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  • Michael Bloomberg’s Knightly Ambitions

    He is a short (5-foot-7) Jewish man from Massachusetts in a mostly Christian nation that is moving south and west. He has so little conventional star power that as mayor of New York City he can take the subway to work without other straphangers' really noticing. While he can be dryly witty, he sometimes turns wooden behind a podium. On the other hand, he can spend half a billion (if not more) of his own dollars to get elected. He is beholden to no interest groups. And he is very, very competent.Michael Bloomberg is the latest rescue fantasy to tantalize the American public (or at least its representatives in the media). The country is adrift; people feel threatened by forces beyond their control. One political era seems to be ending, but a new one has yet to begin. At 26 percent in the new NEWSWEEK Poll, President George W. Bush has the lowest approval rating since Richard Nixon during Watergate, and Congress rates slightly lower. The voters are sick of politicians and partisan...
  • A Life In Books

    She may have won a Pulitzer for her novel "March," but Geraldine Brooks confessed to PERI that her To Read list still includes Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks." Yeah, we haven't gotten around to that one, either. A profile of the writer as reader: ...
  • Quiz: Hats in the Ring

    So far this year, at least eight presidential hopefuls—Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter—have leapt into the race to replace George W. Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2009. That's on top of more than a dozen others—including John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden, Tom Vilsack and John Edwards—who formed exploratory committees or formally launched bids last year. How soon is Election Day again? Oh, right—22 months away. Candidates weren't always such early birds; in fact, until the 1950s, they rarely campaigned before the nominating conventions (in 1932, FDR became the first nominee to actually address the convention; Andrew Jackson barely left the Hermitage, his home in Tennessee, for the whole of his 1828 presidential run). But alas, those days are gone. With nearly two years of stumping and spin ahead, here are 10 questions to test your knowledge of how presidential hopefuls past and present...
  • Ask a Harvard Doc About Heart Health

    Heart disease, which kills nearly 700,000 people each year, remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and a diet high in saturated fats can also increase an individual's risk of heart attack and stroke. The good news is that lifestyle changes--quitting smoking, exercising more--can help many people reduce their risk and feel better in the process. As part of our next Health for Life offering, Harvard cardiologist Dr. Thomas H. Lee will answer your questions about heart health and related matters. Dr. Lee is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, he is the chair of the editorial boards of the Harvard Health Letter, a publication he helped found. Some of your questions and Dr. Lee's responses will run online and in the March 12 issue of NEWSWEEK.
  • Survey: Companies Face the Future

    MORE:Issue Ranker | What strategies will help your company pull through the current economic slump?Join the Online Forum Now | Submit your questions and comments below.// ////// ////// if (window.Mailbag) {Mailbag(oMailbag); } ////
  • Save Our History - Reviving Denver's Colfax Avenue

    Approximately 120 students, ranging from 3rd through 12th grade, partnered with Historic Denver and the Molly Brown House on a project designed to engage students in an on-going citywide effort to revitalize and restore one of Denver's most significant streets, Colfax Avenue. Colfax is the longest commercial street in the United States and represents an array of historical periods. However, over the last several decades the street has been in decline. Students researched the local history and heritage of Colfax Avenue, produced text, and provided photographs for a booklet entitled "Colfax: Colorado's Main Street." The booklet was distributed to 6,000 participants in the Colfax Marathon, a city-supported event created to raise awareness for Colfax and generate support for its revitalization. Students exhibited posters at the Marathon Expo for more than 20,000 community members attending the marathon.
  • Save Our History - Recreating our Historical Umiak Journeys

    The Umiak is a ship traditionally used by the Alutiiq tribe to carry large groups of people on the Gulf of Alaska. Large numbers of Umiaks were destroyed by Russian invaders in the 1700s, and they were not allowed to be used until after Americans took control of Alaska in 1867.The native village of Eyak, in conjunction with 50 students, will build a traditional Umiak and take it through the customary summer hunting route—more than one hundred miles round-trip. Students will interview community elders to learn about the Umiak and the hunting route, and the village will work with a traditional Umiak builder who will help in the boat's construction.
  • Save Our History - The Cornerstone Project

