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  • Wind Energy: Farmers vs. Citiots

    For cash-strapped farmers with plenty of open land, wind-energy turbines offer a sorely needed windfall. But "not in my backyard" clashes are arising throughout the East and mid-Atlantic regions, pitting local farmers against "citiots"—people who "buy a second home and affect community decisions by being there two days a week," says Frank Masaino, spokesman for a mid-Atlantic coalition of wind developers. Citiots say they're just protecting the unspoiled idyll that they paid for. Louis Freedman, a public-policy consultant in Washington, D.C., opposes a project near his second home in Virginia because the land is "sacred" and more valuable than the energy savings. To him, perhaps. For farmers, one wind turbine can rake in about $5,000 a year in rent, compared with $300 for corn or soybean farming. "These people can't understand that they're living in the middle of my business," says Steven Schwoerer, a dairy farmer from Normal, Ill., whose effort to put a wind farm on his private...
  • The Onion's View of the World Atlas

    I love maps. They're useful. They're pretty. And quite often, they're free. I love all kinds of maps—old, new, Mercator, treasure, you name it. And after poring over The Onion’s latest parody, "Our Dumb World: Atlas of the Planet Earth," I've decided that I like funny maps best of all.The Onion's map of the United Kingdom, for example, shows the burial site of Mother Goose, a literature mine and the world's grayest building. Ukraine's includes the location of a "headless-doll factory." Like any regular atlas, "Our Dumb World" includes lots of facts, or "facts." Wales is the birthplace of the "oldest, longest, least pronounceable language in the world. When spoken, it sounds like a beautiful song, but when written, it looks like the alphabet just vomited."This is the best parody since the National Lampoon published its phony newspaper, "The Dacron Republican-Democrat," in 1978. But The Onion's atlas is not merely parody. Coupling rage with humor, it transcends its own silliness with...
  • Keepsakes From Loved Ones Ashes

    For nine years, Patty Gorman-Bishop kept her mother's ashes in a drawer, unsure how to display them. She wanted something evocative of her mother and didn't want a traditional urn. Then she discovered Art From Ashes, a Web company that incorporates a teaspoon of pet or human "cremains" into luminous artwork. Bishop ordered a cobalt blue paperweight, which catches the sunlight on her windowsill. "It's vibrant," she says. "It matches my mother's personality."As cremation becomes a more popular funeral option, families are searching for personalized ways to remember their loved ones—and online businesses are emerging to meet that demand. Cremated remains can be used in almost anything now: in hand-blown glass ornaments, as Art From Ashes provides; in diamonds, offered by a company called Life Gem, or even in colorful coral reefs, à la Eternal Reefs. Prestige Memorials sells oil paintings containing flecks of ash, starting at about $800. For one grieving husband whose wife was a "Wizard...
  • Mariane Pearl on Optimism

    Mariane Pearl, the wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, resolved to hold onto her sense of hope in the aftermath of her husband's murder at the hands of terrorists in 2002. She wrote a stirring memoir, "A Mighty Heart," later made into a film starring Angelina Jolie, and now she's back with "In Search of Hope." It features 12 profiles (originally written for Glamour magazine) of deeply optimistic women, from a Moroccan cleaning lady in Paris to the president of Liberia, who each labor to heal their cracked patches of earth. She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Tony Dokoupil: ...
  • O.J.: No Friends, Not Even In Low Places

    The last time O. J. Simpson was in Las Vegas, he spent his first night at the stylish Palms hotel-casino, and his last in the county jail. He's scheduled to return to Sin City this week for a pretrial hearing on his armed-robbery charges, and this time he might have trouble finding a good place to lay his head. The Palms—usually celebrity-friendly—has already told Simpson he's not welcome, and the town's two biggest resort corporations, Harrah's and MGM Mirage, with 60,000 rooms combined, are also unwilling to host the ex-NFL star and exonerated murder suspect. "We would be unable to accept a hotel reservation from [him] because of the operational challenges that the crush of media would likely present," says MGM Mirage's Alan Feldman, an executive vice president. Harrah's veep Michael Weaver says that the decision to allow a celebrity to check in "depends on whether or not there is any positive public relations to be obtained by it." In this case, Weaver says, the answer is a...
  • Hobbies: A Scrap Over Scrapbooks

