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  • Spreading The Wealth

    A decade ago, hotels in princely palaces in Rajasthan, India, were the preserve of wealthy Western tourists. "The only locals you'd see were either in the fields or serving you drinks," says London lawyer Rory White, a veteran India traveler. No longer. These days, you're less likely to see Europeans than wealthy Indians at the Lake Palace in Udaipur and well-to-do Chinese at the Red Capital Ranch boutique hotel near Beijing, with its gorgeous views of the Great Wall.Across Eurasia, local middle-class travelers are increasingly choosing to vacation in their own countries. They've created a boom in domestic travel that has rapidly raised the level of accommodations and services. Many have traveled on package tours abroad, and are demanding the same amenities they found overseas, from spa treatments to high-thread-count sheets. And their demand for upscale travel is reaching even the most remote corners of the earth, from Tibet to Siberia, where posh hotels are opening in areas once...
  • Ski Japan: The Birth of an Industry

    Tourists head to Japan for many reasons: the shopping and night life of Tokyo, the temples of Kyoto, the scenic beauty of Hokkaido. But skiing? That's not something most travelers immediately associate with Japan. The country's national ski industry, which exploded during the boom years of the late 1980s, collapsed in the 1990s and hasn't recovered since. Not even the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano could spark interest; Hakuba, one of the country's major resorts, has seen the number of skiers fall by nearly 60 percent to 1.2 million from its peak in 1991.Now the country's ski resorts and travel industry are stepping up their efforts to lure holidaymakers back to the slopes. Businessmen are promoting their resorts at travel fairs around the world and launching English-language Web sites. Major hotels and lift operators have hired a number of English- and Korean-speaking staffers to help first-time visitors—who come mostly from Australia and elsewhere in Asia—feel at home. Local hotel...
  • Capturing the Travel Niche

    Claire Hurren is not interested in spending her vacation lying on a beach, shopping or museum hopping. She doesn't even want to go on safari. The 32-year-old doctor from Nottinghamshire, England, hopes to do something more focused and meaningful with her time off. So this August she will head to Greece to count dolphins for a population census by Earthwatch Institute. "I want to be involved in conservation," says Hurren, who has taken 14 other Earthwatch trips, including spotlight surveys of caimans on the Amazon. "I mean, it's not that hard: you're out in a boat watching dolphins in the sunshine. And I know the money I spend on the trips is going to scientific research."More than most, slow travelers vacation with a rigorous sense of purpose. They have the time, energy and attention spans to zero in on one thing, whether it's playing every golf course in Scotland, learning to paint like Michelangelo, saving the Siberian tiger or visiting their ancestral homelands, from Ireland to...
  • The Rise of Boutique Hotels

    Boutique hotels are popping up in Asia's more cosmopolitan cities faster than construction cranes. Over the last couple of years, Hong Kong and Singapore have led the trend in the region. Now Shanghai is getting the boutique treatment, meeting the fast-growing demand among design-conscious travelers for a more intimate, personal environment. Within the space of a few months, at least three boutique hotels—generally defined as having fewer than 100 rooms and a hip décor concept—have opened their doors. The 30-room Mansion Hotel is a renovated French-style manor with private-club décor, evoking the swinging Shanghai of the 1920s. M Suites has a sleeker, more contemporary feel, and JIA Shanghai provides home-style luxury incorporating signature furniture pieces. "It's a very niche market, but it's growing tremendously," says Yenn Wong, the owner of JIA Boutique Hotels, which opened Hong Kong's first boutique hotel in 2004 and is now planning its third in Beijing. "For these travelers,...
  • How to Brand a Country

    Japan may be an export powerhouse, but it has a serious problem when it comes to importing tourists. Most travelers in the world, it seems, would rather go somewhere else. In 2005, the most recent year on record, Japanese visitors to other places outnumbered inbound tourists by 60 percent. So the government decided to launch a full-barreled advertising campaign to promote the delights of Japan to an international audience. There was just one problem: the approved slogan, "Yokoso Japan!"—a perfectly nice sentiment—requires translation before the people it's aimed at understand that "yokoso" means "welcome."Creating an effective brand identity for a company is difficult. Doing the same for a country is practically impossible, and yet countries from Australia to Israel have mounted image-makeover campaigns in recent years. Israel has been promoting bikini-clad beachgoers and Tel Aviv nightlife, rather than its contested holy sites. Uganda prefers to advertise the fact that it is ...
  • Q&A: Jeff Clarke on the Changing Face of Tourism

    As president and CEO of Travelport, a conglomerate of more than 20 travel products and services that includes the online consumer site Orbitz, Jeff Clarke is on the road about 200 days a year—and always appreciates being able to check his e-mail via BlackBerry on the runway wherever he lands. He discussed the changing face of tourism markets, customers and technology with NEWSWEEK's Susan H. Greenberg. Excerpts: ...
  • Staying Grounded: No-Fly Travel