    The Cornerstone Project is part of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's plan to restore Phoenix's first Jewish synagogue, the historic Temple Beth Israel, as a public museum and Jewish heritage center, named the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center. Constructed in 1922, the building has a rich cultural heritage and has at various times housed a Jewish Center, a Southern Baptist Congregation, a Chinese Baptist Church, and a Mexican-American Baptist Church. Students will research the congregations who worshipped in the building, as well as conducting oral histories through interviews of various congregation members. This research will be used to produce a video documentary on the history of the building and will be placed on display in a gallery on the future museum.
  • Save Our History - Remembering Acadian children

    Middle and High School students in St. Martinville researched the lives of the Acadian children who arrived in Louisiana after being forced from their farms in Nova Scotia by the English in 1755. Of the 3,000 Acadian refugees who settled in the sate, 1,497 of them were children, many of them orphaned. Students worked with primary and secondary documents and with docents from the Acadian Memorial Foundation in St. Martinville to gather historical facts about the culture and history of the Acadian settlers. Children used this material to create stories about the lives of actual children listed on the "Wall of Names" within the Foundation that were incorporated into the Audio Interactive program at the Memorial.
  • Save Our History - Preserving African American Heritage in Kansas

    The Atchison County Historical Society partnered with middle school students and local Girl Scouts to preserve the African American community in Atchison by creating an archive at the Lincoln School, which was the last segregated school in the community. Students focused on the topics of segregation and integration through oral histories. Students interviewed former Lincoln School students and developed timelines and created story panels and a multi-media project from their research. The interviews were shown on local cable, podcasts and within the museum room and on the grounds at the Lincoln School.
  • Save Our History - Preserving Indian Culture in Indiana

    20 high school students partnered with staff from Conner Prairie to research the history and writings of Charles Christopher Trowbridge. Trowbridge was an ethnographer who studied Delaware (Lenape) Indian culture. The Delaware settled on what is now Conner Prairie, Indiana  in 1795 and lived there until being relocated west in 1820. Students explored transcripts and photocopies of Trowbridge's original papers, in addition to other primary and secondary sources, to help them construct a script documenting the important contributions he made to the local community. Students also created an English/Delaware Indian vocabulary booklet distributed when the script was performed as part of a living history presentation at Connor Prairie.
  • Fineman: Inside Barack Obama’s Strategy

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Sen. Barack Obama’s first line was ad-libbed and  it made me jealous. “It’s cold out here, but I’m fired up!” he told the frozen outside the Old State Capitol. I was glad somebody was warm, because I certainly wasn’t.But it was more than worth the brief discomfort to witness the scene: the lean figure of Obama, framed by the Greek revival capitol, its worn limestone golden in the morning sun;  the young, multi-cultural crowd cheering for him; the echoes of Lincoln and the Heartland; the whistles of the freight trains.America at its best.It was inspiring and humbling. This, after all, was the very place in which Lincoln had warned that a nation divided against itself could not stand. It was here that the age-old argument over race reached toward its crescendo. And it is here that Obama began a campaign that might end that argument altogether-or so we can hope.And yet if Obama’s candidacy winds up being about race and history, he won’t be the Democratic...
  • Sean Smith

    Sean Smith is a senior writer at Newsweek, where he covers the art and business of the film industry. He has reported and written features on some of the most pivotal and controversial films of our time, including “Brokeback Mountain,” “United 93,” “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and has explored the cultural significance of blockbusters such as “Spider-Man,” “Superman Returns,” and the “Harry Potter” films.Smith has covered both the serious (the Disney-Miramax divorce) and the absurd (the Tom Cruise meltdown), launched Newsweek’s popular “Career Intervention” series, and organizes the magazine’s annual Oscar Roundtable. During the last decade, Smith has profiled some of the most powerful and colorful personalities in the industry, including Johnny Depp, Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meg Ryan, Sharon Stone, Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Diane Keaton, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire and...
  • Law Students Learn from Anna Nicole

