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  • Giuliani's Loyalty Problem

    The posture of Rudy's inner circle (made up of the Yes-Rudys) is 'to hell with the critics! He's our guy!'
  • We’re Here, And We’re Also Queer

    If you drew up a list of gay-friendly states, Alabama, which still treats homosexual conduct as a crime, and Utah, home of a large, conservative Mormon community, probably wouldn't be near the top. But according to a new UCLA Law School study, the gay population is booming in both places. In the past 17 years, Utah's gay population has shot from the 38th largest in the country to 14th. Birmingham, Ala., meanwhile, is now home to all-night gay bars and pride parades; the South's gay tally has outpaced any other region. "What many of the bigger cities like New York were experiencing during the late '60s and '70s is happening here now, but quietly," says Danny Upton, the head of Equality Alabama.Growing acceptance of homosexuality is a big factor, says Gary Gates, the study's author, but so is money. Gay and lesbian travel accounts for $55 billion of the U.S. market, according to a survey last year, and the bigger the community, the more gay tourists will flock. That's why travel...
  • Ending the Era of the Starchitect

    For the last decade, American museums have been on a building binge. The "Bilbao effect"—the urgent desire to replicate the success of Frank Gehry's 1997 Guggenheim Museum in Spain—sent museum bigwigs scurrying to erect daring designs bearing the stamp of a big-name architect. But there are signs that the era of "starchitecture" is waning. The edgy old guard is giving way to a new generation of younger global architects—and the idea of what's hot is cooling down, as a more understated sensibility is emerging. In the last two months, two beautifully minimalist museums have opened: the Grand Rapids Art Museum designed by the Thai-born, Los Angeles-based Kulapat Yantrasast, 38; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver by David Adjaye, 41, an acclaimed Tanzanian-born architect based in London. And in New York, the most anticipated design project is the New Museum, a contemporary-art institution, which will open its quietly stunning new home on Dec. 1.Designed by the Tokyo firm SANAA...
  • Fine Dining In Sin City

    In the first Michelin Guide covering Las Vegas restaurants, the only three-star establishment is Joel Robuchon's eponymous eatery at the MGM Grand, which reviewers called "perfection on a plate." It's currently one of 58 restaurants worldwide with a three-star Michelin rating (and this week, when the Tokyo guide comes out, Robuchon's restaurant there may become No. 59). But how did the celebrated French chef end up in Las Vegas, the capital of cheap buffets? NEWSWEEK'S Tara Weingarten spoke with Robuchon about his new digs. ...
  • In Trouble For Show And Tell

    For Demarcus Blackwell, having the "sex talk" with his 15-year-old son was "kind of embarrassing." But that was nothing compared with the idea of explaining sexual harassment to his preschooler. "He doesn't have the slightest clue about sex anything," says Blackwell, of Waco, Texas, whose 4-year-old son Christopher was suspended last year for sexual harassment when a female school aide reported that the child buried his face in her chest when she hugged him. "How do you explain what's a better kind of hug?"Blackwell is one of a number of parents whose kindergartners and first graders are being suspended, often for days at a time, for sexual misconduct based on behavior like hugging, poking and pinching classmates or school staff. In Ohio, 74 first graders were suspended for "unwelcome sexual conduct" last year, up from 52 in 2005. In Virginia, at least 13 kindergartners have been suspended in each of the last three years for "sexual touching." Massachusetts and Maryland also note...
  • Good Question! I’m Glad I Asked You to Ask Me That.

