Domestic News, Opinion and Analysis - Newsweek U.S.


More Articles

  • Poll: Iowans Buck the 2008 CW

    The top three Democratic presidential contenders are locked in a three-way race among likely Iowa caucus-goers, according to the latest NEWSWEEK Poll—while Romney leads his Republican rivals in the Hawkeye State.
  • Bonds Ball: Bang Zoom to the Moon?

    After buying Barry Bonds's record-setting 756th home-run ball for $752,467, hip-hop fashion mogul Marc Ecko wants you to decide its fate. On, he offers three choices: send it to the Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk and mail it to Cooperstown or put it in a rocket ship to outer space. He spoke to Mark Starr: ...
  • This Is Your Brain On Sports

    Coming out of the sunshine into the murky indoor light, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can't quite believe his eyes. "Cool. Crazy cool," he says, as he surveys a vast playground: a mini football field, basketball court and hockey rink; a state-of-the-art gym; a baseball batting cage, and a $100,000 golf simulator. More amazing is that "Big Ben" isn't here for recess, but for science class. He's the centerpiece of an experiment in terror: can he get rid of a football before an onrushing lineman plants him in the turf? Turns out when the lineman charges unfettered, Roethlisberger is helpless. But when that lineman is steered wide by a traffic cone—one measly foot—the QB hits his target every time. "I really learned something today," he says. "I can tell my guys, 'Look, sometimes you're gonna miss a block, but don't give up. If you can just push your guy out one foot, I can get the job done'."Roethlisberger was just one of dozens of athletes who paraded into an...
  • Speech Impediment

    Lost in the recent firestorm over the nation's first bilingual Arab-English public school—the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., which opponents have argued will become a breeding ground for militant Islam—is the statistical truth that Arab-language programs are already on the rise. The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC) in Washington estimates that the number of public schools offering full-time Arabic instruction for K12 students has quadrupled from less than 10 in 2001 to more than 40 today. With enrollment up some 150 percent in university programs since 2001, the Department of Education is scrambling to meet the demand. Most of the growth in higher-education Arabic programs comes from non-Arab and Muslim students, says Kirk Belnap, director of the National Middle East Language Resource Center in Utah, an organization created after the 9/11 attacks and funded by the Department of Education. "Some kids do look at it as an employment skill," says...
  • Pledging Even More Allegiance

    For the first time in two decades, the U.S. citizenship test has been revamped—and the new version, which will be unveiled this week for use starting Oct. 1, 2008, will mark a profound shift in what it takes to become an American. Gone are many of the old trivia-style questions such as "How many stripes are on the American flag?" They've been replaced by queries that focus on concepts rather than facts—for instance, "Why does the flag have 13 stripes?" The new test, 10 years in the making at a price tag of $6.5 million, will also cover subjects such as "checks and balances," "inalienable rights" and other constitutional ideas.Driving the change is the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services, which wants to create "patriots" and not just naturalized residents out of the more than 500,000 immigrants who become citizens each year. "What's at stake is really the survival of our democracy," says Alfonso Aguilar, head of the Office of Citizenship. "If we don't strengthen our...
  • A Vegas Crew, But It Ain’t Ocean’s 11

    No one focuses on his good qualities, but say this much for O. J. Simpson: the disgraced football star still knows how to pull a team together. In Las Vegas for a pal's wedding—he was going to be the best man, natch—he took a detour instead, rounding up a posse of aging golf buddies and faux toughs for a self-described "sting operation" that ended up with nearly everyone arrested, including one of the alleged victims. (After assisting police, the other alleged victim suffered a major heart attack.) Who are these guys? A PERI roll call. ...
  • Rise Of A Secret Unit

    In his report to Congress earlier this month, Gen. David Petraeus claimed that Iran has a deadly new ally in its proxy war against U.S. forces in Iraq: a secret unit of the militant Lebanese Hizbullah movement called Department 2800. It was created, Petraeus said, "to support the training, arming, funding and, in some cases, direction" of Shia militia cells and turn them into a "Hizbullah-like" movement opposing U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. According to Petraeus, Department 2800's partner is the Quds Force, a secretive branch of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's principal internal-security apparatus. Petraeus also told Congress that U.S. forces had managed to capture the "deputy commander" of Department 2800. A U.S. counterterrorism official, who requested anonymity when discussing sensitive material, told NEWSWEEK that the operative was detained in March while he was canvassing insurgent cells in Iraq, helping them set up weapons deliveries, offering strategies for...
  • Grilling A Bush Pick

