasium, Bush reporters often had nothing better to do than to patch into the calls. "We knew we had a captive audience," says DNC press secretary Jennifer Palmieri, a...
  • Interview: The Unlikely Pacifist

    Only two months ago, NATO called him a terrorist. Now Ali Ahmeti, the political leader of the Macedonian National Liberation Army (NLA), garners praise from Western diplomats as a reliable partner for peace. As one observer put it, he "has the potential to be the Albanian Gerry Adams." Last Wednesday, the soft-spoken 42-year-old met with NEWSWEEK's Juliette Terzieff and Rod Nordland at his mountaintop command center in the village of Sipkovica, outside Tetovo, Macedonia. Excerpts: ...
  • Rebuilding The Colosseum

    The Colosseum is like Rome itself. After all these centuries, it never runs out of surprises. One of the latest turned up on a second-tier corridor only a few weeks ago: an amateurish but detailed drawing scratched into the wall. The subject is a crouching gladiator armed with a bow and arrow. Experts say the graffitist was probably a fight fan (a teenager or a grown man, to judge from the picture's complexity and its height above the floor) passing the wait between bouts, 1,600 or more years ago.As trivial as the discovery may sound, it's pure treasure to Roselle Rea. She's the chief archaeologist for an eight-year, $18 million restoration project currently underway at the mightiest of Rome's ancient monuments. When the overhaul is finished in 2003, visitors will be able to explore parts of the Flavian Amphitheater (the Colosseum's proper name) that have been out of public view for centuries--and a few that were off-limits even in the days of the emperors. Rea's enthusiasm is...
  • Caribbean: Haitian Murder Mystery

    Bodies have disappeared. Suspects have died mysteriously. And the cast of characters who may have conspired to kill Haiti's most prominent journalist, Jean Leopold Dominique, is more colorful than any mystery writer could dream up. More than a year after Dominique was gunned down in front of his radio station, his death still haunts Haiti--not just because he was an icon of the resistance that fought the Duvalier regimes of the '80s and '90s, but because he was also a strong supporter of the ruling party and a close friend of President Jean Bertrand Aristide.As the Western Hemisphere's poorest country trundles toward total disintegration, the Dominique case illustrates some of the phenomenal challenges facing Aristide: a breakdown in the rule of law and a corrupt political elite, not to mention a moribund private sector, bankrupt public coffers and a political crisis that has led international donors to freeze $500 million in aid the country desperately needs. Hoping to improve...
  • Janet Versus Jeb

    Sitting in the tree-shaded backyard of the cypress clapboard house her mother built for Janet Reno and her three siblings in the late 1940s, it's hard to imagine this soft-spoken 63-year-old woman engaging in the kind of cut-and-thrust campaigning that may be needed to unseat Florida governor Jeb Bush when he runs for re-election next year. Maybe it's the dowdy, below-the-knee summer dress Reno donned for the hordes of reporters who converged on her suburban Miami home Tuesday morning. Or perhaps it's the spinster-prim schoolmarm persona she projects behind her wire-rimmed spectacles as she answers questions in the precisely worded complete sentences that prosecutors are trained to utter in their closing arguments.Whatever the real reason, it's easy to forget that Janet Reno is in fact a seasoned veteran of Sunshine State politics who was appointed Florida state attorney for Miami-Dade County in 1978 and then won five consecutive elections for that office before Bill Clinton tapped...
  • The Borowitz Report: Bill Just Wants To Have Fun

    Former President Bill Clinton, fresh from a bikini-buying spree in Ipanema, Brazil, returned home to Chappaqua, N.Y., last weekend-and his neighbors were none too pleased about what he brought with him."It's been hard enough having him live here," one annoyed Chappaqua resident told reporters, "but then he had to go and get that thing."The "thing" that has all of Chappaqua talking-and some angrily calling local police-is a Mr. Microphone, a microphonelike novelty device that enables its owner to broadcast his voice at high decibels over the nearest AM radio.Since Mr. Clinton bought one, neighbors say, he has been using it virtually nonstop.Annoyed residents of this leafy suburb, known for its quaint shops and highly rated school system, say Mr. Clinton has been driving around town in a red convertible with his Mr. Microphone, broadcasting such dubious messages as, "Hey, good-looking, we'll be back to pick you up later!""We've put up with the two keg parties he's thrown and all of...
  • The Internet: 'Don't Mail Me, I'll Mail You'