    Interviewing Marie Osmond days after her father's death, Larry King startles her with a "gotcha" question about her teenage son's drug issues. You got the scoop, now get some class. Score: 22During a stop at Grinnell College, Sen. Hillary Clinton answers a softball question from an audience member planted by her campaign. How very FEMA of you, Senator. Score: 62Sen. John McCain replaces unlikely Sox fan Rudy Giuliani atop the index for letting a booster get away with calling Hillary a "b–––h." His reply: "Excellent question." Actually, it's not. Score: 95
  • Interpol Raises The Stakes

    With little fanfare, tension between Iran and the Bush administration escalated earlier this month when Interpol, the world police organization, voted to issue "red notices" for the arrest of three Iranian government officials, including Deputy Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. The three men have been charged in Argentina with conspiring alongside notorious Hizbullah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh to blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in July 1994— an attack that killed 85 people. Iranian delegates challenged the vote by Interpol's General Assembly, labeling it a "Zionist plot." Nevertheless, it was a key victory for the United States and Argentina. As a result, customs and border officials around the world will be notified that the Iranians are wanted on terrorism charges. "These people know that if they leave Iran, they run the risk of being arrested," said Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble, who called the action "probably the most contested red-notice dispute in...
  • Trouble On The Takeoff

    Shortly after 9/11, the White House decided that the president needed a new helicopter. The current Marine One fleet was more than 30 years old and needed upgrades to its in-flight protection and communications gear. So when a contract for a new fleet was announced in January 2005, the Pentagon flagged it a top-priority rush project. But three years later, two industry sources involved with the project who did not want to be named because of its sensitivity, say that major tinkering with Lockheed Martin's winning design has left the new bird, the VH-71, some 2,000 pounds overweight. Efforts to fix the problem have required such a rethinking of its structure that, in the words of one source, "we're essentially designing a new helicopter."What went wrong? Lockheed won the bid by proposing changes to an existing model that has been flying the pope and NATO troops around Europe. But the Navy's goal was to build a flying Oval Office with communications rivaling those in Air Force One,...
  • How DC Is Nixing a Cancer Cure

    What if they found a cure for a cancer that afflicts half a million people, but a combination of stupid bureaucrats and greedy doctors kept patients from getting it?It's the kind of scenario that seems like the province of conspiracy theorists or alternative-medicine wackos—but is actually happening right now with a proven treatment for certain common types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the sixth-most frequently occurring cancer in the United States.I'm a bit biased on this one, though the treatment in question is not yet relevant to the rare subtype of lymphoma (mantle cell lymphoma) that I had in 2004. But even if I weren't in the lymphoma family, I would still be outraged by this situation. You can count the number of truly successful cancer treatments on one hand, and one of them is about to disappear. If there's any justice, heads will roll at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) over it. At a minimum, officials there should be facing some hellacious congressional...
  • Injection of Reflection

    There's wide support for a death penalty, but those who carry it out are increasingly uncomfortable.
  • So Happy Together

    Bill archenemy Richard Mellon Scaife now has 'admiration' for him. Huh?
  • How Much for This Old House?

    Until a few years ago, Chuck Teller knew nothing about professional baseball. But in 2004 he joined a fantasy league, and today he knows every National League player. One evening, while he and a friend were obsessing over potential trades, they had a revelation: wouldn't it be great, they mused, if there was a fantasy game that allowed real-estate fanatics to find a similar fix—and in the process, educate themselves about the market?The result of that idea is Realius, a San Francisco Bay Area start-up that this week will start rolling out a series of online real-estate fantasy games. In Price Me Now, users can guess the asking prices of homes for sale, then see their accuracy ranking. Major League Investor lets them assemble property portfolios to make imaginary profits. And Fantasy Flip urges housing addicts to upload photos of their own homes and solicit guesses of how much an improvement will increase their value.With home prices slumping nationally, it seems an odd time to roll...
  • Giving It Everything They’ve Got

    During the U.S. Men's Olympic marathon trials Nov. 3, runner Ryan Shay, who had been diagnosed as a child with an enlarged heart, died of cardiac arrest. The next day, new mother Paula Radcliffe, who had trained throughout her pregnancy, won the New York City Marathon. The exact cause of Shay's death is still unknown, and Radcliffe's daughter is fine, but both are cases of athletes pushing themselves to daring extremes. (Teammates say Shay would run on a treadmill until he collapsed.) In "The Agony of Victory," Steve Friedman writes about this tendency and what he calls the "dark nights of the soul of elite athletes." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jennie Yabroff. ...
  • Kerry Gets Tough. And Just in the Nick of Time.