    It may sound like a gimmick, or insane—or both—but I recently decided to circumnavigate the globe without flying. My work as cofounder of Futerra, which promotes sustain-able development, has left me with no illusions about our drastic need to reduce carbon emissions. So I decided to put my money where my (big) mouth was and see if I could do it—not just to help reverse climate change but also to slow down and see what I was missing. My long-suffering girlfriend, Fiona, agreed to come along. We have been on the road—actually, mainly the rails—for more than six weeks now and have already learned some key lessons that might benefit other slow travelers.Indeed, slow travel should not be confused with easy travel. It can be difficult, stressful, boring and interminable. You need to be prepared for anything. But more than the challenges, it is the richly detailed experiences that stand out. We are proud to be called "slow." And we are happy to see that the trend for ever-increasing speed...
  • Miss America on Catching Online Predators

    Last month, Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson participated in a police sting operation targeting child predators. Because of her concern about Internet safety, Nelson, 20, agreed to help out the Suffolk County Police Department in New York. Also along for the ride: John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted,” which taped the bust and aired it on April 28. As part of the operation, Nelson posed as a young teen and chatted with alleged predators online and by phone. She arranged a meeting with a group of men at a sting house on April 20. When they arrived, cops closed in and ended up arresting 11 men. But Miss America’s participation didn’t sit well with the Suffolk County District Attorney who labeled it a publicity stunt. To learn more about Nelson’s role in the bust, NEWSWEEK’s Catharine Skipp spoke with the beauty queen. Excerpts: ...
  • Fineman: Obama's Secret Service Protection

    I got word of Sen. Barack Obama’s new Secret Service protection in an appropriate spot: the Reagan Library, on a stage beneath a gleaming Air Force One. The retired plane, polished to a mighty shine, is a symbol of the presidency’s role as the most crucial job on the planet. We (and I mean the world) invest it with the power to summon us to soaring flights of hope, but those flights can shake loose deep forces of hatred and violence.We probably care too much about the presidency, but we can’t seem to help ourselves. In a busy and fragmented American life, it is our relentless focus.And that can be dangerous.We tend to forget that Ronald Reagan’s presidency nearly was snuffed out at its start by an assassin in 1981. The Gipper was lucky to have survived the attack by a lunatic gunman, which took place at the entrance to the Washington Hilton—the same doorway that partygoers use each year for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Reagan’s “Morning in America,” the sunny upland of a...
  • Clift: The Democrats' War Plan

    Texas Republican Louie Gohmert is famous on the Internet for saying we’d all be speaking Japanese or German if an anti-war Democrat like John Murtha had been in Congress during World War II. Murtha, a gruff ex-Marine who served in Korea and Vietnam, was on the House floor when Gohmert made his remark. Was the gentleman from Texas at Normandy, Vietnam, Murtha jabbed. The answer was no. What about Iraq? “I’ve been over there,” Gohmert replied, “but I wasn’t fighting.”“Suits on the ground,” Murtha harrumphed.The video clip of this exchange got a hundred thousand hits on YouTube at a time last year when the Republicans were calling Democrats terrorist-coddlers and defeatists. A more recent video of Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy calling for a moment of silence to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War—and to honor the 19 members of the 82nd Airborne unit he served in who didn’t make it home—has gotten 13,000 hits.Thanks to technology, what goes on in the confines of Congress...
  • A Punchless Republican Debate

    The front runners didn't stumble. The also-rans didn't rise up. And nobody got off a good punch. If debates are about clarifying choices, the first clash of 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls didn't offer much help.
  • Hirsh: Wolfowitz's Controversial Companion

    Only a few years ago, Shaha Riza was what is known in journalistic parlance as a flack. She was a media relations person, in other words—and a fairly junior one—whose job it was to reach out to reporters like me so that we would write about various World Bank activities. As recently as mid-2004, Riza was faxing and e-mailing PR releases to reporters around town, requesting that we contact her about exciting new Bank initiatives like a “$38 million investment loan to help the Government of Jordan develop efficient transport and logistics services,” or the “$359 million in loans for two projects aimed at helping the government of Iran improve housing conditions for poor and middle-income urban neighborhoods as well as expand access to clean water and coverage of sanitation services.” At the bottom of each missive she listed her number (202 458 1592) and her e-mail (sriza@worldbank.org). Guess what? Many of us never called.Now we’re calling and calling, and Shaha Riza just won’t pick...
  • Rove's Role in Prosecutor Firings Testimony

    Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove participated in a hastily called meeting at the White House two months ago. The subject: The firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. The purpose: to coach a top Justice Department official heading to Capitol Hill to testify on the prosecutorial purge on what he should say.Now some investigators are saying that Rove’s attendance at the meeting shows that the president’s chief political adviser may have been involved in an attempt to mislead Congress—one more reason they are demanding to see his e-mails and force him to testify under oath.At the March 5, 2007, meeting, White House aides, including counsel Fred Fielding and deputy counsel William Kelley, sought to shape testimony that Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella was to give the next day before the House Judiciary Committee.Although the existence of the White House meeting had been previously disclosed by the Justice Department, Rove’s attendance at the strategy session...
  • The D.C. Madam's Surprising Employees

    Washington is on edge as names of the clients of accused 'D.C. Madam' Deborah Palfrey begin trickling out. But the women who worked for her might surprise you: college grads, white-collar professionals, even military personnel.
  • Fineman: The Power of GOP 2nd-Tier Candidates

    They don't grab the headlines, but the second- and third-tier candidates are worth watching in tonight's GOP presidential debate. They help set the conservative benchmarks the front runners will have to meet.
  • Q&A: A Campus Shooter Talks About Va. Tech

    Before Virginia Tech, before Columbine, there was Simon’s Rock.Late on the evening of Dec. 14, 1992, Wayne Lo, an 18-year-old student at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Mass., approached a security-guard shack on the campus and began shooting, as he says now, “at anything that moved.” Lo fired at least nine rounds during the following 20 minutes, killing another student and a Spanish professor and wounding four others.A gifted violinist who had moved with his family from Taiwan to Billings, Mont., at age 12, Lo had bought his weapon, an SKS carbine rifle, that very afternoon at a sporting-goods store in nearby Pittsfield, Mass. His Montana driver’s license was the only documentation the purchase required. The cab driver who took  him to the store would later describe Lo to the press as “a real gentleman.” That same morning he had received a package containing 200 rounds of ammunition, purchased the previous day from a mail-order company using his mother’s credit...
  • Fineman: Obama's Talking Points

    Here’s the private advice Sen. Barack Obama’s staff gave him the other day as he prepared to make a series of phone calls in search of support:Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee is a “huge finance wonk,” and the way to win him over is by “giving Cooper a role in policy discussion.”The route to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s heart is a spot on your “national leadership team” and a role as a “national surrogate” and adviser on education.Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York is in play—the only Democratic in the New York delegation not to endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton—because Hillary’s “senior press aide worked on behalf of Clarke’s primary opponent” last year.Federico Peña , Bill Clinton’s secretary of Transportation, “would be a good high-level Hispanic endorsement, especially considering the recent endorsements of both former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez for Senator Clinton. YOU should make a hard ask for his endorsement and offer him a position...
  • Patti Davis on Life as a 'First Child'

    I am part of a small group of people who, no matter how old we grow or what we accomplish in our lifetimes, will always be known as First Children. Because with an election—always a historic event—each of our fathers became president of the United States, so by extension, we became part of history too. It's a strange label—as if the world at large is never going to really let us grow up.If I die at 90, they'll still be saying former First Daughter … as if I never grew beyond the length of the umbilical cord that came to define me when my father, Ronald Reagan, was in the White House.For anyone who's thinking, “Hey cool, I'd love to be in the First Family,” let me just throw a few things at you. There are heavily armed men (and occasionally a few women) following you everywhere. They know where you go—in fact, they would like to know where you plan to go before you actually head in that direction, so say goodbye to spontaneity. If you're of a certain age, they know who you're...
  • Talk Transcript: The Real Jamestown

    In April 1994, at Jamestown, an archeologist named Bill Kelso looked into the hole he had just dug and cried, "Holy Moses!" What inspired Kelso's outburst was a fragment of pottery—evidence that he had discovered the exact site of the first English-speaking settlement in North America. The British fort known to Capt. John Smith and the Indian princess Pocahontas was built in 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Until Kelso's discovery, most people thought the fort's remains had been washed away by the James River. Starting with Pocahontas, what little we knew about Jamestown's founders—sent by London's Virginia Company to dig for gold, Christianize the natives and find a way to the Orient—sprang from half-remembered stories and outright fable. Now science is coming to the rescue. And just in time. Next month the settlement's 400th anniversary will be celebrated with visits from President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II. Since Kelso's "Eureka" moment, his...
  • A Life In Books: James Patterson

    Few writers are as prolific as thriller-churner-outer James Patterson—but even fewer have appeared on "The Simpsons." With six titles coming out this year (including the third in a young-adult series), he found time to share his own most dog-eared books. A Certified Important Book you haven't read: OK, you got me—I've never read "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." The book you care most about having your children read: "Maximum Ride." I want young Jack to know what his dad does at the office, and, hopefully, to be proud.
  • Learning: Classes to Diss Ms.?

