News

  • The Creation Equation

    Pity the cosmologists. These wizards of science come to work each day and think about how the universe began, why it is what it is, and what exists beyond the mere 6 trillion-trillion-mile stretch that we can see with our most powerful telescopes. They have no laboratories--what relevant experiment could they possibly do? Creation being an event of the distant past, cosmologists are in a sense historians, except they have no witnesses, no legends, not even fossils to comb for clues. All they have (might have) are the known laws of physics. ...
  • Undervotes?

    As far back as PERI can recall, one thing has always predicted elections correctly: pro-candidate underwear sales. In the run-up to Britain's June 7 general election, women's underpants supporting William Hague have been outselling the Tony Blair variety by 10 to 1 at London bookstore Politico's. "I Love William Hague" seems to be the motto of the moment in Britain. But only when it comes to underwear: Blair retains a hearty 17 percent lead in the polls. Hey, every good streak has to end sometime. Will it be Blair's? Or the underwear's?
  • The Land Of Baz

    Inside the house of Iona, Baz Luhrmann's magnificent estate on a Sydney hill, the Australian director paces in a huge room as night falls, sorting out a dance routine as the '70s anthem "Children of the Revolution" blares from a boom box. A family Christmas party is about to start downstairs, yet Luhrmann keeps working. "She could shimmy this way," says Luhrmann as choreographer John O'Connell looks on. As Luhrmann plots this sequence--a dance that will be performed by a tiny, animated fairy in his spectacular new film "Moulin Rouge"--he clutches a glass of shiraz and sings along with the T. Rex song. Luhrmann shakes his hips, does a small leap, and exclaims, "And then all the bohemians are sucked into the underworld of the Moulin Rouge!" ...
  • Cyberscope

    This Really Paints by NumbersSurf Reportwww.justatip.com:iskip.com:dailycandy.com:missabigail.com:performance.toast.net:RETAILAnother Way to Polish the AppleACCESSORIESHey, You Need to Get a Light
  • The Intern Who Went Missing

    Chandra Levy was going home. Late last month the bubbly, curly-haired 24-year-old from Modesto, Calif., finished her final day as a Washington intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She packed her bags, canceled her health-club membership and e-mailed her mother to say that she'd gotten plane tickets and would arrive home that weekend. Then she simply disappeared. When police searched her apartment, they found her clothes neatly folded in her suitcase, and her mobile phone, laptop computer and credit cards. ...
  • Bylines

    Ozzie and Harriet, You Have CompanyNot Your Daddy's CaddyThe Buzz on Baz
  • Asia's Roaming Bulls

    Pssst, here's a secret: the "wireless superhighway" is here. For years the world's big telecom companies have been racing to offer the first high-speed third-generation (3G) mobile-phone service. Now the race is over--and until recently not even the winner recognized the achievement. Last October South Korea's SK Telecom unveiled an upgraded digital wireless network that it had described as an incremental step between second- and third-generation technology, or 2.5G. The South Korean government, which has nurtured leading industries with paternal pride, concurred with that technical assessment. Around the same time, it sold both SK Telecom and KT Freetel, the wireless unit of state-owned Korea Telecom, licenses to build real 3G networks, for $1 billion each. ...
  • Brazil's New Drug Habit

    Complexo da Mare, sprawling over the flatlands behind Rio's sparkling Guanabara Bay, has long been a desolate place. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of poor people have flocked to the slum in search of work and a better life. Few found either and, packed into shanties, many of the most desperate residents turned to crime to make a living. But in the past two years, Mare and other favelas--collectively home to 17 percent of Rio's citizens--have become killing fields. Teenagers armed with AK-47s, AR-15s, Walthers, Uzis, hand grenades, even rocket launchers, shoot it out night after night, destroying homes and shops and killing civilians. What has made a tough neighborhood almost maniacally violent? ...
  • Is This The Hour Of Nuclear Power?