    To avoid racist rants in the future, bounty hunter Duane (Dog) Chapman tells Larry King he needs to work on his "vocabulary." Maybe he should work on not talking for a while. Score: 11If he ever runs for president again, John Kerry says he won't get "Swift Boated" once more: he's put together a "documented portfolio" in his defense. The old Kerry magic is back! Score: 41Panderfest '08 rolls on: Yankee fan Rudy Giuliani backs the Sox, then accepts an endorsement from Pat Robertson, who insulted Rudy's city by blaming 9/11 on gays, feminists and the ACLU. Score: 95
  • Euro Euro Bill, Y’all

    Hip-Hop culture has long glorified the almighty dollar. But the greenback has fallen on such hard times—it hit a new low this month against several foreign currencies—that even rap moguls are turning on it. In the video for his new song "Blue Magic" (off an album called "American Gangster," no less), Jay-Z can be seen flashing stacks of euros. On the official Web site for Wu-Tang Clan, the New York rappers who coined the phrase "dolla dolla bill, y'all," the group lists its new CD price in euros only. And reports flew last week that supermodel Gisele B?ndchen is insisting on being paid in euros, not dollars, though her sister, also her manager, has denied it. (Jay-Z and Wu-Tang did not respond to requests for comment.) "When pop culture starts doing what the most sophisticated financiers are doing, it makes you think we might be really screwed," says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of a New York investment firm. New euro worship could spark what market pundits call the "point of...
  • An Uneasy Race to Profit

    When biologist James Watson suggested that Africans are less intelligent than Europeans, he sparked an international race row that forced him into a hasty retirement. But the idea behind his comments—that genetic differences exist between people of different ethnicities—is the basis of a growing and controversial advertising model that strategists say makes up a $2 trillion market. Much of the money is tied to skin-care supplies, such as Rx for Brown Skin, a line that debuted this fall at Sephora and has abandoned subtlety to market along racial lines. The prescription drug BiDil has emerged as the first FDA approved treatment for heart disease only in African-Americans, and GenSpec is the first "genetically specific" multivitamin for blacks, whites and Hispanics. Nike, meanwhile, has just unveiled the first ethnically focused sneaker, the Air Native, a cross-trainer distributed only on reservations and designed to fit Native Americans, who, the company says, tend to have wider-than...
  • No Reversing This Curse

    Conspicuously absent from the 2008 race is Bob Shrum, the ?ber-consultant who worked on eight presidential campaigns before retiring to Cape Cod, Mass. But across the Atlantic, Shrum, 64, is still quietly plying his trade for his close friend, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Since Brown's ascension, Shrum has been working, unpaid, as a speechwriter and strategist and sees the P.M. "once or twice a week"—a level of access comparable to that of a senior cabinet member.Yet Brown's staff downplays Shrum's role, pointing out that he's only one of several key political advisers. Their fear is that exposing it will spotlight an unwelcome American influence over British politics and the return of "spin" to 10 Downing Street. Some prominent Labour Party figures are also grumbling over what has become known in the United States as the "Shrum curse": none of his clients ever made it to the White House. "The man is a klutz," says one of Tony Blair's closest former advisers, who asked for...
  • Lost in the Cornfields

    Is John Edwards in trouble in Iowa? Peg Dunbar thinks so. She signed up as a county chair for Edwards in the northeastern town of Waverly earlier this year, after backing the former senator's campaign in 2004. Now she has changed her mind and switched to Hillary Clinton. "John Edwards has been in Iowa for four and a half years and he's in third place," she says. "He should be in first place. Granted, it's very, very close. But I don't see him going anywhere and I don't go with a loser."Dunbar is one of four county chairs—essential figures in any Iowa campaign—who have backed out since being identified as Edwards chairs in a June press release. Ernie Schiller of Lee County says he's now undecided, Frank Best of Louisa County has switched to Obama and Jody Ewing is supporting Bill Richardson.Iowa voters are notoriously fickle and pick their candidates late in the game. But county chairs are not just any voters. They are the key grass-roots figures who help deliver votes on caucus...
  • A Radical Cleric Gets Religion