    In an effort to combat narrow vocabularies, Justin Heimberg has recruited an unlikely ally: yo momma! Hey, calm down, hothead, let us explain. Heimberg is using "yo momma" jokes, those evergreen playground taunts responsible for countless after-school detentions, to broaden kids' command of language.The trick, used to hilarious effect in his newly released book "The Yo Momma Vocabulary Builder," is dropping SAT-level synonyms into the familiar "yo momma" joke template (as in, "Yo momma's so corpulent, when her beeper goes off, people think she's backing up." Oh snap!)Heimberg, a screenwriter, wrote the book with two coauthors after his jokes caught on when he was teaching at a Los Angeles juvenile-detention center. He envisions the book's being used as a coffee-table novelty and a classroom tool.But if teachers employ it, will vocabulary soar at the expense of civility? Heimberg says he doesn't imagine that the book will be included in anyone's standard curriculum, but it could be a...
  • Cose: Why Clarence Thomas Can’t Let Go

    Clarence Thomas is arguably the most powerful black man in America, one whose position as a Supreme Court justice merits more than a modicum of respect. Yet as authors Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher make clear in "Supreme Discomfort," a new biography, Thomas has yet to get his due.Though most Italian-Americans are liberals, "they're all proud of me," conservative Justice Antonin Scalia tells the authors. Scalia's implicit question is: why do blacks not feel the same way about Thomas? Why can't Americans accept and celebrate him? For a country desperately trying to rid itself of a legacy of prejudice and discrimination, such questions are anything but trivial.That Thomas is even on the court says much about how America has changed. He is only the second black Supreme Court justice. But instead of following in the footsteps of his predecessor and standing up for the civil-rights establishment, he has become a reliable vote for the conservative right—as he demonstrated last week in...
  • Intel Agents Call For Tenet's Medal

    In his much-watched "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday, former CIA director George Tenet spoke passionately in defense of his former colleagues at the agency, saying they had been maligned and scapegoated by the Bush administration. Tenet said he wrote his book, "At the Center of the Storm," which goes on sale this week, partly to defend their honor. "The only people that ever stand up and tell the truth are who? Intelligence officers. Because our culture is never break faith with the truth," Tenet said in the interview. But on Monday a group of former CIA officials circulated a letter questioning Tenet's honesty, and harshly criticizing him for "failed leadership" that besmirched the agency. "We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush," said the authors of the letter, adding that Tenet ought to donate "a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed...
  • The GOP: Waiting for Gonzales to Walk

    The pressure on Alberto Gonzales to resign intensified last week following his daylong grilling before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The embattled attorney general was repeatedly unable to recall virtually anything about last year's firings of eight U.S. attorneys. GOP senators—hoping for a strong performance—were visibly pained when Gonzales couldn't remember a crucial Nov. 27, 2006, meeting (noted on his calendar), when he was briefed by his chief of staff about the firing plan. "Senator, I have searched my memory. I have no recollection of the meeting," Gonzales told GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions. The A.G. was even unable to recall a meeting where President Bush passed along complaints about the three U.S. attorneys—a talk that Bush himself has publicly recalled. (Gonzales said he now "understands" he had such a conversation.)With that performance, Gonzales lost the Hill. When he spoke with the attorney general on Friday, Sessions urged Gonzales to "take the weekend" to determine...
  • My Turn: Making Room for Dad's New Girlfriend

    When I read in the newspaper that the majority of widowers remarry within three years of their wives' deaths, I panicked. Surely the statistic wouldn't include my dad. He fell in love with my stylish, graceful mom, Linda, in college and cherished her until she died of cancer just before their 25th wedding anniversary.More than three years have now passed. My dad did defy the statistic—he isn't remarried, but he has resumed dating after a quarter-century break. His mom called me to give me a report after meeting his new girlfriend. "We-ell, she's no Linda," she offered. Then, at Thanksgiving, I got the chance to judge for myself.It turned out Pam and I already knew each other. She was the mother of two acquaintances of mine from high school, and I remembered her as seeming nice enough during orchestra rehearsals and class field trips. But now, meeting her as Dad's new girlfriend, I turned my full attention on her with an exacting eye.Comparing people with my mom is easy and unfair—I...
  • Mail Call: The Challenge That Is Global Warming

    Readers of our April 16 cover story wrote passionately of their concerns and hopes for the future of the planet. While many suggested areas that need further addressing, most emphasized overpopulation. One said, "The root cause of global warming and other environmental crises, from contaminated drinking water to rivers running dry, is too many people chasing too few resources." Some took issue with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the politically astute, Hummer-loving and cigar-smoking governor, as poster boy for the green movement. While one wrote, "Welcome to the fight," others cautioned that he not be confused with Al Gore—"a pioneer who has done future generations a great service," as one put it. And a concerned 16-year-old said, "I am more than a little worried about our world's future. Hopefully, your articles will spark a change in our wasteful ways. There may still be time to put together what we have started to break."Kudos for your excellent cover articles on climate-change issues...
  • Mormonism: 'Do Ask, Do Tell' at BYU