    After President Bush settled on Michael Mukasey to be his next attorney general, White House officials were privately worried about how conservatives would react given the ex-judge's lack of "movement" credentials. But in a series of private meetings arranged by chief of staff Josh Bolten prior to the nomination, Mukasey, 66, reassured top hard-liners, such as Federalist Society executive Leonard Leo and former A.G. Edwin Meese. According to three sources, who asked not to be named discussing the private meetings, Mukasey said that he saw "significant problems" with shutting down Guantánamo Bay and that he understood the need for the CIA to use some "enhanced" interrogation techniques against Qaeda suspects. Mukasey also signaled reluctance with naming a special prosecutor to investigate Bush-administration misconduct, according to one participant. "Gosh, I'm a little worried that the Democrats might have problems with him," said one well-connected conservative after being briefed...
  • Al Qaeda’s Feuds And Fears

    Lonely, marginalized and suddenly suspicious that he was losing his grip over the organization he helped create, Osama bin Laden finally decided that enough was enough. At least that's the explanation sources close to him are giving for why, after three long years of silence, the Qaeda leader has released one video and two audiotapes in the past month, including last week's audio message calling for a jihad against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. According to Omar Farooqi, a Taliban liaison officer with Al Qaeda, bin Laden recently learned that a faction within his own organization had been conspiring to sideline him, insisting—unnecessarily, bin Laden now believes—that he remain secluded for security reasons. CIA officials told NEWSWEEK they could neither confirm nor reject the theory.Bin Laden had long been chafing at this imposed gag order, says Farooqi, who learned from Sheik Saeed, Al Qaeda's senior leader in Afghanistan, and other top operatives that bin Laden became ...
  • The War Comes Home

    Tommy Lee Jones may have the most eloquently ravaged face in current movies, and his journey in Paul Haggis’s “In the Valley of Elah” is a tough, mournful one. When he learns that his soldier son, just back from Iraq, has gone missing, he opens his own investigation. It’s not long before he confronts the worst: his son’s body, chopped into pieces, has been found in a field. Haggis’s first film since his Oscar-winning “Crash” unfolds as a murder mystery, but it’s one fraught with an angry, sorrowful political subtext and a tone that’s unvaryingly solemn. “In the Valley of Elah”—one of many American movies this fall that will weigh in on Iraq and Afghanistan—is far from the last word on the subject, but whatever its flaws, Haggis’s movie sends out an urgent distress signal that’s hard to ignore.
  • Not Ellis Island

    When Rodolfo Acevedo arrived in Florida from his native Argentina, the immigration offices where he waited with his paperwork struck him as neither functional nor friendly. Not much has improved since then, but now Acevedo’s Boca Raton-based architecture firm is creating four new buildings that should make the immigration ordeal more esthetically pleasing. When they open next summer, the new South Florida facilities will feature big, comfortable waiting areas with natural light and green design elements like roofs that will reflect rather than absorb the sun. Inside will be playgrounds for kids, Internet cafés and entry rotundas modeled on the U.S. Capitol and boasting eight-meter-tall etchings of the Statue of Liberty on glass walls. Welcome, indeed.
  • States In Shock

    In 2004, Sri Lanka’s government barred thousands of fishermen from returning to their seaside homes after the Asian tsunami, citing safety concerns. Yet new upscale hotels on the same beaches were allowed to stay in business. Was the official concern for safety just cover for favors to big business? Naomi Klein thinks so. The author of “No Logo” bashes globalization again in her new book, “The Shock Doctrine,” in which she argues that elites exploit coups, wars and natural disasters to liberalize trade, privatize industries and cut social benefits. Klein claims that a cabal of right-wing politicians and free-market economists, led by famed Chicago professor Milton Friedman, “prays for crisis the way drought-struck farmers pray for rain.” Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup in Chile, Bolivia’s 1985 hyperinflation, and even Hurricane Katrina were used to roll back government intrusions in the economy. Her conspiracy-friendly mind-set is unconvincing, but “The Shock Doctrine” is a useful...
  • Perspectives