    Remember the non-hierarchical workplace? Internet companies made the idea fashionable a few years back: no titles, no offices and even a lowly assistant can challenge the decisions of the chief executive officer. Many management gurus predicted the death of the pecking order. But maybe we really want hierarchy so much that if it doesn't exist, we'll create it--and cyberspace, it turns out, is the perfect place. David Owens, a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, has studied 30,000 e-mail messages--four years' worth--at a California technology firm. Since top dogs couldn't signify their status with a lofty title or a corner office, they telegraphed it with short, terse, carelessly misspelled e-mails. They also followed the "don't mail me, I'll mail you" rule, waiting longer to return the e-mail of underlings, or not responding at all. The message: my time is valuable, and so am I. By contrast, middle managers and junior employees spent hours laboring over...
  • Clash Of Cultures

    In the world of business mergers, nothing really shocks anymore. So the announcement today that Hewlett-Packard Co. wants to scoop up Compaq Computer Corp. for $25 billion in stock-a genuine Big Bang in computerland-was noted with dutiful space on Page One but barely a raised eyebrow in the national consciousness. It's not really earth-shattering anymore when the Nos. 2 and 3 in an industry join forces to gang up on No. 1. ...
  • The Nerd Who Saved Brazil

    No one ever said life in the emerging markets was easy, but these days have been especially bruising for Brazil. To the south, Argentina, a major trade partner, is deep in recession and teetering on the edge of default. To the north, the United States, the world's best customer, is straining. A severe energy crisis has darkened Brazilian shops and factories, sent workers home and flattened gross domestic product. Then there's a noisy corruption scandal in Brasilia that has paralyzed politics, and a surge in popularity for the left-wing opposition, which is leading the polls for next year's presidential elections. Faster than it takes to say submerging markets, investors are scrambling for the cashier and pushing Brazil's already battered currency to record lows.In the late 1990s, when he was moving millions of dollars for mega-investor George Soros, Arminio Fraga Neto might have savored such a tableau. Back then, every emergency in the world economy meant an opportunity, perhaps...
  • Perspectives

    "Genocide finding could commit USG [U.S. government] to actually 'do something'." Department of Defense memo from 1994, declassified last week, showing U.S. governmental knowledge of the scope of impending violence in Rwanda, as well as a reluctance to use the term "genocide" and commit to action"We have not effectively controlled the epidemic." China's Deputy Minister of Health Yin Dakui, making the first official governmental statement on HIV-AIDS in the country, where reported infections rose 67.4 percent in the first half of this year as compared to last"I stand by what I said that pigs can be as intelligent as children. There is nothing scientifically controversial about that." Zaida Catalan, spokeswoman for the Swedish Green Party's youth organization, hedging a comment she made earlier in the week equating the intelligence of pigs and mentally retarded children"Now, it's us." Slogan on 260 packets of bar-coded cocaine confiscated by Brazilian police in a Rio de Janeiro slum...
  • Mail Call

    Our cover story on fertility prompted an emotional response. "Infertility is a life crisis," wrote one reader. "It can bring on devastating depression." Women in treatment, said another, "are given false hope and led down a long and very difficult path with blindfolds on." A few defended postponing childbearing. Although now unable to conceive a second child, a reader said, "I don't regret waiting to raise a family, because I feel fulfilled professionally and emotionally, so I can offer a well-rounded person to my son." Others embraced adoption: "We now have a 100 percent chance of becoming parents to one of the thousands of babies abandoned overseas every year."'Keep Your Eye on the... Clock' Never has NEWSWEEK created such a stir among my crowd (women in our early 30s) as you did with your Aug. 13 cover story, "The Truth About Fertility" (Society). I could practically hear my biological clock ticking louder with every paragraph. Many of my friends who have read the story now also...
  • Talking Dead

    June de Young, a California-based psychic, has been inundated with visitors this year--the 30th anniversary of the Doors' singer Jim Morrison's death. Why? Because she channels the legendary "Lizard King" to hundreds of fans. PERI went along for the ride: ...
  • From Bad To Worse

    It was a little bit like being led to the lair of a famous fugitive. A NEWSWEEK reporter was not told where he was going, just that he was to be ready at his hotel at 1:15 p.m. The driver who picked him up kept checking his mirror and at one point veered into the parking lot of a funeral home to make sure no one was following. The mood inside the congressman's hideaway, a condo somewhere in the central-valley city of Modesto, Calif., was beleaguered. "We're worse off after the interviews than before the interviews," an aide morosely declared. After being grilled by ABC's Connie Chung on national TV the night before, as well as by a variety of local reporters and scribes from People magazine and Vanity Fair, Gary Condit himself seemed numb. "I'm on kind of like autopilot," he told NEWSWEEK.The weary, stony-faced congressman stirred himself to be sympathetic to the family of Chandra Levy--genuinely so, it seemed. He recalled being "horrified" at hearing from Chandra's father, Dr....
  • Star Wars And Social Security