    If scrapbooking conjures up images of kindly suburban women passing pictures around the kitchen table, then you don't know the modern hobby. Outraged scrapbookers recently forced the industry's top magazine, Creating Keepsakes, to strip a New York woman of its coveted Hall of Fame title after readers noticed a photo credit on one of her layouts. The rules require all entries to be the "sole work" of contestants. But while Kristina Contes admits that she made a mistake, she blames "petty, jealous women" for bullying contest officials into disqualifying her work. "I mean, it's not like I stole someone's boyfriend," says the 28-year-old restaurateur. "This isn't high school."But it is a cutthroat business. Scrappers spent $2.6 billion on supplies last year, according to the Craft & Hobby Association, and one in four households contains a scrapbooker, making it more popular than golf. The Hall of Fame award can bring celebrity status, TV appearances and teaching jobs. After Contes...
  • An Ex-A.G. Avoids Caller ID

    The nation's telecommunications companies want immunity from lawsuits related to their participation in President Bush's warrantless-surveillance program, and to get it, they've been mounting an aggressive Capitol Hill lobbying campaign. Last week they played what they hoped would be their trump card: a letter backing their position from ex-attorney-general John Ashcroft and three other former top Justice officials. The quartet seemed to have special credibility on the issue: they had all once threatened to resign because of concerns about the top-secret spying program's legality. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch called the letter "very interesting," adding that the telecoms deserved protection from costly lawsuits for their service to the intelligence community.But the correspondence left out some pertinent details. Ashcroft's consulting firm, the Ashcroft Group, registered last year to lobby for AT&T—one of the three big telecoms, along with Verizon and Sprint, spear-heading the...
  • What Happened to Lynndie England?

    All too often, major news stories captivate us for a moment, and then vanish, unresolved. We bring you the next chapter. Starting PointArmy Pfc. Lynndie England becomes the face of the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal when smiling photos of her with humiliated detainees surface. Fever PitchWith her lawyer receiving more than 30 media calls a day, England bursts into the popular vernacular. Episodes of "The Simpsons," "South Park" and "Arrested Development" all reference her, and the Rolling Stones release a song about "the lady with the leash." Present DayParoled in March after 18 months in jail, England, now 24, is home in West Virginia taking care of her 3-year-old son. (The boy's estranged father, Spc. Charles Graner Jr., was sentenced to 10 years.) On probation until September 2008, when she'll be dishonorably discharged from the Army, England works as a clerk for Roy Hardy, her attorney. "That girl handles things very well," Hardy says. "She's not hiding.
  • Mukasey: Drowning in Questions

    The confirmation battle over President Bush's nominee for attorney general Michael Mukasey has hinged on his position regarding a CIA interrogation technique known as waterboarding. While calling it "repugnant" in a letter to Congress last week, Mukasey wrote that he didn't know enough about the technique to determine whether it's illegal. But after Mukasey sent the letter, a former Naval Intelligence officer who underwent waterboarding in training and inflicted it on hundreds of GIs argued in a Web article that there's no subtlety about it. It's "a torture technique, period," retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Malcolm Nance wrote on the Web site Small Wars Journal. "There is no way to gloss over it." The article drew hundreds of responses, and in an interview with NEWSWEEK, Nance said he would have resigned before agreeing to waterboard a prisoner. "I would consider it an unlawful order."Mukasey waffled on the matter in a Senate hearing last week, and some Democrats assailed him...
  • Campaign '08: Hillary's Paper Trail

    During last week's Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton faced tough questions about why so many of her papers at her husband's presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., are still secret—and her answers have only invited more questions. Clinton said during the debate that one chunk of records, from her days heading up her husband's health-care task force, had been released. "Now, all of the records, as far as I know, about what we did with health care, those are already available," she said. But National Archives documents obtained by NEWSWEEK and interviews with Archives officials indicate that the vast majority of the Clintons' health-care task-force records are still under lock and key in Little Rock—and might stay that way for some time.In a letter last year responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Judicial Watch, Melissa Walker, supervisory archivist of the Clinton Presidential Library, wrote that archivists had identified 3,022...
  • Texas Baptists Elect Woman Leader

    AMARILLO, Texas — The nation's largest Baptist convention elected its first female president on Monday.Retired missionary Joy Fenner was elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. She defeated preacher David Lowrie by 60 votes, 900 to 840.The moderate organization is the state's largest Baptist group with 5,600 affiliated congregations and more than 2.3 million members. Less than 1 percent of the convention's pastors are female.The moderate organization has distanced itself from some Southern Baptist leaders who have issued declarations that women should not be pastors and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands.Fenner, a longtime mission worker, got her start as a church secretary at First Baptist Church in Marshall during the 1950s. She served as a missionary in Japan for 13 years.Last year, the convention named her to the office of first vice president, putting her in position to serve the one-year term as president in 2008.The Texas...
  • Lessons Learned in Iraq

    Join former Bush speechwriter and NEWSWEEK contributor Michael J. Gerson on Friday, Nov. 2, at noon ET for an hourlong discussion on what lessons we should be learning from Iraq.
  • The Pride of the Yankees? It Ain’t Rudy.