    “All the fundamentals point to Canada right now.” ...
  • By The Numbers

    Abu Dhabi’s $1.35 billion purchase of a 7.5 percent stake in the Carlyle Group shows how governments are emerging as the world’s richest private investors.875Value in U.S. billions of Abu Dhabi’s investment fund, the largest so-called sovereign fund in the world33Billions of dollars worth of assets held by J.P. Morgan Chase, the world’s biggest hedge-fund operators3Trillions of dollars worth of assets now owned by sovereign funds, twice the value of the assets held by hedge funds15 The predicted value of sovereign fund assets 10 years from now, in trillions of U.S. dollars
  • The New Red Zone

    The waters of Pretty Bay in Malta are dotted with bobbing tourists and something new: refugee vessels from North Africa. Since joining the European Union in 2003, Malta has attracted the largest illegal immigrant minority in Europe, totaling 8,000 or 2 percent of the population. (The second largest is less than one-tenth of a percent in Italy). Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi says Malta suddenly finds itself “on the very front line” of Europe and Africa, with a “huge” immigration problem.The European Commission has recognized the “special difficulty” of a crowded island just 200 kilometers from Libya. But twice EU patrols have withdrawn from Maltese waters due to lack of boats or funds. Tensions boiled over this summer when Malta twice defied EU policy by refusing to admit or aid refugee boats, forcing Spain and Italy to come to the rescue. The EU says no nation had ever violated the traditional duty to save lives at sea “in such a manifest way.” Malta says it can’t be the EU holding...
  • The Miracle Workers

    For 25 years, evangelicals have voted Republican. But the Democrats are courting, and their efforts may have a prayer.
  • A Random Weapon in the War on Terror

    To help combat the terrorism threat, officials at Los Angeles International Airport are introducing a bold new idea into their arsenal: random placement of security checkpoints. Can game theory help keep us safe?
  • Clift: Bringing the War Home With Them

    A new film by the Oscar-winning director of 'Crash' spotlights the growing ranks of U.S. combat veterans who are returning from battle scarred by PTSD.
  • Hirsh: Bob Gates Scores Quiet Victories

    To little notice, the Defense secretary  has gotten his way on Iraq, and possibly on Iran. Now, Gates is about to appoint a former top Clinton official to prove he means business.
  • Wolffe: The Obama Challenge

    The Illinois senator talks obliquely about the Democratic front runner. Time to start scoring some direct hits.
  • Anatomy of the O.J. Simpson Plot

    What really happened that night in Vegas? New details of the alleged scheme by O.J. Simpson and an unlikely group of buddies paint a fuller picture of what went down.
  • Mukasey in My Backyard

    A college classmate recalls that the attorney-general nominee was no conservative on campus.
  • Can Michael Mukasey Manage?

    President Bush's pick to run the Justice Department is a talented and experienced lawyer. But does he have what it takes to turn around a badly damaged bureaucracy?
  • Clift: John Dingell, in Turnaround

    The man they call 'Tailpipe John' on Capitol Hill for his tight ties to the auto industry has had a change of heart on global warming and carbon emissions. Or has he?
  • Fineman: An Explosive Issue in Iowa

    The issue is emerging as a big one in Iowa—and it could wind up pulling the GOP contenders far enough to the right to cause problems next November.
  • Cigarette Diaries: Excerpts From a WWII Journal

    On Sept. 13, 1944, the B-24 with bombardier Second Lt. Frank J. Pratt was shot down by the Germans over Poland. These are excerpts from the diaries he kept in captivity—many of which were written on the backs of paper wrappers from cigarette packs.
  • Little Rock, 50 Years Later