    When Anna Nicole Smith died, the question of where she would be buried was urgently discussed in hair salons, locker rooms, coffee shops—and Syracuse University law professor Terry Turnipseed's class on estate planning. At Berkeley, the custody battle between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline has made its way into Prof. Melissa E. Murray's family-law course. Around the country, law professors are finding value in our trashy tabloid culture. Teachers have always reached for pop culture to illuminate their subjects. But in the era of US Weekly and obsessive gossip blogs, students now come to class already knowing a lot about the legal issues involving celebrities—and sometimes even having read original case documents at Web sites like The Smoking Gun. At Columbia Law, the only thing more bizarre than Smith's lurid life was that her will contained a "no-contest provision when there was only a single legatee," says Zahr Stauffer, a third-year student there.Professors are happy not to...
  • Bio: Mary Carmichael, General Editor

    Mary Carmichael was named General Editor in January 2007 after six years with Newsweek. She writes primarily for the Health, Science, and Society sections of the magazine. Previously, she was an assistant editor since 2003, contributing to the Science and Technology, Society and Tip Sheet sections of the magazine. She came to Newsweek in June 2001 as an intern for the Periscope section. In her time at Newsweek, Carmichael has written three cover stories and contributed to many more. She also reported on-site from Ground Zero on September 11. She studied statistics with the Weidenbaum Center in 2006 and was a Journalism Fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 2003. She is also the co-author of the books "In the Beginning" and "Med School in a Box," and writes regularly for the Boston Globe Sunday magazine and other publications. ...
  • Last Letter From Iraq: Patrick Tainsh

    Sgt. Patrick Tainsh, Oceanside, Calif., 33 His family recalls him as a rebellious kid, but when he neared 30 he joined the Army. He died in an ambush in Baghdad on Feb. 11, 2004. His proud parents shared their son's parting words with the president, who autographed the last page with his thanks.
  • Last Letter From Iraq: Lance Graham

    Lance Cpl. Lance Graham, San Antonio, 26At 6 feet 5 and 240 pounds, "he made other people feel safe--even other Marines," says his father. Died May 7, 2005, near Haditha Dam when a pair of suicide bombers hit his convoy.
  • Last Letter From Iraq: Anthony Butterfield

    Lance Cpl. Anthony Butterfield, Clovis, Calif., 19Enlisted straight out of high school. One of four Marines killed when a suicide bomber set off a propane truck in Rawah on July 29, 2006.
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers of our cover story were full of questions about the new approaches to studying evolution—like paleoneurology. "So we're not descendants of Neanderthal man after all? Species developed quickly, not gradually by natural selection?" one asked. Some quibbled over the new scientific methods. "You presume that my ancestors came from the bones of hominids with no other evidence than DNA samples and so-called logical conclusions. Is this science or educated guesswork?" Another argued that comparing genes from chimps and humans is about as helpful as "comparing the circuitry of computers hoping to learn what software they are using." Many debated evolution vs. creation, and several readers had no trouble accepting both as compatible. Others said that if we have evolved, we must still be evolving. "What will those who come tens of thousands of years from now think when examining our lost civilization?" one asked.I greatly appreciate your article on the new approach of using genetics...
  • Last Letter From Iraq: Steven Gill

    Cpl. Steven Gill, Round Rock, Texas, 24He once aspired to be a minister, but after 9/11 he wanted only to join the Marines. He arrived in Iraq on his first tour of duty in March 2005. On July 21 he was killed by an IED near the village of Zaidan, southeast of Fallujah.
  • Book Excerpt: 'Step on a Crack'

    Chapter 1I’LL TELL YOU THIS—even on the so-called mean streets of New York, where the only thing harder to get than a taxi in the rain is attention, we were managing to turn heads that grim, gray December afternoon.If anything could tug at the coiled-steel heartstrings of the Big Apple’s residents, I guess the sight of my mobilized Bennett clan—Chrissy, three; Shawna, four; Trent, five; twins Fiona and Bridget, seven; Eddie, eight; Ricky, nine; Jane, ten; Brian, eleven; and Juliana, twelve—all dressed in their Sunday best and walking in size order behind me, could do the trick.I suppose I should have felt some privilege in being granted the knowledge that the milk of human kindness hasn’t completely dried up in our jaded metropolis.But at the time, the gentle nods and warm smiles we received from every McClaren stroller-pushing Yummie, construction worker, and hot dog vendor from the subway exit next to Bloomingdale’s all the way to First Avenue were completely lost on me.I had a...
  • Voices From Campus