    Brigham Young freshman Brian Condron hadn't told his straight friends that he's gay—a statement that would've violated BYU rules. But after a surprising change in the Mormon-owned school's honor code last week, he decided not to transfer out this fall."Behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct" are still forbidden, but now, "one's stated sexual orientation is not an honor-code issue." To gay students it marks a new era. But being gay is still a burden at BYU. All unmarried students must remain chaste, but gays can be punished for showing same-sex affection, for forming a gay student group or, says the code, "promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable." Activist Will Carlson sums up the new policy—which comes after a winter meeting between administrators and gay students, as well as a March protest by the activist group Soulforce—as "Do ask, do tell, don't do."
  • Abortion: Battles on Three Fronts

    The Supreme Court's decision to uphold a federal ban on "partial birth" abortion last week set off skirmishes on three battlefields: in politics, doctor's offices and the high court itself. With Samuel Alito now in Sandra Day O'Connor's old seat, conservatives finally had five votes to restrict abortion. Justice Anthony Kennedy—often derided by conservatives as a closet liberal—wrote the vigorous majority opinion upholding the law.Kennedy has expressed nuanced views on abortion in the past, upholding Roe but disagreeing with a ruling that struck down a Nebraska "partial birth" ban. In last week's opinion he didn't reject the landmark abortion-rights decision, but his language pleased pro-lifers. "Kennedy is very much speaking in the code language of the anti-abortion activists," says David Garrow, a legal historian at the University of Cambridge. The justice used "kill" or "killing" 11 times to refer to abortion and argued that "some women come to regret their choice to abort the...
  • The Editor's Desk

    Wounded by three different bullets, Colin Goddard, a fourth-year international-studies major at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., was awaiting surgery last Tuesday at the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center when he first spoke to NEWSWEEK's Daren Briscoe about what had happened in Room 211 of Norris Hall. The story—an account of Cho Seung-Hui's deadly rampage—was bleak, and terrifying. Two days later, Daren returned to talk to Goddard again. "I had to ask him some difficult questions," Daren recalls. "Did he feel survivor's guilt? Had he asked himself if there was anything he could have done to stop Cho once the shooting had started? As sometimes happens in situations like this, I felt conflicted and somewhat guilty about pressing someone who'd seen classmates die in front of him and come within millimeters of death himself (according to the surgeon who had treated him). As Goddard gamely answered my questions as best he could, he said something that I won't soon forget. 'I...
  • Exclusive: Musharraf's Secret Deal

    One of America's most crucial allies against Al Qaeda is bargaining for his political life. Public opposition to Pakistan's autocratic leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has grown so fierce that he's secretly reaching out to a longtime enemy of his military rule: exiled former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. According to sources close to both sides who cannot be named because of the sensitivity of the ongoing talks, Musharraf has telephoned Bhutto at least three times in recent months, and his most senior aide, Tariq Aziz, has held a series of secret meetings with her in Dubai. One senior government minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, says the talks are entering their "final stage."Under the emerging deal, Bhutto's powerful Pakistan Peoples Party would back Musharraf's re-election bid, essentially guaranteeing that he'd stay in power. In return, Bhutto could end her decadelong exile. Outstanding corruption charges against her—charges she has always vehemently denied—would be dropped or...
  • The Changing Gun Debate

    The senseless loss of life at Virginia Tech breaks our hearts. And every day, nearly 30 people are murdered in the United States. We ask ourselves, what can be done to stop this kind of gun violence? As mayor of the country's largest city, I have asked myself that question many times. In New York, we've cut murders by 40 percent compared with six years ago. But eight police officers have been gunned down in the line of duty in that span—eight young men who were protecting us.FBI statistics show that violent crime is on the rise across America, and the news out of Virginia has again raised the critical issue of keeping guns away from the people who should not have them—criminals and those with a history of being potentially dangerous. There are questions about whether a background check should have prevented the Virginia Tech shooter from purchasing the guns. Regardless, the fact is that most crimes are committed with illegal weapons—and that is where the new gun debate is, or at...
  • Clift: Democrats and the Politics of Guns

