News

News

More Articles

  • The Truth About Nontraditional Treatments

    In agony and desperate for relief, arthritis sufferers have been known to try just about anything. "Juanita," who posted the message, "A Crazy Arthritis 'Cure' " on a recipe-swapping Web site recently, says her friends swear by one bizarre remedy: slip a bar of soap in a sock, she advises, then put it in your bed.At least the soap "cure" is inexpensive and free of side effects (other than a lumpy mattress). Many alternative arthritis treatments are useless at best, and dangerous at worst. But that doesn't stop millions of patients who are fed up with their traditional meds from falling prey to hucksters ready to feel their pain. In the last year Americans spent $1.2 billion on dietary supplements (though not all for arthritis), and millions more on everything from magic potions to lucky trinkets.Some alternative treatments are promising. Two supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, are getting most of the attention. They were catapulted into the limelight with Jason...
  • A Pro-Life Foreign Policy

    At first glance, John Klink seemed like the perfect pick for the job. A veteran relief worker who'd helped impoverished refugees in Haiti, Thailand and Morocco, Klink surfaced earlier this year as George W. Bush's choice to head the State Department's influential Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. He'd spent years as a United Nations adviser to the Vatican. But despite Klink's credentials, word of his possible nomination caused an instant uproar. A devout Roman Catholic, he has argued passionately against abortion, the morning-after pill and even using condoms to halt the spread of HIV--stands that have made him a controversial, and sometimes reviled, figure in the relief community. Now Klink's hopes are on hold, with religious groups backing his appointment and pro-choice activists vowing to derail it.The plan to tap Klink is part of a careful Bush strategy designed to appease both sides in the abortion wars. At home the pro-life president has talked tough--vowing to...
  • Wildfires: 'I Didn't Want To Burn To Death'

    As giant flames danced against the Western sky, the young Forest Service firefighters waited for marching orders, hungering for a chance at heroism. It was no secret the crew wanted a piece of the big, bad blaze at Libby Creek, the ferocious fire moving toward 50 homes in the flint-dry northern Cascades. They didn't want to work some wimpy brush fire, some boring mop-up job in the middle of the lonesome Okanogan National Forest. But that was the assignment they drew. "Be patient," said Pete Soderquist, the fire-management officer who gave the orders, as he sensed disappointment. "You'll get your big fire." It was truer than anybody could know. The crew began its work along the skinny Chewuch River about an hour later. Just up the hill, horror waited.It was a rookie-laden crew, largely native sons and daughters of Washington state--firefighters Karen FitzPatrick and Elaine Hurd, both 18, were out of high school barely a month--young people a bit smitten by the romance of a daring,...
  • Partying For Profit

    On Ibiza, the Spanish Mediterranean island that is the summer dance-club capital of the world, the scene still looks pretty wild. At dawn on Tuesday 10,000 scantily clad youths are still dancing to the electronic rhythms spun by DJ Fatboy Slim at Privilege, a cavernous nightclub. But appearances are deceiving. This is the tail end of the infamous "Manumission" Monday night party. In its original, 1980s incarnation, it was a mingler for transvestites and coked-up glitterati; by the mid-1990s club owners and guests were copulating openly onstage. Then two years ago corporate sponsors came on the scene. Now the entertainment is provided by professional acrobats in sailor suits, staging mock battles with cartoon pirates on the decks of a fake ship. It's a bit raunchier than Disney, but not much.Born as a spontaneous eruption of wild, underground drug parties, rave culture has become big business. From Barcelona to Reykjavik, 21 million European youths hit the clubs each week, and go on...
  • Perspectives

    "I think I am a moral man." California Rep. Gary Condit, admitting "mistakes" but defending his honor in an interview with Connie Chung"If God had wanted you to wear earrings, he'd have made you a girl." Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, responding to a couple's challenge to a school-board policy banning earrings on male students"Who came to this country first--the white man, didn't he? That's who made this country great.'' North Carolina State Rep. Don Davis, before forwarding to members of the state legislature an e-mail that credited white men and Christianity with America's accomplishments. Davis later apologized for forwarding the e-mail."Just because she is naked doesn't mean she is right.'' Catherine Ort-Mabry, spokeswoman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, on a PETA activist who locked herself in a cage wearing only a bikini bottom, a small sign and painted-on tiger stripes to protest the circus's treatment of animals"Being part of the Senate is not just another...
  • Armani After All