    A weekly mathematical survey of bad behavior that measures, on a scale of 1 to 100, just how low a person can go.Texas Judge Sharon Keller refuses to keep her court open an extra 20 minutes so lawyers could fix a computer glitch and file a death-row appeal. Hours later, the inmate was executed.Score: 32A bittersweet buh-bye to Sen. Larry Craig. Your three-week reign of shame (for ruining Idaho's Hall of Fame ceremony just by showing up) is over. You've been bested. Or worsted.Score: 73Pandering for votes, lifelong Yankee fan Rudy Giuliani does the unthinkable: he's rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series. So wrong on so many levels, we're speechless.Score: 95
  • No Cause for Hypercaution

    In a new book, former Bush speechwriter and NEWSWEEK contributor Michael J. Gerson warns against learning the wrong lessons from Iraq.
  • A New Intelligence Failure?

    The Syrian Desert facility that Israel apparently attacked in a shadowy Sept. 6 raid—and that some administration officials believe was a secret nuclear reactor—might be several years old. Israel bombed the complex near the Euphrates River months after alerting the United States to the existence of a suspect Syrian facility, according to intelligence sources. But photographic evidence obtained by NEWSWEEK shows the boxy main building already existed in 2003, and a European intelligence source said the program might have begun years earlier. The source, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said fresh intelligence suggests the Syrians actually started a hush-hush program under the regime of late president Hafez Assad, who died in 2000, and that initially, clandestine factions of the government may have kept it secret from Bashar al-Assad, Hafez's son and successor. If true, it could be a significant intelligence failure by American and other Western spy...
  • Is Age Just a Number?

    Whether you're a MySpace addict or a Luddite who logged on once to see what all the fuss was about, you've likely met Tom. As the public face of MySpace, cofounder Tom Anderson has become a celebrity since the site launched in 2003 because he's every user's first "friend": when you join MySpace, your profile is automatically linked to his. But it turns out that Tom, who, along with cofounder Chris DeWolfe, made a fortune when News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005, may have a secret: his real age. According to public documents obtained by NEWSWEEK—including professional license information, voter registration and utility and telephone service applications—Anderson is five years older than he claims. His online profile currently lists his age as 32, but it appears he was actually born on Nov. 8, 1970, meaning he'll turn 37 next week, not 33. (Happy birthday, Tom!)Is it a big deal? Anderson, who has said he was 27 when MySpace launched, built an empire by tapping into the...
  • Babs’s Stepson Also Rises

    You might call Josh Brolin the Rory Culkin (or Stephen Baldwin or Lorna Luft) of the moment. He's one of those actors who are better known for their bloodlines—dad James Brolin, wife Diane Lane, stepmother Barbra Streisand—than for their own work. To the extent it's possible to take pity on someone so blessed, I do feel for the guy: Brolin is talented, but it's hard to avoid the hunch that he's getting work only because he's worked his connections. It's not as though his résumé is sparkling. His greatest hits include "The Younger Riders" (with Stephen Baldwin!) and a TV drama called "Mister Sterling." Oh, and "The Goonies."So how, I wondered, did he land?in two of this year's most intense dramas, the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men" and Ridley Scott's "American Gangster"? Talk about setting yourself up for disaster. Brolin's costars are Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem (in "No Country"), and Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe (in "Gangster"). Together, they have four Oscars...
  • Lessons in Proper Netiquette

    It wasn't so long ago that anyone with a personal Web page was either a dork or an egomaniac. Now sites like MySpace and Facebook have turned online socializing into the norm. But the latest hit site, LinkedIn, intended for professional networking only, has created some quandaries because it blurs that fuzzy, frequently awkward line between work and play. For instance:My boss invited me to join. Workplace hierarchy doesn't stop at the computer screen. But what if your boss is lousy? "It's an invitation you sort of have to take," says Mark Webster, a New York creative director whose former boss invited him to link up while they worked together.A subordinate invited me. A boss is one thing, but what about that annoying intern who wants to piggyback on all your contacts? "There's never a polite way to say no," says David Hansson, a blogger and software developer. Besides, who knows? Someday that intern might be your boss.I don't want to be a reference. LinkedIn isn't just about...
  • A ‘Modern’ Boss Rises In Beijing

    Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary, once called Xi Jinping "the kind of guy who gets things over the goal line." This month Xi scored the goal of his career. He has emerged as the favorite to become China's most powerful man, startling many analysts. For years they'd assumed Communist Party boss Hu Jintao was grooming prot?g? Li Keqiang to take over once he retired. But when the party reshuffled its personnel deck during its mid-October congress, last-minute horse trading among competing factions was intense. Hu got his satisfaction with Li's appointment to the party's nine-man leadership committee and the retirement of key rival Zeng Qinghong. But Hu had to relinquish something in return, so he signed off on Xi, 54, joining the party's top lineup in a rank above Li. If all goes according to script, Xi will become party chief in 2012, while Li will succeed Prime Minister Wen Jiabao—and in Chinese politics, the party boss outranks the prime minister.Xi's candidacy got a boost...
  • Something Scary Is In Your Closet

    Halloween costumes are supposed to be scary, but what's putting a fright into parents this year is how slinky the options are getting for their daughters. Designs for classics, like witches and princesses, are featuring more halter tops, miniskirts and bare midriffs. One version of a Little Bo Peep costume for preteens, on sale at Buy Costumes.com, has a corset and knee-high stockings. An Army-girl costume is labeled "Major Flirt." These , along with hot sellers based on TV shows like "Hannah Montana," are making it hard for parents to find something that won't make their trick-or-treater look like a lady of the night."Halloween has become just an excuse for little girls to dress like sluts," says Celia Rivenbark, author of the 2006 book "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank." Americans are expected to spend nearly $2 billion on Halloween costumes this year, twice what they did in 2003, according to the National Retail Federation. But the trend simply reflects the culture,...
  • A Tale of Two Cities, and Two Stadiums

    History repeats itself, but not without a few wrinkles. We make the connections—then pick them apart.The housing of 10,000 fire evacuees at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium drew comparisons with New Orleans's post-Katrina chaos. The Superdome had death and mayhem; Qualcomm had Starbucks and free massages. The unspoken (and bogus) insinuation: affluent, white San Diego behaved better than poor, black New Orleans.New Orleans tragically assumed citizens would flee the area altogether rather than stay in the stadium, even though 100,000 residents didn't have cars or any transport out. San Diego planned much better, using Reverse 911 calls to urge residents to flee. Qualcomm evacuees had ample space and more food than they could eat.The Superdome offered no escape. Surrounded by water, evacuees could not leave for days, even after electricity, food and water supplies dwindled. The storm blew part of the roof off the Superdome itself. Qualcomm was never in fire danger. Most shelter seekers...
  • A Downward Spiral

    After his arrest on a drug charge, the 'Preppy Killer' could be headed back to jail for the rest of his life.
  • It’s Not Easy Being Green

    Does your vinyl shower curtain contribute to global warming? Will using a plastic razor doom the polar bears? How many bike trips does it take to offset your environmental sins? For well-meaning but utterly confused consumers, the editors of Grist.org, an environmental Web site, have published "Wake Up and Smell the Planet," a (biodegradable, of course) handbook with tips for greening your life. NEWSWEEK'S Karen Breslau spoke with Grist founder Chip Giller: ...
  • The Gospel According to Obama

    During a stop in Tennessee last year, Barack Obama met with a group of black ministers. Among the topics they discussed: gay marriage, which Obama opposes, like most of his audience that day. But Obama challenged the preachers to stop exploiting the issue as a political wedge. "If there's a pastor here who can point out a marriage that has been broken up as a consequence of seeing two men or two women holding hands, then you should tell me," Obama said, "because I haven't seen any evidence of it."Obama recounted the story in August at a Los Angeles debate on gay and lesbian issues, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. But it did him little good last week as the HRC and several bloggers blasted him for inviting gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to headline a campaign event in South Carolina, where Obama is engaged in a close fight with Hillary Clinton for black voters. McClurkin sang at Bill Clinton's 1992 convention and President Bush's in 2004. But he's also reviled in the gay...
  • Carter's Book Tour from Hell