    Rahm Emanuel was once a fierce gun-control advocate. As a top aide to Bill Clinton, he helped push the president's assault-weapons ban. At the time, Emanuel argued there was little reason for anyone to have a military-style weapon designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest time.Restricting guns is the last thing Emanuel wants to talk about now. An Illinois congressman, he helped Democrats take back the Capitol last year in part by recruiting pro-gun candidates. The effort was part of a larger push to reach out to gun owners who'd shunned the party.That may help explain the noticeable hush from Democrats in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Some Democrats have begun to sound a lot like Republicans on the issue. Emanuel, asked about the party's position on gun violence, borrows a line from the National Rifle Association. "There are successful laws on the books," he says. "They have to be enforced."Emanuel hasn't gone soft on guns (he earned an F on the NRA...
  • Trends: Clubbing for Kids

    On a recent Saturday afternoon at a grungy, darkened nightclub on Manhattan's Lower East Side, toddlers with fake tattoos jumped up and down on a crowded dance floor. In the chill-out lounge of the three-level club, babies crawled on play mats as disco beats from the 1970s and 1980s pumped through loudspeakers overhead.Over the last few years, little kids have gotten their own supply of indie rock, with musicians like Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner offering groovy, folksy tunes that appeal to the whole family. Now they're getting to hang out in nightclubs, too. Adult venues like World Café Live in Philadelphia, 12 Galaxies in San Francisco or Schubas in Chicago are opening their doors on weekend afternoons to welcome children under 8. Baby Loves Disco, now in 18 cities across America, offers diaper-changing stations, bubble machines and healthy treats for kids. (Parents can make use of a fully stocked bar, the chance to dance again and, in some locations, even pampering like massages...
  • Talk Transcript: The Real Jamestown

    A trip to Jamestown wouldn't be complete without visits to nearby Yorktown (nps.gov/york), where the last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought, and Colonial Williamsburg (colonialwilliamsburg.com), which recreates life in the 18th century, when the city was Virginia's capital. Among the three destinations, you'll have covered the first 200 years of American history. ...
  • The Weapon: A Day in the Life of a 9mm

    The three students from Wilberforce University, near Xenia, Ohio, had a tremendous fondness for 9-millimeter pistols. They bought them as many as 25 at a time from the accommodating owner of the Hole in the Wall Gun Shop, James Dillard. As required by Ohio law, the buyers duly attested that the guns were for their personal use, which was good enough for Dillard. In fact, according to federal prosecutors, the pistols were passed to a gunrunner who resold them to street gangs. Seventy-six 9mm semiautomatics were sold to just one gang, the Double II Bloods of East Orange, N.J. Jamel Coward, who already had a .45, bought a Leinad 9mm and went out with a friend to try it out. On people. They drove down a street in what they believed to be the territory of the rival Crips, and Coward commenced firing. He wounded three bystanders before a bullet struck 19-year-old Erron Lewin in the neck. Lewin, who belonged to no gang, died on the spot.When Cho Seung-Hui armed himself with a 9mm Glock for...
  • Hirsh: Joe Biden is Dead Right on Iraq

    For a guy whose presidential campaign was declared dead almost the day it started, Joe Biden sounds a bit too confident these days. Especially when it comes to Iraq. “If it were up to us,” says Larry Rasky, Biden’s chief campaign flack, “all 90 minutes” of Thursday night’s inaugural debate between the eight Democratic candidates would have been devoted to the subject of Iraq. Why? Because the six-term senator from Delaware is “the only one with a comprehensive plan for getting us out of Iraq without leaving chaos behind,” says Rasky.Of course his spokesman would say that. But in this case, Rasky has a point. When it comes to staking out clear, convincing positions on Iraq, the rest of the Democratic race resembles a bad day at the Demolition Derby. Even the golden-tongued Barack Obama, while waxing eloquent about the global leadership vacuum left by George W. Bush, had little to say about Iraq the other day in his first big foreign-policy campaign speech. (Obama reiterated his call...
  • Fineman: Previewing the Democrats' Debate

    Tonight's Democratic debate, the first of the '08 campaign, will showcase the battle for black votes—a bloc as vital to the party's fortunes next year as evangelicals have been to the rise of the GOP.
  • Jessica Lynch Sets the Record Straight

    Jessica Lynch became a national hero in 2003 after she was dramatically rescued by a team of Special Ops soldiers from an Iraqi hospital where she was believed to be a prisoner of war. Her story was compelling not only because she was a 19-year-old supply-unit clerk who had stumbled into an attack during convoy travel with her unit, but because she was portrayed by military authorities as having valiantly fought back against her attackers even as her unit was surrounded and her comrades were killed and injured. The legend quickly unraveled, however, after Lynch returned to the States, recuperated from her substantial injuries (broken arm and leg bones, damage to her back and kidneys, and a six-inch laceration to her head) and began to speak out about what had really happened. Today, Lynch testified before a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing probing the source of misleading information about Lynch and about the death of Army Ranger Specialist Patrick Tillman...
  • Dickey: Halberstam's Lessons About Quagmires