    President Bush's plan for reforming Social Security feels like Star Wars all over again. It's a vast, faith-based shield that sounds as if it protects your retirement years. All you have to do is slip part of your Social Security tax into a private-investment account. Then your troubles are over. Life's little missiles will bounce right off.Why the Star Wars comparison? Because private accounts are a complex and costly edifice, greatly oversold. No one has shown that they can actually work.I'm leaving aside all the big-picture questions, such as who gains or loses from private accounts and whether other reforms should be tried instead. It won't even be easy to find the money to finance these accounts, because the scheme needs a huge influx of federal funds. The drop in the current and projected budget surplus, revealed last week, will make it tough to fund anything new. ...
  • Letter From America: Nouveau Beach

    Ah, the Hamptons. Warm, desultory days by the pristine beaches, surrounded by the rich and famous. A summer playground for affluent New Yorkers that attracts the cream of Hollywood and the peripatetic aristocracy of Europe.There's Southampton, nouveau riche, with its multimillion-dollar homes on Gin Lane. (Not to mention scandals, at least one each summer. This year it's publicist Lizzie Grubman, who "inadvertently" drove her car in reverse at 2 in the morning at the Conscience Point Inn in early July and ran into more than a dozen people.) And Sagaponack, with its mansions of 20,000, 30,000 and even 100,000 square feet. East Hampton, with its boutiques, $1,200 Ralph Lauren sweaters, the Maidstone Club, Nick & Toni's restaurant and Steven Spielberg. Sag Harbor, a sleepy town no more, filled to the brim with African-American bourgeoisie and a bevy of authors and publishers. The Hamptons, with Gwyneth Paltrow, billionaire Ron Perlman and inamorata Ellen Barkin, equestrian events...
  • The Dot-Com Witch Hunt

    When bad things happen to nice people in the United States, they hire the nastiest lawyer they can find. So it's no surprise that when the dust from the dot-com crash settled, Americans began searching for defendants to sue. Over the past few months, that impulse for cleansing and revenge has led to federal regulatory investigations and hundreds of lawsuits against investment banks, analysts and technology firms. The accusations range from the knowing promotion of bad stocks, to insider dealing, to bribes paid in exchange for a piece of a hot IPO. What's surprising is how far beyond Wall Street and Silicon Valley the hunt has now gone.The increasingly global nature of financial markets--and of the Internet itself--means that litigious Americans aren't the only ones hunting witches. A new, more active generation of shareholders in Europe and Asia is demanding answers. Already, some of Europe's most eminent firms are caught up in accusations of scandal. Last week shareholder activists...
  • The Solidarity Of Self-Interest

    For nearly a decade, U.S. congressman John Conyers Jr. has led a lonely crusade, pressing Congress to consider the case for reparations for black Americans. For most of that time his efforts have been utterly dismissible--as quixotic as the exertions of a delusional soldier re-fighting a long lost war. But suddenly the reparations issue, once considered DOA, has risen from the ashes of inconsequence, touching off a frenzy of activity--both domestically and abroad.At a regional meeting in Senegal in January, African delegates to the upcoming United Nations World Conference Against Racism demanded "adequate reparation" for slavery and colonialism. (Delegates were significantly less eager, it must be pointed out, to condemn African involvement in both current and historical slavery.) Earlier this month a U.N. subcommission on human rights adopted a resolution urging recognition and "reparation" for "massive and flagrant violations of human rights" committed during slavery and the...
  • Durban Bound

    For months Mary Robinson has talked of a "breakthrough," a global "coming together," a hope that has always hinged on a rather extraordinary presumption: that the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which opens in Durban this week, would defy the normal rules of political engagement; that delegates would put aside parochialism for the higher cause of social justice.The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (and secretary-general of the conference) may be disappointed. The Durban conference is the most ambitious United Nations antiracism colloquium ever, and it is the first since the age of apartheid (held, with full awareness of the symbolism, in the now-democratic South Africa). But it already has stumbled into a minefield of recrimination and distrust. And it has yet to officially begin.Two issues have all but hijacked the agenda: Israel's treatment of Palestinians and whether the countries of the North owe an apology and...
  • Mission: Take Back The Hills

    They're hollering and flat-footing to the beat at the annual fiddlers' convention in the hills of southwest Virginia. A band called the Bluegrass Brothers is hammering away on banjos and a washboard, singing the lyrics to a now popular campaign song. Mark Warner is a good ole boy from up in Novaville/He understands our people, the folks up in the hills. Warner, the Democratic candidate for governor, appears on the edge of the crowd, wearing a polo shirt and jeans, and hurls himself into the throng of bobbing cowboy hats and baseball caps. Get ready to shout it from the coal mines to the stills/Here comes Mark Warner, the hero of the hills. Beaming, Warner greets the band, then tells the crowd: "No speeches, I promise." There's no need. Warner's already made his point with voters in this oft-forgotten region--not just by having his own bluegrass song, but by visiting 32 times before the fall campaign even begins.THIS IS WARNER COUNTRY, say the signs along rural Route 220. If they're...
  • The Spread Of China Inc.