    It wasn't so long ago that U.S. commanders considered Moqtada al-Sadr to be the greatest threat to stability in Iraq. Now the Shiite firebrand's stock among the Americans may be rising. Since declaring a ceasefire for his Mahdi Army militia last August, Sadr has effectively disappeared from public life, designating five trusted aides to speak on his behalf. NEWSWEEK has learned that some of those deputies have been secretly meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, to discuss cooperation on improving security, according to two sources who declined to be identified because of the subject's sensitivity. The general's spokesman, Col. Steven Boylan, qualified that assertion, explaining that while Petraeus has not met with Sadr, "the command has indeed had direct engagements with some of his people within the [Sadr] organization … to assist with reconciliation efforts." Boylan also says the military "applauded" Sadr's ceasefire.U.S. commanders say that the Mahdi...
  • Official in digital TV shift resigns

    The Bush administration official who heads the agency charged with ensuring the smooth transition of the television industry to digital broadcasting is leaving that post.John Kneuer was named administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in May 2006 by President Bush. Kneuer will resign this month to pursue new opportunities, agency spokesman Todd Sedmak said Friday.Kneuer's resignation as the president's top telecommunications adviser comes amid considerable concern on Capitol Hill over the manner in which the government is handling the conversion by television broadcasters from analog to digital broadcasting.On Feb. 18, 2009, tens of millions of televisions that are not equipped to receive digital signals will no longer be able to receive programming. Congress committed $1.5 billion for viewers to spend on converter boxes that will translate digital signals for older televisions, but only $5 million of the total was earmarked for consumer...
  • The reruns must go on in late-night

    As the TV writers strike enters its second week, viewers can expect to find more reruns in late night._ "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" plan to air reruns for the entire week of Nov. 12-16, CBS announced Friday._ "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" will continue with repeats all week on Comedy Central._ NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" each will air a rerun Monday. The network didn't disclose its plans for the remainder of the week._ ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" will air a rerun Monday. ABC also did not give further details.
  • N.J. to vote on abolishing death penalty

    Lawmakers in New Jersey, which hasn't executed anyone in 44 years, will decide within two months whether to wipe the death penalty off the books, legislative leaders said Friday.If approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a death penalty opponent, the move would make New Jersey the first state to abolish capital punishment since the Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976."The time has come," Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr. said after a breakfast meeting in his office with Sister Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun who wrote "Dead Man Walking.""This is such a special moment," said Prejean, whose book about serving as a spiritual adviser to death row inmates was made into an Oscar-winning movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. "New Jersey is going to be a beacon on the hill."The Assembly will vote Dec. 13 on whether to reduce the state's most severe punishment to life in prison without parole, Roberts said. Jennifer Sciortino, a spokeswoman for Senate President...
  • AG Mukasey inherits troubled department

    Michael Mukasey, to be sworn in Friday as the nation's 81st attorney general, inherits a Justice Department widely seen as struggling to restore its credibility with more than a dozen vacant leadership jobs and time running out to make many changes.Mukasey was headed from New York to Washington to take the oath of office in a private Justice Department afternoon ceremony, followed by meetings and briefings with senior advisers.The retired federal judge has 14 months to turn around the demoralized department and its 110,000 employees after almost a year of scandal that forced the resignation of his predecessor and cast doubt on the government's ability to prosecute cases fairly."He will get to work immediately," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.Andrew Kent, a constitutional law professor at Fordham Law School in the Bronx, said it's an open question as to how much Mukasey can get done."He seems like an honorable and smart and upright guy," Kent said. "But it just seems...
  • Europe storm kicks up surging waters