    It was the spring of 1955, a year after Brown vs. Board of Education, and David Halberstam wanted to be where the action was.  Fresh from Harvard College, he set out for the Deep South, for a reporter’s job on the paper in tiny West Point, Miss.  The South did not get any deeper, nor newspapers any tinier, than in West Point.  But the story did not get any bigger, either.  Halberstam, who had grown up in New York, understood that a war was under way in the streets of the South and in the hearts of Americans on the perennial question of race.  He believed, he said later, that Mississippi “was the best place to apprentice as a journalist,” and the stories of that time, including the Emmett Till trial in Sumner, brought him face to face with the complexities of the American character-the violence and the passion, the rage and the grace, the cruelty and the kindness.  Flush from victory in World War II, embarked on the cold war against Soviet totalitarianism, the nation was struggling...
  • Isikoff: The NRA's Take On the Cho Massacre

    In his first public comments since last week’s massacre, the National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist said today that the group backs proposed new legislation designed to ensure that mentally unstable killers like Cho Seung-Hui do not gain access to firearms.Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president, told NEWSWEEK that Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, “absolutely” should have been barred from buying a gun under current federal laws. But Lapierre nonetheless says the group is now working with longtime ally Rep. John Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, on a bill to ensure that mental-health records—such as the December 2005 court order directing Cho to receive a psychiatric evaluation—are entered into a FBI database that is used for background checks of gun buyers. Federal law does bar sales of guns to those who have been found to be mentally “defective,” but most states have a shoddy track record of reporting mental-health records to the feds.“Our position on this is crystal...
  • Dickey: Halberstam's Lessons About Quagmires

    In the early 1980s, inspired partly by "The Best and the Brightest," David Halberstam’s book on how the East Coast foreign policy establishment got America into the Vietnam War, my colleague Walter Isaacson and I (back when we both worked at Time magazine) embarked on what we hoped would be a kind of prequel—a book called "The Wise Men" about the rise of the establishment after World War II. I went to visit Henry Cabot Lodge, a pillar of that old (and now defunct) order of waspy statesmen, at his grand home in Hamilton, Mass. I was curious about Lodge because, during his tenure as ambassador to South Vietnam, he had joined with one of our Wise Men, Averell Harriman, to urge the overthrow of Vietnam's President Diem in 1963.At a rum-fueled lunch, Lodge and his high Brahmin wife, Emily, informed me that they had been influenced not by Harriman, who was at the time assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern Affairs, but by a young newspaper reporter named David Halberstam. When the...
  • Will a Jury Convict Phil Spector?

    Will a jury convict Phil Spector of murder? The legendary rock and roll producer goes on trial Wednesday in Los Angeles, charged in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, 40, more than four years after he emerged from the back door of his hilltop California mansion holding a revolver and blurting to his startled chauffeur, “I think I killed somebody.” The televised trial, which was delayed by a cautious investigation—the coroner took eight months to declare Clarkson’s death a homicide—and Spector’s decision to change lawyers twice, promises to be equal parts L.A. noir and courthouse melodrama. Spector, 67, will be represented by mobster John Gotti’s former lawyer, Bruce Cutler, who is heading up a team that includes many of the forensic experts made famous during the O.J. Simpson trial. If convicted of murdering Clarkson, a struggling blond actress moonlighting as a nightclub hostess at the House of Blues, Spector—the architect of the “Wall of Sound” who produced hits for the...
  • Fineman: The Return of Pragmatism?

    As he prepared for the Democrats’ first presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama sought advice from a wide circle, including, I am told, Gen. Colin Powell, who now deeply regrets his role in making the case for war in Iraq.On the Republican side, Gov. Mitt Romney (another foreign policy neophyte) has reached out to a number of advisors, among them, I am told, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, an early foe of the war in Iraq and a close ally of Powell’s from the first Bush presidency.We are in a crucial—but little understood—phase, not only in the presidential campaign, but also in the shaping of foreign policy. ...
  • Russia: Pressure on Putin

    Billionaire Boris Berezovsky helped groom Russian President Vladimir Putin for power. Now, six years after Putin's "totalitarian tendencies" pushed him into self-imposed exile, Berezovsky is calling for the "violent overthrow" of the regime. "Authoritarian regimes only collapse by force," Berezovsky told NEWSWEEK. "Democratic pressure will not work." He said he was funding members of the "Russian elite" in Moscow—whom he refused to name—to bring about a "revolution."Putin is unlikely to suffer: his popularity is above 80 percent and he has formidable control over Russia's security services and media. But the Kremlin called the challenge "a criminal act" and vowed to renew extradition attempts. British police are expected to investigate whether Berezovsky's remarks violate U.K. laws, says a Brit official not authorized to speak on the record. The exile isn't worried. "Britain is a free country and you can say what you want," he says.
  • A Life In Books: Michael Ondaatje