    The U.S. headquarters of Haier Inc. in midtown Manhattan is a little bit unusual. For one thing, it's hard to get to the receptionist's desk: there are a half dozen black, three-foot-high compact refrigerators blocking the way. Each appliance has a piece of paper taped to the door: as is, $150.00, reads one slip. If you're looking for a small refrigerator, Haier America will sell you one-- on the spot. Behind the receptionist there is a showroom chock-full of Haier products--food freezers, home wine coolers, clothes washers, air conditioners and the world's first "combination compact refrigerator and desk"--a new product conceived to appeal to dormitory-confined U.S. students.Haier, the leading appliance maker in China, is well known in its home market for its innovative goods. The company sells a clothes washer with an attachment for kneading noodle dough, a clothes washer that will clean potatoes (popular with farmers) and a "prevent near-sightedness TV," designed for children of...
  • Mideast: Can A Wall Stop A War?

    The grim new face of Israel's future begins just down the street from Eyal Mizrahi's white stucco house in a development north of Tel Aviv called Bat Hefer. A stone's throw from the Green Line dividing Israel and the West Bank, an ugly barrier of razor wire stretches along the town's perimeter. Behind it runs a high-voltage fence and, behind that, a 10-foot-high concrete wall that extends for more than a mile and blocks off views of the adjacent Palestinian town of Tulkarm. Sandbagged positions, spaced at 200-yard intervals, provide protection against Palestinian snipers and infiltrators. Military jeeps sweep along a patrol road that runs beside the wall, checking for bombs. "People want to live a normal life, and if there's no cooperation, the best idea is to separate," says Mizrahi, 34, staring across the bleak landscape, reminiscent of the "death strip" that divided East and West Berlin during the cold war. "Now more and more Israelis are following our example."After a nearly...
  • Beautiful But Deadly

    In ancient times, to eat an olive was to touch the gods. The Greeks believed it was Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, who gave mankind the divine fruit. They used it to anoint their bodies. The Romans, too, coveted the precious crop, and later the Venetians, who shipped it around the Mediterranean from Palestine to Morocco and Spain. Civilizations have changed but not our appetites. We moderns cherish the olive for our health, a staple of garden salads and organically correct cooking. But while the olive may be good for body and soul, it turns out it isn't so good for the land.Environmentalists warn that humanity's love for olives may be dangerously misplaced. Yes, few things are quite so pleasant as a drive along the coasts of Portugal or Greece, where the land is rich with olive groves, leaves shimmering in the wind. But truth be told, Homer's sylvan glades are becoming something of a pest. In recent decades a growing number of farmers (not to mention rapacious multinational agro...
  • My Principles Have Landed Me In Jail

    I am not a gambler or a murderer. I am a 33-year-old college English teacher and freelance writer. Yet since July 20, my home has been an 8-by-10-foot cinder-block cell at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Houston.Four years ago I began investigating the murder of Houston socialite Doris Angleton in order to write a book about the case. I interviewed countless witnesses and chased leads in Houston and in six states. I had little idea then that my research would eventually cost me my freedom.Doris was the wife of Robert Angleton, a bookie who took bets from Houston's rich and powerful. He had friends (and clients) in high places, including the district attorney's office and the police department.Doris filed for divorce in February of 1997, threatening to expose Robert's illicit empire if he didn't share the millions he had stashed away. On April 16, police found her bullet-ridden body sprawled on her kitchen floor. Robert immediately fingered his brother Roger.When authorities...
  • 'You Have Emotional Ties'

    A day after his primetime encounter with Connie Chung, Rep. Gary Condit and his attorney, Abbe Lowell, sat down with NEWSWEEK's Michael Isikoff at a condo in Modesto, Calif. Excerpts: ...
  • Periscope

    Brian Regan was no 007. When the FBI arrested him at Washington's Dulles International Airport last week as he was about to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, they allegedly found a slip of paper with names and addresses of foreign spymasters in his shoe. But the retired Air Force sergeant--now charged with conspiracy to commit espionage--will likely rate a footnote in history because of the central role computers and the Internet played in his case. "This is really 21st-century espionage," says an FBI official.The United States was first alerted to Regan last August when the 38-year-old, who'd just retired from the military after 20 years with $53,000 in consumer debt, allegedly advertised secrets for sale in a letter. Regan, a trained cryptanalyst, had been working for the previous four years at the National Reconnaissance Office, the supersecret agency that runs spy satellites. "He had access to everything," said one source. The FBI alleges Regan mailed a letter to "Country A"...