    Here comes George W. Bush with a nuclear plan to rescue the United States from its current energy crisis. Leaning away from the conservationist agenda of the past, his strategy includes expanding existing power plants and even building new ones--something the United States has not done since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. ...
  • Lost In A Mobile Maze

    The tiny Isle Of Man in the Irish Sea is not known as a vanguard of technology, but this month it was to serve as the test bed for the highly acclaimed third-generation mobile phones. A subsidiary of British Telecom (BT), the British phone company, cobbled together a network and prepared to hand out prototype mobile handsets to about 200 volunteers. But problems arose in the software that keeps track of each call as it moves from one tower's range to another's. BT postponed the trial until late summer, after a similar delay announced a few weeks earlier by NTT DoCoMo in Japan. ...
  • A Mayor's Ugly Past

    Mayor Charlie Robertson of York, Pa., should have been a shoo-in this fall for a third term. For the past decade, York has cheerfully prospered under his leadership, and the town of rolling green hills and integrated neighborhoods is still undergoing a $100 million building boom. But York hasn't always been so placid, and nobody knows that better than Robertson. Last week, just as the mayor was celebrating a tight Democratic primary victory, police put him in handcuffs. Prosecutors charged Robertson, a town cop in 1969, with murder for allegedly supplying white gang members with bullets, urging one to "kill as many n----rs as you can," and fomenting a race riot. "It sickens me to my stomach," Robertson said of the charges in an interview with NEWSWEEK. Sitting in his oak-paneled office, with the Ten Commandments and a picture of his adopted Cambodian son hanging behind him, the bachelor mayor insisted: "I'm not going to resign; I am innocent." ...
  • It's All The Rage

    Can't you just get mad anymore? It's not just road rage and air rage any longer; the media race to rage-ify every angry incident it can. Take "yard rage," of which an Illinois man was recently accused. Rage has become the buzzword of our time. A survey: The nonfatal shooting was "an example of PATIENT RAGE, which health care professionals... face too often." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)"A surfer inflicted SURF RAGE on himself. After missing a big wave... he punched himself in the head for 30 seconds." (The Vancouver Sun)"In a case of apparent SIDEWALK RAGE, Hall, 35, and McDonough, 30, were arrested... for allegedly attacking a neighbor because he greeted McDonough while walking a dog." (Record, Bergen, New Jersey)"How much money has been spent... replacing perfectly functioning hardware which has suffered at the hands of someone with PC RAGE?" (Birmingham Post, U.K.)
  • Tourism: God Didn't Give France Everything

    The United States attracted 50.9 million foreign visitors last year. but it's still second to France, with its highbrow cultural offerings. But who says highbrow's better? peri offers a biased--nay, jingoistic--snapshot of what visitors rack up air miles to see: ...
  • Heartsick America

    We've just had our heart checked, and the news isn't good. According to a federal report released last week, some 36 million Americans should now be taking drugs to lower their cholesterol. That's nearly three times the 13 million who qualified for treatment under the government's previous guidelines. Why the change? Not because we're actually sicker than before, says Dr. Claude Lenfant of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, but because the benefits of cholesterol reduction are so clear. "We can now say with certainty that lowering a high blood cholesterol level dramatically reduces a person's risk for coronary heart disease," Lenfant declared last week. ...
  • Is It Healthy For The Kids?

    Cassie DenHaese's mother's divorce worked out so well for her, Cassie is already thinking about her own, in case she ever needs one. DenHaese, now 15, was 11/2 when her father left, and she's seen him only twice since. "The cons? I don't think there really are any," she says. A man her mother dated for four years "is still like a father to me," even though her mother has a new boyfriend; group activities with Parents Without Partners stood in for an extended family. Cassie's mother, Becky Medicus--a staff training officer for the U.S. Army Reserves--found that single parenthood worked better than the alternative: "I didn't have to worry about whether my husband agreed. I made the rules, and the rules stood." Compared with the trauma of her teenage friends whose parents are going through their first divorces, DenHaese thinks she's got the better deal: even though she believes "very firmly in the whole marriage-family thing... if I was going to have a divorce, I'd have it when my kids...
  • Philippines:'People Power' Turns Sour

