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

U.S.

More Articles

  • Govt. Looks for Leaker on Warrantless Wiretaps

    The controversy over President Bush's warrantless surveillance program took another surprise turn last week when a team of FBI agents, armed with a classified search warrant, raided the suburban Washington home of a former Justice Department lawyer. The lawyer, Thomas M. Tamm, previously worked in Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR)—the supersecret unit that oversees surveillance of terrorist and espionage targets. The agents seized Tamm's desktop computer, two of his children's laptops and a cache of personal files. Tamm and his lawyer, Paul Kemp, declined any comment. So did the FBI. But two legal sources who asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing case told NEWSWEEK the raid was related to a Justice criminal probe into who leaked details of the warrantless eavesdropping program to the news media. The raid appears to be the first significant development in the probe since The New York Times reported in December 2005 that Bush had authorized the...
  • Bush Loses Trusted Adviser in Rove

    In George W. Bush’s White House, no one was more powerful or influential than Karl Rove. The political strategist not only managed elections, he had his fingers in nearly every major policy decision made by this administration during the past six and a half years. It was Rove who worked the phones behind the scenes to secure some of Bush’s most memorable victories, including the tax cuts and Medicare prescription-drug bills Bush signed into law during his first term. After the September 11 attacks, it was Rove who masterminded the strategy of painting Republicans as tougher on terrorism than Democrats—a contrast that helped Bush and the GOP win by historic margins in the 2002 and 2004 elections.Now the man Bush nicknamed the Architect is done.The official announcement of Rove’s resignation came Monday morning. In a White House press conference with Bush, Rove said he was leaving to spend more time with his family. “It’s not been an easy decision,” Rove said, his voice quivering at...
  • Books: Sleeper Reads

    You've perused "The Secret," devoured "The Diana Chronicles" and fallen under the spell of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Looking for your next beach read? Here are five worthy hardbacks that didn't make the best-seller lists but should have. ...
  • Outdoors: Horsepower

    Horseback trail rides offer city slickers the opportunity to experience the West the cowboy way. With a horse doing all the work, tourists can access remote areas that would take hours to reach on foot. Look for moose and elk while ascending 2,000 feet into the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson, Wyo., where the Tetons jut skyward like sharks' teeth ($130 for a four-hour ride and T-bone-steak dinner; millironranch.net). Ride an 11-mile loop through the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy panoramic views of Grand Lake and the Colorado River headwaters ($85 for four hours, lunch included; wrranch.com). Breathe in the scenery of Idaho's 65-mile-long Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk Mountains during an all-day outing that includes a barbecue lunch ($125; idahooutdoorexperience .com). For an overnight option, saddle up at Crested Butte, Colo.'s Fantasy Ranch and ride through the Maroon Bells wilderness amid 14,000-foot peaks, then spend the night in a posh hotel in...
  • Fred Thompson's Powerful but Mysterious Wife

    Presidential candidates always make a big deal of the advice they get from their wives. Ronald Reagan told voters that Nancy was his closest adviser; Bill Clinton said Hillary was so crucial to his team that electing him would be a "two-for-one" deal. On the trail, John Edwards and Barack Obama showcase their smart, outspoken spouses. Politicians seem to think it humanizes them—and increases their appeal to women voters—to come off as just a little henpecked.Fred Thompson has his own version of the shtick. Speaking at a fund-raiser last week, he introduced Jeri Kehn Thompson as "my campaign manager—oh, I mean my wife." The line got a laugh, but in Thompson's case, the powerful-spouse bit is no act. Within his still-unofficial campaign, Jeri has emerged as the would-be candidate's top political adviser and de facto campaign manager. She urged her husband to run in the first place. To prepare for the rigors of a campaign, she recruited staff, including a friend, longtime Republican PR...
  • Alter: Is California GOP Trying to Steal the 2008 Election?

    Our way of electing presidents has always been fertile ground for mischief. But there's sensible mischief—toying with existing laws and the Constitution to reflect popular will—and then there's the other kind, which tries to rig admission to the Electoral College for strictly partisan purposes. Mischief-makers in California (Republicans) and North Carolina (Democrats) are at work on changes that would subvert the system for momentary advantage and—in ways the political world is only beginning to understand—dramatically increase the odds that a Republican will be elected president in 2008.Right now, every state except Nebraska and Maine awards all of its electoral votes to the popular-vote winner in that state. So in mammoth California, John Kerry beat George W. Bush and won all 55 electoral votes, more than one fifth of the 270 necessary for election.Instead of laboring in vain to turn California Red, a clever lawyer for the state Republican Party thought of a gimmicky shortcut....
  • Gonzales Meets Soldiers, Iraqis in Baghdad