    The image is among the most iconic in civil-rights history: a dignified black girl in a prim, white-and-black dress marches through a hostile mob intent on keeping her from school. Fifty years after it first flashed around the world, that image retains its power—evoking sorrow, even anger, that one so young would face such cruelty. Now a 65-year-old woman, Elizabeth Eckford still bears scars from that long, lonely walk as one of the Little Rock Nine: teenagers charged with integrating that city's finest high school in 1957. "I'm the only one who says I wouldn't do it again," said Eckford in an interview at the Little Rock courthouse where she works as a probation officer.This month, Little Rock will commemorate the date, 50 years ago, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to escort black children to Central High. In that moment, Little Rock became a synonym for hate. After claiming that desegregation would lead to violence, Gov. Orval Faubus ordered the...
  • Turning Back The Clock

    There was a lot of grumbling last week at the Toronto Film Festival about how this venerable showcase for world cinema has been turned into a launching pad for Hollywood's Oscar campaigns. With the likes of Jodie Foster, Brad Pitt and George Clooney parading down Bloor Street, one could've easily mistaken the festival for an out-of-town Hollywood press junket. But under the glittering surface was a more interesting story. A striking number of the American movies on display were throwbacks to the cinema of the 1960s and '70s, in both subject and style. Just as the ghost of Vietnam hangs over Iraq, the spirit of the social-protest movies of the early '70s can be felt in the myriad films tackling terror in the Middle East—from Paul Haggis's "In the Valley of Elah" to 1960s maestro Brian de Palma's blistering "Redacted," a fictionalized account of the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl and her family by U.S. soldiers.Some of the movies truly took us back to the 1960s. Julie Taymor's...
  • Intergalactic Artwork

    For art collectors willing to spend a cool million, the latest must-have objects are falling from the sky. Big names like Steven Spielberg, Nicolas Cage and Yo-Yo Ma are buying meteorites at prices that are out of this world. On Oct. 28, Bonhams auctioneers will hold their first-ever sale devoted to them, and some lots are expected to fetch into the seven figures. "The natural world is making a foray into the art world," says Barbara Tapp, editor of Art & Antiques. "Given global warming, these pieces reflect attention on how our world is changing." Esthetic meteorites, as they're called, are mostly iron-based and admired for their sculptural beauty. Private dealers trade rare finds, such as lunar rocks, with museums for less scientifically significant—but more decorative—meteorites. The jewel of the Bonhams sale is the crown piece of the American Museum of Natural History's Willamette meteorite, priced at $1.3 million. "Scientists don't care about money," says Darryl Pitt, who...
  • Organic Chemistry

    The boom in restaurants serving local organic produce has come with an unexpected downside: more bugs in your food. Without pesticides to deter them, aphids, ladybugs, caterpillars and beetles are tagging along on the journey from farm to kitchen to dinner table with greater frequency. But the reactions among diners are as diverse as the critters they're finding on their plates. Some are furious, of course, especially considering they're already paying more for organic food—but a surprising number, restaurateurs say, are cheered. To those customers, such uninvited guests are proof that the produce really is fresh and pesticide-free. "I, for one, would much prefer a bug on my plate to pesticide in my bloodstream," says Ben Long, a communications consultant and foodie from Kalispell, Mont. Sometimes it's more than just a bug. When Richard Samaniego, chef at California's Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, opened a box of organic lettuce last year, a frog jumped out. "It was a good...
  • Inside the Juice’s Bizarre ‘Sting Operation’

    O. J. Simpson's "sting operation" to recover personal memorabilia from a collector in a Las Vegas hotel room may have backfired in more ways than one. Vegas police will decide whether to charge Simpson in the armed-robbery investigation, which began after he and unnamed associates entered the room at the Palace Station last Thursday. And even if the cops end up buying Simpson's explanation—that he was reclaiming items stolen from him—attorneys for Fred Goldman will seek to have the memorabilia seized and sold as partial payment for the 1997 wrongful-death judgment in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman's son, Ronald. "We're rooting for Mr. Simpson, that it's his property," Goldman lawyer David Cook told NEWSWEEK.The man who called the police was California collector Alfred Beardsley, who has been accumulating Simpson memorabilia since the 1980s. Reached in Las Vegas on Friday, a nervous Beardsley was tight-lipped. "I'm really not at liberty to discuss it," he told...
  • A Kremlin Shake-Up