    Barts was disturbed by the videos and photographs that Cho shot of himself. “The worst part of it all was the image of him pointing the gun because that was the last thing many of [the victims] saw. But I think some of them needed to be shown. I think what the cat said gave everybody else a handle on what the hell was wrong with him.” Barts is bothered that the school administration is being criticized in the national media. “CNN and Larry King have been bashing the administration and they can do it all they want, but they couldn’t have done anything. Who could have expected this?” ...
  • From Iraq, U.S. Troops Write Home

    In an ongoing series, NEWSWEEK publishes letters and e-mails from fallen U.S. troops in Iraq to loved ones and friends back home. The following are unedited excerpts from correspondence provided by families of the deceased.
  • Send Newsweek Your Video Resume

    To upload your video, you need to have an account with Start a new account or login to your exisiting account by filling out the form below. We can accept videos up to 100 megabytes in size and in the following formats: Quicktime, .WMV, .MPEG4, .MPEG2, h.264, .AVI, .DV, and .3GP.
  • The Comforts of Home

    Tourists want to hit the road but also eat in, work a bit and even blend with the locals.
  • Can a $100 Laptop Change the World?

    The green and white gizmo is not much bigger than a clutch purse, but when you extend its plastic bunny-ear antennas and flip it open, clamshell style, the screen is colorful and welcoming, ready to network or create. It's even got a video camera and social networking software? It's the $100 (or so) laptop and its proud parent, the founder of the nonprofit One Laptop per Child, Nicholas Negroponte, believes it is within his sights to equip millions of developing-world children with these gadgets, paid for by governments and grants. NEWSWEEK caught up with the former head of the MIT Media Lab and best-selling author in Germany last month. ...
  • Project Green

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  • A New Cheney-Gonzales Mystery

    A new battle has erupted over Vice President Dick Cheney's refusal to submit to an executive order requiring a government review of his handling of classified documents. But the dispute could also raise questions for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. For the past four years, Cheney's office has failed to comply with an executive order requiring all federal offices—including those in the White House—to annually report to the National Archives on how they safeguard classified documents. Cheney's hard-line chief of staff, David Addington, has made the novel argument that the veep doesn't have to comply on the ground that, because the vice president also serves as president of the Senate, his office is not really part of the executive branch.Cheney's position so frustrated J. William Leonard, the chief of the Archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which enforces the order, that he complained in January to Gonzales. In a letter, Leonard wrote that Cheney's position...
  • Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Schoolyard Murders

    Elected on a pledge to curb violent crime, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is rallying a community outraged over the brutal shootings of four college students on a school playground. But can he stop the violence?
  • David Noonan

    David Noonan came to Newsweek in 2000 as a senior writer in the Business section, moved over to the Society section in 2001 and became a senior editor in 2003. He covers a variety of topics, including health care, medical science and sports. He has written cover stories on the epidemic of hearing loss “How to Keep Your Hearing” (6/6/05), statin drugs, “Cholesterol and Beyond” (7/14/03), the Botox Boom, “The Business of Botox” (5/13/02), and the cost of prescription drugs “Bitter Pills” (9/25/00).Noonan has also written about the tobacco industry, surgeries of the future, the clinical applications of hypnosis, professional golf caddies and the world of elite high school basketball. His current interests include the new generation of targeted cancer therapies and new techniques in neurosurgery.Before Newsweek, Noonan was a staff writer and columnist at the New York Daily News’ Sunday edition since January 1999. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer and his work has appeared in The...
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  • Clift: Is Newt Gingrich Poised for a Comeback?

    Fourteen video cameras lined the ballroom of the National Press Club on a steamy August day, drawn by the back-to-the-future presence of Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker and possible presidential candidate. The audience of journalists, industry representatives and assorted hangers-on sat transfixed as Gingrich wowed them with his versatile intellect and his political derring-do.In an angry election season, this could be Gingrich’s moment. He’s a bomb thrower, and this time he’s hurling smart bombs, blasting risk-averse candidates and the army of consultants that have sapped all spontaneity out of the presidential-election process. His fury at the ways of Washington echoes the way he tapped into voter disgust with the status quo in 1994 when he led the Republican revolution that captured control of the House for the first time in 40 years. He defined the conservative takeover, and then became part of its decline when he resigned the speakership in 1999.Now he is poised to shake up...
  • Gitmo: Should Doctors Force-Feed Prisoners?