    A powerful storm unleashed tidal surges and ferocious winds that prompted hundreds to evacuate in Britain, but left countries along the North Sea coast largely unscathed.Early Friday, waves up to 20 feet high rolled up against sea defenses in Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Britain, about 120 miles northeast of London on the North Sea coast. But the peak of the predicted surge passed without causing any major damage."It didn't turn out as bad as we thought," said Jill Bird, 47, a hotel cook from Great Yarmouth, about 135 miles northeast of London. "We were very worried because this was the biggest surge since 1953, when several hundred people died. So we feel very, very lucky this morning."By midmorning, police were allowing people to return to homes in Britain's low-lying areas."It was a pretty close shave," British Environment Agency spokesman Jo Giacomelli said. "It was still very, very high tides indeed."Britain closed the Thames River barrier, downstream from London, as a...
  • New AG Mukasey to take over at Justice

    Michael Mukasey, to be sworn in Friday as the nation's 81st attorney general, inherits a Justice Department widely seen as struggling to restore its credibility with more than a dozen vacant leadership jobs and time running out to make many changes.Mukasey was headed from New York to Washington to take the oath of office in a private Justice Department afternoon ceremony, followed by meetings and briefings with senior advisers.The retired federal judge has 14 months to turn around the demoralized department and its 110,000 employees after almost a year of scandal that forced the resignation of his predecessor and cast doubt on the government's ability to prosecute cases fairly."He will get to work immediately," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.Andrew Kent, a constitutional law professor at Fordham Law School in the Bronx, said it's an open question as to how much Mukasey can get done."He seems like an honorable and smart and upright guy," Kent said. "But it just seems...
  • Immigrants ripped off by phone cards

    They can be seen hanging behind the counter at the mini-mart, those brightly colored phone cards for calling Latin America, Africa and Asia. Often, they are the only reliable way for immigrants to stay in touch with their families.But many buyers of these cards are being ripped off to the tune of millions of dollars a year.Some cards fail to deliver the promised minutes. Others tack on confusing fees that may not be listed in the microscopic print on the back of the card. Still others round up each call to the nearest three-minute mark."Sometimes they give you all the minutes. Sometimes they don't. Then you have to switch to a new card," said Augusto Revolorio, a Miami Beach grocery stocker. He buys the $2 or $5 cards regularly to call his mother and four brothers in Guatemala. "It costs me more to complain on the phone and be late for work, so I just rip up the card and buy a new one."A 2004 study led by University of Georgia economics professor emeritus Julia Marlowe found that...
  • Will Brownback's Backing Help McCain?

    Just three weeks after he dropped his bid for the White House, Sam Brownback endorsed John McCain for the GOP presidential nomination today—a move that could prove pivotal in the Arizona senator's bid to reclaim momentum in the campaign.The move comes on the heels of two other prominent endorsements in the race by social conservatives this week. On Tuesday, Moral Majority co-founder Paul Weyrich threw his support behind Mitt Romney. And this morning Rudy Giuliani announced that he had won the support of televangelist Pat Robertson, a huge get for the mayor, who has struggled to win support among social conservatives.While each endorsement is no doubt a plus to the candidate who won it, it's clear that the values-voter movement, which was unified behind George W. Bush, is now splintering in spite of months of efforts to agree on one GOP candidate heading into 2008. And with the social conservative voting bloc up for grabs, the fight for endorsements is getting fiercer—particularly as...
  • Pakistan: Crackdown Continues

    Musharraf's emergency arrests are targeting lawyers and judges. But is the military really willing to face down middle-class protesters on the streets?
  • Could Bloomberg be President?

    NEWSWEEK Editor Jon Meacham joined us on Friday, Nov. 9 for an hour-long discussion on what Bloomberg's childhood past can tell us about his political future.