    One morning in June Giorgio Armani woke to smoke pouring from the ground floor of his palazzo in Milan. Trapped in his living quarters on the top floor, the 67-year-old dean of Italian designers waited while the firemen did their jobs. "I stayed very cold, very philosophical," he said hours later, sitting at his desk in an immaculate white T shirt and blue jeans. "This happened. It's over. That's life."Armani told NEWSWEEK that story in one of several interviews about the latest chapter in his remarkable career: a bold global expansion into a variety of new cities, stores and merchandise. Though famously reticent, Armani also spoke openly about a personal tragedy that shaped his determination to retain control of the House of Armani--a move that could prove to be his smartest yet. Shunning pressure to sell out to larger suitors in this age of megamergers, Armani has retained complete control of his empire and, more important, of the cool, minimalist design sensibility that helped...
  • Can't Touch This

    He's Only 12 years old, but check out the delivery. Last week Danny Almonte, a wiry, left-hander from the Dominican Republic who has lived in the United States less than two years and can't speak English, pitched the third perfect game in the history of the Little League World Series, the first in 44 years. His 70mph fastballs carried the Rolando Paulino All-Stars of the Bronx all the way to the finals, where Almonte was ineligible to save them from an 8-2 loss to the Apopka, Fla., team. The "Baby Bombers" can only dream of next year, but for Almonte, the heat, and the hype, are just starting.
  • The Survivor's Story

    Robert Tools Had A Foot In The Grave When He Volunteered To Receive The World's First Fully Implantable Artificial Heart. Now He's Talking About Fishing Again
  • A Shoe Industry's Slow Death

    Shoes mean a lot to the Philippines, and not just because Imelda Marcos once owned 3,000 pairs. In the 1880s, a wealthy landowner in the town of Marikina, a suburb of Manila, took a trip to England and brought back a pair of handsome shoes. But the landowner, Laureano Guevara (better known as Kapitan Moy), didn't wear them. Instead he took the shoes apart and taught himself, and others, how to make shoes. Thus was born the Marikina footwear industry, which has been vital to the Philippine economy for decades. In the mid-1980s, the Philippines was a major shoe exporter to the United States and other countries. In 1997, the country's shoe exports earned nearly $200 million.That's not the case anymore. Today, Marikina still has 600 registered shoemakers--but most are tiny outfits making shoes with hand tools and outdated equipment. That's left them vulnerable to Chinese competition, and now Marikina's industry is dying. The Needs Footwear Co. is one of many Marikina companies that is...
  • Economic Cup: Half Empty, Half Full?

    Can the world be any closer to the cliff of recession? By most indications, prospects have never been bleaker. A dramatic slowdown in Europe. German retail sales dropped almost 2 percent in June. The Confederation of British Industry slashed its growth forecast for British manufacturing. Japan's third recession of the decade, with output dropping at a rate of 3 percent in the second quarter. Massive U.S. job cuts: 19,000 at Lucent Technologies Inc., nearly 11,000 at Hewlett-Packard, 1,200 announced at AOL just last week. Basically EveryCorp U.S.A. Take your pick for worst of the worst.South Korea, the IMF's new golden child after having repaid its $20 billion bailout loans from the 1998 Asia crisis, looks like a ray of sunshine. But Kim Dae Jung's Korea could soon stumble when it comes to the seemingly simple. Exports are plummeting. Debt levels are rising. And Korea's second-quarter GDP growth slowed to 2.7 percent--its lowest since 1986. It's no better in South America. Argentina...
  • For The Doers, Not The Viewers

    When Chicago Attorney Tony McShane needed to escape his harried routine of career, commuting and coaching, he decided to lose himself in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. And then navigate his way out. Hiking uphill and riding down on mountain bikes, McShane and his teammates (two men and a woman) covered nearly 70 miles in 24 hours of nonstop bushwhacking. The event was described as an "adventure race," and McShane's team finished 12th out of 22. But the participants were competing mostly against themselves. "It's a metaphor for my busy life," says McShane, 40. "You're exhausted, but you learn how far you can push yourself. You don't feel fatigued until you stop."Inspired by "reality" television shows stressing survival in the wild, adventure racing is a holiday whose time has come. "We went from 50 races a year to over 300" since 1999, says Troy Farrar, president of the United States Adventure Racing Association. The races attract some hard-core athletes, veterans of triathlons and...
  • Focus On Travel: Back To The Balkans

    The Balkan beaches are back, hotter than ever. Ten years after the wars began and five years since combat raged along the coastline, Western tourists are venturing back to the sublime eastern reaches of the Adriatic Sea. From Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, down the 400-mile Dalmatian coast to Kotor and along the ruggedly beautiful shores of Montenegro, there is hardly a hotel room to be found this August. And if you find one, it probably won't be air-conditioned.Marie Lafayette, a physical therapist from Venice Beach, Calif., found herself part of the rush. She stepped off the ferry last Tuesday on the island of Hvar, famous for its all-night beach discos, to discover with sweaty horror that there was no room at the inns. What to do except flash off an e-mail to friends from the nearest Internet cafe? "All of Italy is here," she typed. "I don't know where I'm going to sleep!" Eventually a local family gave her a bed in a room shared with five others, for $12.50 per person. "There wasn...
  • Mail Call