    Hunger strikers confront their captors with a dilemma. When women suffragists went on hunger strikes in the early 20th century, authorities pried open their mouths and forced down chunks of food (several women choked to death). During Northern Ireland's Troubles, British authorities allowed IRA and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners to starve themselves to death; 10 did.Is it ethical for a doctor to force-feed a prisoner on a hunger strike? An opinion piece in the Aug. 1 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests doctors should refuse to force-feed detainees at Guantánamo Bay as long as the prisoners are capable of making rational choices. This month Dr. S. Ward Casscells, the new assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs, went to Guantánamo to "look at it with my own eyes," he told NEWSWEEK. Of the 355 detainees still in Gitmo, about 20 are on hunger strike at any one time, he says. Prisoners who skip nine straight meals go under "observation";...
  • Baseball: Behind Aaron's Nod to Bonds

    Hank Aaron's video tribute to Barry Bonds was the final act in an elaborately choreographed production by the San Francisco Giants. And it was a tribute to the adage "It never hurts to ask.""I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball's career home-run leader," Aaron said in a surprise taped message played on the big video scoreboard at AT&T Park seconds after Bonds hit No. 756. Aaron, whose record of surpassing Babe Ruth stood for 33 years, offered his "best wishes to Barry and his family," and then rather cryptically added, "My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams." The last comment, of course, could be read as Aaron's hope that some other ballplayer will one day pass Bonds, whose home-run chase has been tarnished by questions about performance-enhancing substances. Aaron has hardly embraced Bonds as worthy of baseball immortality.But earlier...
  • A Life In Books: Jonathan Safran Foer

    His last novel used September 11 as a backdrop for storytelling, but now Jonathan Safran Foer has embraced reality as he works on a new nonfiction book. Here are five books that have illuminated (almost) everything for him along the way. A Certified Important Book you still haven't read: I haven't read most of them. The Qur'an might take the prize, though. It's hard to think of a more important book these days. A book you would like to share with your children: I have a small library of books about circumcision, which, when the time comes—that is, when I suddenly find myself with a lot of explaining to do—I will defer to. And then one day he can pass them on to his son. And so on and so on ...
  • Evolution: Branches on the Tree

    The phrase "family bush" doesn't trip off the tongue the way "family tree" does, but anyone talking about human origins had better get used to it. For years scientists have known that the simple linear model in which one ancestor evolved into another is a myth. Starting 4 million years ago, half a dozen species of Australopithecus lived in Africa at the same time. Experts thought that once the Homo lineage debuted 2.5 million years ago in East Africa with Homo habilis, things settled down, with habilis evolving into Homo erectus, who evolved into Homo sapiens—us. But two fossils discovered in Kenya in 2000 (it takes scientists years to figure out what fossils mean) suggest evolution was a lot messier than that.One fossil, found just east of Kenya's Lake Turkana, is the upper jaw of a habilis from 1.44 million years ago. This species was thought to have gone extinct about 1.6 million years ago. The other find, from the same site, is an erectus skull from 1.55 million years ago. The...
  • Beyond Cardio: What You Need

    How little exercise can you do and still be healthy? This month the American College of Sports Medicine (—along with the American Heart Association (—updated its physical-activity guidelines for the first time in 12 years. They recommend:The bottom line: get moving. Even some activity is better than none. "Walk during TV commercials if nothing else," says Steven Blair, a coauthor of the report. Finally, set a schedule, write it down—and do it.
  • Sports Drinks: Fresh Sip Appeal

    The right fluids are essential for athletes, especially in summer. A new line of all-natural sports drinks provides much-needed electrolytes, energy and hydration but ditches the unhealthy high-fructose corn syrup found in most mainstream varieties. ...
  • Alter: I Know What You Did Last Summer