    As the returns were counted last week in the first elections since she came to power four months ago, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo faced continued unrest and questions about her ability to govern. Arroyo's handling of protesters who stormed her palace on May 1 and her recent arrest of opposition leaders only served to fuel debate about her legitimacy. Sitting in Malacanang Palace--where she lived as a child when her father was president--the 54-year-old Arroyo addressed these and other issues in an interview with NEWSWEEK's Lally Weymouth: ...
  • Freedom For Film

    Dozens of young clerics wearing black and white turbans fill the rows of a small movie theater in the Iranian holy city of Qom. They have gathered for a special screening of "Under the Moonlight," the first independent Iranian film about the clergy. "We want to see it for ourselves," says 25-year-old Akbar Esmaili, who dreams of becoming a screenwriter himself someday. Nobody crunches birdseed, the Iranian equivalent of popcorn. Before the lights dim, a cleric recites verses from the Quran, and the audience praises God, the prophet Muhammad and his descendants. But once the movie starts, the mood grows decidedly less solemn. The story, about a young student who shares his doubts about becoming a cleric with a range of religious men, elicits shrieks of knowing laughter from the audience. When the film ends, there is silence. Then someone begins to clap. One by one, the other clerics join him, clapping and cheering. "I am so jealous now," says Esmaili. "I think the film was quite...
  • Fixing Cadillac

    A few years ago, Ron Zarrella, a rising star at Bausch & Lomb, decided to reward himself with an expensive new car. He took several models out for a test drive, including a Cadillac Seville. But it lacked a certain panache and Zarrella instead went with a BMW 850. "I like performance cars and the BMW was just a bit better," he says. Today, Zarrella drives Cadillacs. He doesn't have a choice. He is now president of General Motors North America, maker of Cadillac. His assignment? Persuading fellow baby boomers to ditch their Beemers and Benzes and go home with a Caddy instead. "It's a huge job," he admits, "but we need to make Cadillac cool again." ...
  • Newsmakers

    Is That Gwyneth in There?too coolNot So 'Charmed'No Wonder They're Called the Golden YearsThe Last Laugh
  • The Violence Spirals To A Bloodier Level

    The guard at the entrance to the shopping mall in Netanya thought the young Palestinian looked suspicious. As the man approached the metal detector, "I locked eyes with him," the guard, Lior Kamisa, said afterward. "His eyes were frozen. He showed no emotion." Moments later, the Palestinian slipped his hand inside his baggy blue jacket and blew himself up. Six Israelis died with him in last week's suicide bombing attack, one of the worst acts of terror since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took power last February. ...
  • The Day I Got Napsterized

    As a spectator, I found it easy to be sanguine about the raging Internet intellectual-property debates. I'd tempered my ecstasy during the heady exultations of the "information wants to be free"-bies, and kept my emotional powder dry as apocalyptic content owners warned that wanton file-sharing would mean the death of creativity. Basically, my take was that the Net had simply opened up a powerful mode of distribution, most fully realized in the Napsterlike peer-to-peer (P2P) model, where everybody could help spread the word (and the music). Artists and merchants alike would eventually figure out how to reap bucks from that bounty, and until then I'd sit back and enjoy the fun as Metallica and Courtney Love duked it out. ...
  • At The Heart Of The Matter

    The most dangerous flashpoint in the Middle East sits at the edge of a chain-link fence just beyond the southern Lebanese village of Kfar Shuba. A chill wind whistles over rocky hills covered with pale grass and speckled with cypress trees. DANGER, DEATH, MINEFIELD warn white signs. From a hilltop observation post just over the fence, Israeli soldiers closely follow the movements of a Land Cruiser as it rumbles toward the border. "Last week someone lingered here too long and they took a shot at his car," warns Khaled Khadry, 25, a farmer who lives in Kfar Shuba. Khadry gestures to an abandoned shack beside the fence that served as a base for Hizbullah guerrillas--until the group kidnapped three Israeli soldiers in a daring operation last November. "We don't see the fighters in the open anymore," Khadry says. "But Hizbullah is everywhere." ...
  • Periscope