    To create such a brief list, Booker Prize-winning novelist Michael Ondaatje had to limit himself to 20th-century works and assume Faulkner, Cather and García Márquez went without saying. His new novel, "Divisadero," is out this month. The book you care most about having children read: I would give young readers T. H. White's "The Sword in the Stone," "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas, or Rudyard Kipling's "Kim." A classic that, on rereading, was disappointing: None yet. In rereading "The Red and the Black" by Stendhal, I am still stunned at how adventurous it is, full of subtle character and experimentation.
  • Imus: Race, Power and the Media

    As he spoke, Don Imus had no inkling—none, he later told NEWSWEEK—that he had said anything that would cause him trouble. Wednesday, April 4, started and finished like any other day for the talk-show host. Enthroned in his high-backed chair in his New Jersey studio just outside New York City, Imus, cragged and cranky as ever, bullied and joked and cajoled his way through his volatile four-hour morning radio program, broadcast nationwide five days a week by CBS affiliates and simulcast on MSNBC. Always particular about his looks, Imus wore his hipster cowboy jacket with the collar flipped up, his studiously tousled hair grazing his shoulders.Imus's show that day was supposed to be the usual mix of the high-minded and the profane. Among the guests: Sen. Chris Dodd, an Imus favorite who had announced he was running for president on the show earlier this year. In a sports segment, talk turned to the NCAA women's basketball game between Rutgers University and Tennessee. "That's some...
  • Evolution: T. Rex and His Family

    The answer is: like chicken—with a hint of frog and notes of newt. It's not that many people have been asking what Tyrannosaurus rex tasted like. But in a feat that demolishes beliefs about how long biological molecules can survive, scientists have isolated tiny amounts of the protein collagen from the thigh bone of a T. rex that died 68 million years ago in what is now Montana. There was just enough for scientists at Beth Deaconess Medical Center to determine the protein's sequence of amino acids. The sequence it matches most closely, reported in the journal Science, is that of modern-day chickens, followed by frog and newt.The match is the first molecular support to the hypothesis (based on bone similarities) that birds and dinosaurs are evolutionary cousins. But unrelated species can evolve similar anatomies. The molecular match is stronger evidence that crows hopping around some roadkill can claim velociraptors as great-uncles.The discovery that proteins endure so long means...
  • Mail Call: Learning to Survive Without a Cure

    Readers of our April 9 cover package, many of whom have suffered through their own cancer ordeals, were inspired by Jonathan Alter's essay on the highs and lows of his battle with the disease. "Jonathan Alter has given me another level of acceptance and renewed energy to invest in the quality of my survivorship," one said. Another marveled, "Alter tells us what it is like, and we are right there with him—the terror of the diagnosis, the effects it has; normal life blown apart. And when he gives his analysis of how we might not know how to relate to him, asking about symptoms to calm our own wild fears— he nails it." Others simply seemed comforted that their own cancer fight was so similar to Alter's: "I have asked that all my family members read Jonathan Alter's story to better understand my experience," a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor wrote. "My life perspective has changed for the better." ...
  • On Campus: Addicted to Exercise

    During her years at Smith College, Caitlin Scafati battled what's known as exercise bulimia—a type of eating disorder that drives patients to cut their weight by working out at least two hours a day. In addition to extreme weight loss, the syndrome can lead to stress fractures or early osteoporosis. At the peak of her illness, Scafati, 24, burned thousands of calories daily at her dorm's gym, a facility unsupervised by the school. It was only after Scafati lost close to 100 pounds that a professor finally took her to rehab. "I knew I was sick," she says.School officials have been struggling since the mid-1990s with which role to play in dealing with overexercisers, a group particularly prominent in the stressful college environment. There are no hard numbers, but 44 percent of U.S. undergrads and graduate students say they know someone suffering from exercise bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. "It used to be too much drinking or drugs [to deal with...
  • The Editor's Desk

    In the summer and autumn of 2004, I was part of a series of panel discussions on MSNBC, anchored by Chris Matthews, on the presidential campaign. One morning my colleague Jonathan Alter stopped in the doorway of my office to ask if I was OK. Yes, I replied; what made him ask? Don Imus, he told me, had apparently been—how to put it?—underwhelmed by my performance the night before, and had referred to me as a "dope" who should get off the air so that he could hear another colleague, Howard Fineman. Up to that point, I had never really listened to Imus, but, being human, I began to tune in, especially when NEWSWEEK people were on the program, if only to find out whether the host would take another shot at me.Then, in December 2005, I wrote an essay about the history of the Nativity narratives. Imus liked the piece, and I got a call: would I come on the show? I did not think twice about saying yes. The program was a venue for senators, anchors and historians: to be part of the crowd...