    Jimmy Carter has been called a bigot, an anti-Semite, a liar, a plagiarist and a coward. By the time the former president appeared on the Jay Leno show toward the end of a grueling national tour to promote his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Carter was losing his voice. He'd been building houses in New Orleans's Ninth Ward with Habitat for Humanity, one of his many pet projects, and it was cold, and the commercial flight to the Coast didn't help. Leno seemed astounded that a former president didn't take a private jet. "I would if I had one," Carter quipped. Don't you have friends in high places that would send a plane for you? Leno pressed. "Not since this book came out," Carter said with a wry laugh.The book, or rather the book tour, is the focus of a new documentary, "Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains," by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, and it is bound to revive the controversy over Carter's use of the word "apartheid" to describe the state of the Palestinian people....
  • Feds: Latino Gang Targeted Blacks

    Federal prosecutors say a powerful Latino gang systematically targeted rival black gang members and innocent black civilians in a reign of terror.
  • Women in Combat

    The author of a new book contends that women shouldn't be in the front lines.
  • Blackwater Says Guards Were Betrayed by Iraqi Forces on 2004 Mission

        WASHINGTON — Heavier guns and sturdier trucks would not have saved a team of Blackwater USA guards brutally killed in March 2004 after being lured by corrupt Iraqi forces into a well-planned ambush, the embattled private security contractor contends in a report to Congress.    This conclusion sharply contradicts the findings of a congressional investigation led by House Democrats and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of the four slain guards. Blackwater is cast in both as an incompetent, penny-pinching outfit that sent an undermanned and poorly equipped detail through Fallujah, a known insurgent stronghold 40 miles west of Baghdad.    In the 10-page report, obtained by The Associated Press and delivered Tuesday to lawmakers, Blackwater says Democrats and the lawyer for the families have teamed up against the company for political gain.    While calling the deaths "a tragic event," Blackwater says the incident was unavoidable and the guards — former Navy SEALs and...
  • N.Y. Might Ban Display of Noose

    ALBANY, N.Y. — Following a rash of cases involving nooses, the state Legislature Monday moved toward making it a felony to display the symbol of lynchings in the Old South in a threatening manner."We won't tolerate this," said Sen. Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican who sponsored the measure that passed Monday in the Senate. "There is no place for racism and intimidation in America."The bill also covers etching, drawing or painting the symbol. He said that, as in the case of Nazi symbols and burning crosses, an intent to threaten or harass would be part of an anti-noose law.The Democrat-led Assembly may convene Tuesday and could consider the measure then.Skelos said the recent "rash of incidents clearly demonstrates the need for tough new penalties."Monday's Senate vote came as New York City police said a black high school teacher in Brooklyn had been targeted with a letter containing racial slurs and a string tied into a noose.The teacher told police she received the letter...
  • Image Is Everything

    An online exhibit showcases the best and worst of American campaign commercials
  • A Rat Pack Son of a Gun

    The last surviving member of the Rat Pack, Bishop was the stone-faced comic in Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's rowdy bunch of crooners. He died at his California home after a long illness. Regis Philbin, who broke into TV as his sidekick on "The Joey Bishop Show," shared this memory:In the 1960s, Joey was the fill-in for Johnny Carson on the "Tonight Show." But it's easy to go in and pinch-hit for someone: you just sit in the chair and do what's been done. The pressure starts when it's your own show—and Joey felt it when "The Joey Bishop Show" launched in 1967. It was his big shot in a fierce late-night talk-show market. So every day before taping, we'd walk around Hollywood, talking through jokes and trying to relax. Joey would smoke a few cigarettes and drink a cup of coffee. It was an upper for him to leave the studio in a polo shirt with the collar popped and people calling his name. It also calmed him. He'd know he was doing a good job when people yelled his famous line. "Joey!...
  • A Hil Spoof? It Wouldn’t Be Prudent.

    Hillary Clinton's rivals aren't the only ones feeling pressure from her big lead in the polls. Comics are also scrambling—to figure out how to do a good impression of her. On "Saturday Night Live," star Amy Poehler has yet to nail her Hillary. Poehler's performance during last month's season premiere—the first time she delivered a full-fledged speech as the senator—fell flat.Other skilled impressionists say Hillary's lack of a distinctive accent (her husband's), facial tic (Dubya's squint) or memorable phrase ("Wouldn't be prudent") has made her tricky to capture. "There aren't a lot of sharp angles to Hillary," says former "SNL" star Ana Gasteyer, who played her prior to Poehler. Teresa Barnwell, a professional Hillary look-alike since 1993, doesn't even try to imitate her voice, focusing instead on a perfect haircut, a black pantsuit and an eerie physical similarity. "She doesn't give me a lot to mimic," says Barnwell. Political impressionist Jim Morris, who does a killer (Bill)...