    AMERICA ABROAD Missile Defense: 'Serious Questions' Earlier this month, top Bush officials fanned out to capitals from London to Beijing to sell the president's missile-defense program. Last week they slipped back into Washington to hold "classified only" briefings for Congress. They had good reason to avoid wider scrutiny. Even key U.S. allies the system is meant to protect, such as Germany and Japan, were skeptical. Many doubted the imminent threat from "rogue" states or that MD would remedy it. Russia, whose support Bush is actively courting, was completely unconvinced. Said one Western diplomat: "[MD] is a crock." ...
  • The Other Bubble

    This is the story of the other Internet bubble. Not the dot-com crash, but the potentially more devastating collapse of the race to roll out third-generation, or 3G, mobile phones in Europe. What distinguishes 3G mania is the size of its victims and their ambitions: they are not little start-ups, but the world's major phone companies and manufacturers. They are not building pets and toys dot-coms, but a communications channel still arguably as crucial to this century as roads and railways were to the last. And they were egged on to spend more than they could afford not only by California venture capitalists, but, wittingly or not, by the supposedly responsible states of Europe. This was a bubble built on greed--and government policy. ...
  • The Character Of Our Campuses

    It's commencement season in America, and for the next week the country's youth are in for a lot of advice on life after college. I wonder if they need it. College kids today are so industrious, goal-oriented and responsible that it is amazing and, well, a little bit frightening. I remember talking to a junior at my old college last year and asking him what he thought he might do when he graduated. His reply: "I'm trying to decide between investment banking with a technology focus or management consulting that also involves venture capital." He had just turned 20. ...
  • Cyberscope

    When a fishing trawler accidentally cut through the main fiber-optic cable linking China to the United States last February, Billy Tam was ready. His "boutique" data center, iLink Holdings, was one of the few to keep its clients clicking with uninterrupted Internet service. As elsewhere in the world, the dot-com crash has hammered Asia's big data centers--the high-tech outsourcers that host Web servers and data communications for corporate customers. Riding the global boom, many of these centers built themselves up on debt. The frenzy was particular intense in Hong Kong and Singapore, home to many of Asia's biggest data centers, among them iAsiaWorks and iAdvantage. Developers cleared out whole skyscrapers to accommodate the sprawling infrastructure of the new Internet economy. But now a bleak new day is upon them, characterized by falling demand for their services--and not enough customers to pay the bills. ...
  • Random Access Online: Wa's Up?

    A fellow countryman with experience here cannily laid out the road map for the two-day Shonan Experts' Live-In Seminar on "Emerging Electronic Communities: Intellectual Property Rights, Privacy Rights and Control of Contents," in which I'd be one of the (shudder) "experts." "First there will be the presentation by the Americans," he said. "Then there will be some polite rumblings in response to what the Americans said. At night, everyone will drink some alcohol and say something closer to what they actually think. And the final day, they'll make sure everything closes with a consensus." Which happened to be exactly the way things unfolded. ...
  • Political Lives: Hell Week

    This was supposed to be the best week of George W. Bush's young presidency. Instead, it's turned into the worst. Yes, he's getting his $1.35 trillion tax cut, the centerpiece of his agenda, but, on other matters, he suddenly looks like a rookie whose naivete and inattention led to avoidable mistakes. In the last few days he's gotten hammered for not paying enough attention to: the symbolism of what was going on at Dick Cheney's house; the worsening bloodbath in the Middle East, and, of course, diplomatic relations with a senator from Vermont. ...
  • Arts Extra: Talking Through Tidiness

    He's neat. She's messy. Soon they're at each other's throats. Can this marriage be saved? Yes, but the chances are vastly increased if the couple tackles this common problem early on, before resentment mounts and causes irreparable damage to the relationship. ...

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