    I hate to sound melodramatic about it, but while everyone was at the beach or "The Simpsons Movie" on the first weekend in August, the U.S. government shredded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the one requiring court-approved "probable cause" before Americans can be searched or spied upon. This is not the feverish imagination of left-wing bloggers and the ACLU. It's the plain truth of where we've come as a country, at the behest of a president who has betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution and with the acquiescence of Democratic congressional leaders who know better. Historians will likely see this episode as a classic case of fear—both physical and political—trumping principle amid the ancient tension between personal freedom and national security.Congress had good reason to amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). After the shift from satellites to fiber-optic cable for most international phone calls, the statute was as out of date as disco. With...
  • Toddlers and TV: Turn It Off, Baby

    Popular educational videos designed to stimulate young minds, like "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy Baby," may actually impede language development, according to a new study in The Journal of Pediatrics. In a survey of the video-watching habits of 1,000 families, the DVDs—some of which promise to enhance the cognitive development of babies as young as 3 months—fared worst out of several types of programming studied. Exposure to educational shows, like "Sesame Street," and non-educational ones, like "SpongeBob SquarePants," had no net effect on language, researchers said—but for every hour that infants 8 to 16 months spent watching the baby DVDs, they understood six to eight fewer words, out of a set of 90, than infants who didn't watch. (For 17- to 24-month-olds, there was no net effect.)Reading or telling stories to infants at least once a day was found to increase their vocabularies by only two or three words, indicating that the negative impact of the DVDs may outweigh the benefits of...
  • Mens' Looks: A 'Retrosexual' Comeback

    Measuring 6 feet 3, with chiseled pecs and a bushy beard, George seemed like a model of manliness. Yet two years ago the 47-year-old Virginia businessman (who declined to give his full name to protect his privacy) decided he didn't look quite macho enough. So he went to see Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a Miami hair-restoration surgeon, to have 3,000 hair follicles ripped from his scalp and transplanted into his face, chest and belly. He wasn't satisfied. So a year later he returned to get an additional 2,400 grafts done. "I could still have another surgery and not be completely covered," says George today. "I'm very pleased, but 2,400 grafts is not a very hairy chest."George's quest for maximum hirsuteness isn't as unusual as it may sound. He's part of a growing group of "retrosexuals"—men who shun metrosexuality, with its often feminine esthetic, in favor of old-school masculinity. Cosmetic and hair-transplant surgeons on both coasts report increases in patients seeking a more rugged look:...
  • Film: A Surprising Summer of Oscar Contenders

    Summer has been blockbuster time for three decades now. But this season of "Pirates" and "Transformers" has also become a season of Oscar contenders. There are already three possible best-actress nominees from films released since May—Julie Christie for "Away From Her," Angelina Jolie for "A Mighty Heart" and Marion Cotillard for "La Vie en Rose." Don Cheadle could score a best-actor nod for the just-released "Talk to Me." There are more competitors on the horizon, including Leonardo DiCaprio's global-warming doc, "The 11th Hour," and the refreshingly off-kilter "Rocket Science," both scheduled for August releases. In short, summer is the new fall."The business for independent film is so good right now," says Bob Berney, president of Picturehouse, which released this summer's "La Vie en Rose." "Even the multiplexes are playing these kinds of films now." Why? Since 2004, the number of movie tickets sold to teenagers has dropped by 82 million, presumably because today's teens have...
  • Alaskans Ponder a Future Without Ted Stevens

    When federal agents raided the home of Ted Stevens in an Alaska ski town last week, looking for evidence in a bribery probe, they weren't just investigating the most senior member of the U.S. Senate. They were also exposing a bullying, nepotistic political culture that has flourished on the Last Frontier for decades. Despite its vastness, Alaska is home to just 670,000 people, and it's been dominated for years by a handful of players: Stevens, 83, former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Don Young, the state's lone House member, and various protégés and oilmen. The federal investigation widened earlier this year when an oil-company executive pleaded guilty to bribing state lawmakers, and has now snared Stevens, Young and other lawmakers who have—until now—wheeled and dealed without consequence.Stevens and Young, whose connections with the same oilman are under investigation, have long been regarded as outrageous figures in Washington. Along with former senator (and...