    Readers offered praise for both Katharine Graham and our July 30 tribute to her. "She was admired by people across the political spectrum," wrote one. "We should strive to live as she did--with dignity, strength, humor and humility." Said another: "She showed that a woman could be successful even while struggling with a lack of self-confidence." Mrs. Graham's stand during the Watergate crisis got high marks: "Because of her courage, The Washington Post was a lighthouse during those dark days." ...
  • I Say, 'Jump,' You Say, 'How High?'

    Three Italian marines have been charged with manslaughter in the deaths of two Army soldiers from an elite Alpinists unit in Kosovo two weeks ago. The overeager Marines allegedly ordered the two to jump ship--from a helicopter hovering at 60 meters during a training exercise. Standard training? A few meters maybe--not nearly 20 stories up. There's nothing like blind obedience. Reminds PERI of the old drill sergeant's dictum: "I say, 'Jump!' You say, 'How high, sir?!' "
  • Travel Briefs

    Step into one of Uzbekistan's teeming bazaars, and things won't look much different from the days of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Yes, there are Nike T shirts and fake Chinese Levi's. But along the ancient Silk Road, in market towns like Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, many merchants offer traditional wares: carpets, scarves, silk and spices. The region, which can be reached by air from Moscow and other European cities, is no stranger to modern trappings. Many of the rugs from Afghanistan, a country torn by more than 20 years of war, show off traditional gorgeous patterns--which turn out, on close inspection, to be woven from pictures of warplanes, helicopters and tanks.The area is known as the Pacific Graveyard: the far west coast of Canada's Vancouver Island. Remote and thinly settled, its fishing and logging industries fading out, the region is famous mostly for fierce winter storms. Now tourism operators in the tiny town of Tofino have found a way to market their most...
  • Check Mates

    The three titans of chess--Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov--will face off in Moscow in December to resolve once and for all who's master of the game's universe. (Oh, and also to pay tribute to their teacher, Mikhail Botvinnik, who turns 90 this year). Forget the various laughable chess federations and titles; this winner will be undisputed. Really? What about IBM's Deep Blue, the supercomputer that beat Kasparov in 1997? Not invited.
  • This Is Not My Beautiful House...

    These are tough times in real estate--even for top economists. Gavyn Davies, chief international economist at Goldman Sachs and deputy chairman of the BBC, received a rather rude surprise when he checked out one of his townhouses in London recently. A crowd of squatters had moved into his $1.4 million Regency digs--and they were perfectly within their rights. Under London property law, squatters can enter and live in an unoccupied residence so long as there's no forced entry, and can't be evicted by force. The leader of the gang, 19-year-old Duncan Gillespie, squeezed in through the window on Aug. 13, and has since enjoyed the spoils of the global economy. Nine bedrooms, a designer garden and a Jacuzzi-style bath. They were finally thrown out last Saturday, but Davies's troubles aren't over. The squatters' court documentation rather stupidly included a map of Davies's other properties in the area. So where do the fun-loving squatters go next? "One of Gavyn Davies's other houses,"...
  • Getting Brazil Back On Track

    If he had followed family tradition, Arminio Fraga Neto might have been peering through a microscope rather than poring over flowcharts. His grandfather served as Brazil's Health minister, and his father was a renowned dermatologist. But Fraga studied economics, at Rio's Catholic University and at Princeton. After stints with Salomon Brothers, Brazil's Central Bank, Columbia University and George Soros Fund Management, he returned to the Central Bank as president in March 1999. Fraga, 44, spoke with NEWSWEEK's Mac Margolis at his office in Rio de Janeiro. ...
  • Macedonia: Dealing With Bad Guys

    If the NATO mission in Macedonia goes down in flames, it might well be due to two men on opposing sides of the ethnic divide. The Albanian, Xhavit Hasani, 50, is a woodcutter from the hills with an elementary-school education, a rude way of speaking and a chip on his shoulder as big as a log. "The Macedonians are even afraid to dream of me," he boasts. Ljube Boskovski, 40, the Macedonian, is a lawyer by education, whose overblown manner sometimes causes even sympathetic listeners to laugh. He no longer sleeps, he likes to say, because he's up all night defending his country.Both are hard-core ethnic nationalists--and evangelists for their cause. For the past two years Hasani has been recruiting young men for the Albanian rebels, walking the highland villages along the border of Kosovo where he's considered a war hero, though he never apparently fired a shot at the Serbs. A convicted peacetime cop-shooter and reputed smuggler, Hasani is a founding father of the National Liberation...
  • The Myth Of The Super-Ceo