    Vladimir Putin's surprise appointment of a political unknown as Russia's new prime minister has further complicated the question of who will succeed him as the country's president when Putin's second (and constitutionally last) term ends in March 2008. Recent polls show that more than 50 percent of Russians will vote for whomever Putin endorses. But predicting who his pick will be is tricky because the Kremlin's inner circle is even tinier and more secretive than it was in the Soviet era. The new prime minister, Victor Zubkov, 66, the former head of Russia's financial-regulation agency, is a close comrade of Putin's from St. Petersburg in the early 1990s. Still, Putin favorites Sergei Ivanov, Russia's former Defense minister, and Gazprom gasmonopoly head Dmitry Medvedev remain front runners. The key for Putin, says his former chief of staff, Aleksandr Voloshin, is "to feel that he has the option to return to power" for a third term as president in 2012. For that to happen, Putin...
  • Thompson’s Slow Start

    For months, social conservatives have viewed Fred Thompson as a Reaganesque savior in a dreary field of GOP presidential hopefuls. But the former Tennessee senator's early days on the campaign trail have left some prominent evangelicals underwhelmed. "I'm personally not that impressed," says Paul Weyrich, a veteran strategist who cofounded the Moral Majority.One sticking point: Thompson's stance on a same-sex marriage ban. On the trail, he has declined to endorse a constitutional amendment blocking gay marriage, instead backing a broader amendment that would bar states from imposing their laws on other states. "The [marriage ban] approach has been tried in Congress, but can't even get a majority," Thompson told the Christian Broadcasting Network. That's not good enough for some on the right, and it has cost Thompson, at least for now, endorsements from members of the Arlington Group, an influential coalition of the nation's top conservative leaders. "It's a deal breaker," Weyrich...
  • Return Of a Prodigal Spy at The CIA

    He's come in from the cold. The CIA's new chief spy, Michael Sulick, is a veteran of the shadowy world of undercover operations in hostile countries—and also the backstabbing arena of Washington politics. Sulick learned his tradecraft—the James Bond side of spying—in the old Soviet Union. Like other Western spies, he learned to follow "Moscow Rules," the rigorous countersurveillance measures used to avoid detection by the ubiquitous KGB. Sulick also served as a CIA case officer—an undercover operative who steals secrets and recruits informants—in Latin America and Poland. He returned to Moscow for the CIA after the fall of communism.More recently Sulick suffered a fall of his own back home. He left his post as No. 2 in the CIA's Operations Division following a surprisingly public feud inside the agency. Within days of Porter Goss's confirmation as CIA director in September 2004, Sulick and Steven Kappes, now the CIA's deputy director, got into a heated row with Goss's chief of staff...
  • Conventional Wisdom: Patriot Games Edition

    Bush (down) What he said in address: Troops will “return on success.” What it means: They’ll stay on failure. Petraeus (neutral) Wishful thinker on Iraq, but honest enough to say he “doesn’t know” if war makes us safer. Warners (up) Sen. John retires, former gov. Mark announces he’ll run for the seat. Is Virginia trending blue? O.J. (down) Suspect in small-time Las Vegas hotel sports-memorabilia break-in. Next: “If I Did It, Part Deux.” N.E. Pats(down) How did they win all those Super Bowls? Now we know why admin called snoop bill the Patriot Act. Britney(down) MTV awards act shows how precocious she is. Already channeling Anna Nicole Smith.
  • What's O.J.'s Heisman Trophy Worth Today?

    The Juice's arrest shines a bright light on the murky world of memorabilia. Will the price of his items spike, or plunge? A veteran appraiser offers a tour of some of the market's more outlandish offerings.
  • How Hillary Won Over the Health-Care Industry

    She was persona non grata in the early 1990s, when the then-first lady's dramatic health-care reform package went down. These days Hillary Clinton is winning raves among health-care-industry groups—and attracting their campaign dollars.
  • Kitchen Kids

    If you're tired of cooking, here's an idea: teach your children to do it. Sisters Isabella and Olivia Gerasole, 11 and 9, authors of "The Spatulatta Cookbook" (Scholastic. $16.99), give some tips on how parents can encourage their kids in the kitchen. ...