    Harry Truman didn't think his successor had the right training to be president. "Poor Ike--it won't be a bit like the Army," he said. "He'll sit there all day saying 'do this, do that,' and nothing will happen." Truman was wrong about Ike. Dwight Eisenhower had led a fractious alliance--you didn't tell Winston Churchill what to do--in a massive, chaotic war. He was used to politics. But Truman's insight could well be applied to another, even more venerated Washington figure: the CEO turned cabinet secretary.A 20-year bull market has convinced us all that CEOs are geniuses, so we watch with astonishment the troubles of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul O'Neill. Here are two highly regarded businessmen, obviously intelligent and well-informed, foundering in their jobs.Actually, we shouldn't be surprised. Rumsfeld and O'Neill are not doing badly despite having been successful CEOs but because of it. The record of senior businessmen in government is one of almost unrelieved disappointment, from...
  • Senator No's Last Stand

    In the last few years, it was possible to think that Jesse Helms had gotten soft in his old age. The senator who sometimes sounded like he wanted to build a Chinese wall around the United States got teary at pictures of starving Rwandan children. Helms actually bonded with Bono, the activist lead singer of U2, and went along to a concert. ("It was so loud I really couldn't understand what he was saying," Helms reported, and it was probably better that way.) He even agreed finally to let Congress pay off its debts to the United Nations, which he scorned. But in the Capitol, even leaders of his own Republican Party knew better than to count on Helms's kindness. He personally held up the nomination of four top-level Treasury aides because he wanted the Bush administration to protect North Carolina's textile workers from a new trade law. Earlier this month George W. Bush became the latest in a long line of presidents, both Republican and Democrat, to bend to the will of "Senator No....
  • Out Of Control

    President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus is Europe's last standing dictator--and proud of it. PERI lets him hoist himself on his own petard:Belarus holds elections on Sept. 9. Will they be rigged? Well, duh. Lukashenko's not about to be ushered out the door like Slobodan Milosevic. As he recently put it: "There will be no Kostunica in Belarus!"
  • Rumble In The Himalayas

    Images of the devastating earthquake that hit Gujarat, India, last January have yet to fade from memory: buildings reduced to rubble, weeping relatives, the occasional dust-and blood-covered survivor miraculously plucked from the wreckage. That magnitude-7.6 quake, with an epicenter near the city of Bhuj, was India's deadliest ever, wiping out more than 20,000 people. Now, a study published last week in the journal Science says Bhuj may be a mere shiver compared with what lies in store for the subcontinent. The Gujarat quake, says the report, distracts attention from the region where the greatest loss of life should be expected: the 2,100-kilometer Himalayan arc, which stretches from Kashmir in the west to Bhutan in the east. This is the site of the greatest continental collision on earth, where the Indian tectonic plate is ramming northward against Eurasia. Its progress is slow--about 2 centimeters per year--but energy has been building up over the centuries. Eventually the rock...
  • Let Europe Do It, Please

    Everyone agrees. If it weren't for the Americans, NATO wouldn't be sending yet another mission to the Balkans. The peace plan crafted between Macedonians and Albanians is the result of intense U.S. diplomatic pressure, coming after months of failed European efforts. And Albanian guerrillas promised to surrender their weapons only if the United States was on the ground to help guarantee the deal. Yet as NATO deployed last week, Americans were conspicuous by their absence. The bulk of the force was British, commanded by a Danish general. Their numbers were bolstered by Greeks, French and Czechs, relative newcomers to NATO. Germans may be there, too, after a tough vote in the Bundestag, prompting one NATO expert to puckishly compare Berlin's reluctance to that of the Americans: "The Germans don't want to do anything because they don't want to kill. The Americans don't want do anything because they don't want to be killed."What's going on? The United States provided the main body of...
  • A Surplus Of Surplus-Fetish

    What we have here is a difference of opinion. Last week the Bush administration announced that, primarily because of the economic slowdown, the budget surplus for this fiscal year--which ends in five weeks; Congress has passed none of the 13 appropriations bills for this year--would be $158 billion rather than the $281 billion projected four months ago. Mitch Daniels, Bush's budget director, said not to worry: "The nation is awash in money and is going to be." But Kent Conrad, Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said, "This is fiscal mismanagement big time."It is axiomatic that everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts, so what are the pertinent facts? Here are three. The economic slowdown began around June 2000. That the budget is still in surplus is not only remarkable, it is probably unwise. And the bipartisan fetish (Oxford English Dictionary: "something irrationally reverenced") about "preserving" the Social Security surplus is quite new...