    If anyone needs a summer getaway, it’s Alberto Gonzales. The attorney general has been under fire over the purge of federal prosecutors, the warrantless surveillance program, and his testimony to Congress on both matters. Gonzales did manage to get away from it all on Saturday, but he faced a different kind of heat—the sweltering sun of Baghdad. On his third trip to Iraq, Gonzales met with top American officials, like General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, as well as top Iraqi officials like Interior Minister Jawad Bolani. He also took time out to visit wounded soldiers at the 28th Combat Support Hospital, known as the Cash, in the Green Zone. NEWSWEEK’s Babak Dehghanpisheh was granted an exclusive interview with Gonzales. U.S. press officers insisted that the interview focus solely on Iraq. Excerpts: ...
  • Dark Journey to Utah Mine Collapse

    I stepped into the mine at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. It was nearly two full days after tons of coal crashed down in a deep tunnel of the Crandall Canyon mine near Huntington, Utah, trapping six miners and sparking a frantic, round-the-clock effort to reach the men. Now I was the only print reporter among a group of five journalists rescuers led on an exclusive journey into the mine. It was unprecedented access in the history of modern coal-mining accidents.Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Inc., and part owner of the mine, agreed to the trip so that a small group of reporters could watch as rescuers resumed drilling, suspended Tuesday night as too dangerous, after a second cave-in wiped out nearly 300 feet of progress and almost killed rescuers.(Update: On Saturday, officials reported that efforts to gain contact with the miners had failed to locate signs of the six trapped men. Richard Stickler, assistant secretary of the Department of Labor for Mine Safety and Health announced...
  • Expert: NY Subways Need Investment

    For not the first time, flash floods shut down or delayed New York City's entire subway network on Wednesday. A transportation expert says it's just another sign of America's decaying infrasctructure.
  • Joseph Biden on His Presidential Campaign

    If the depth of one’s experiences were the sole criteria for choosing presidential candidates, Sen. Joseph Biden would almost certainly be the Democratic nominee. The Delaware Democrat has spent 35 years in Congress—a tenure that began with the end of the Vietnam War. But experience isn’t everything, and Biden’s campaign for the White House is lagging badly in the polls. He’s not giving up though. Last week while promoting a new book, “Promises to Keep,” Biden talked to NEWSWEEK’s Sam Stein. ...
  • The Oakland Bakery Linked to Slain Newsman

    For years, officials stood by as the operators of an Oakland bakery were implicated in a rash of violent crimes. Now, the bakery has been linked to the murder of a crusading journalist.
  • Road Test: Subaru Tribeca

    When it was introduced four years ago, the Tribeca was bogged down with the confusing model designation B9 (the Subaru internal code name) and had such aggressive styling that most Americans ignored it. So with this makeover comes softer exterior styling and an interior that I think is more comfortable than any vehicle in its category. The Tribeca still isn't a fashion plate—but this family crossover does deliver.Indirect lighting hidden throughout the cabin gives off a pleasant glow, and a powerhouse audio system with easy-to-use controls is a vast improvement over the last model. As for handling, the Tribeca's low center of gravity and somewhat taut suspension allowed for a confident carlike ride, assisted by all-wheel-drive traction. But I was bothered by this five-speed automatic's glacially slow shifting when I slipped it into manual shift mode. And though the vehicle has a third-row seat to accommodate six passengers, it was so cramped, only the tiniest of tots or pets could...
  • Is McCain Back? The Underdog Fights On

    John McCain has been campaigning in New Hampshire for months, but when he took the stage last week at a town-hall meeting in Keene, it felt like a reunion tour. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" pumped on the sound system, and when the onetime GOP presidential front runner arrived, many of the 200 people packed in the room leapt to their feet, cheering. McCain railed against partisanship in Washington and attacked the free-spending ways of his own party. "It's getting harder to do the work of the Lord in the city of Satan," he said, prompting laugher and applause. A few feet away, a handmade campaign sign hung on the wall: THE MAC IS BACK!That's the message McCain's supporters are pushing after his campaign's near collapse. After spending several years remaking his image—from maverick insurgent into establishment GOPer friendly with the conservative base—McCain raised less money than his opponents and spent more. He ended the first six months of the campaign with less than $500,000...
  • Scandal: A Bad Buzz at NASA

    A few astronauts may have given new meaning to the term "flying high." Last week NASA disclosed that an independent review panel had "identified some episodes of heavy use of alcohol by astronauts in the immediate preflight period," according to the panel's report. In two specific instances, astronauts "had been so intoxicated prior to flight that flight surgeons and/or fellow astronauts raised concerns to local on-scene leadership regarding flight safety," the report says. "However, the individuals were still permitted to fly."The panel was appointed by NASA after the much-publicized love triangle involving astronaut Lisa Nowak (she pleaded not guilty to charges she tried to kidnap a romantic rival). At a press conference last Friday, a NASA official clarified that one of the alleged incidents involved a spacecraft used to carry crew members to the International Space Station and the other involved a shuttle mission that ended up delayed.The revelations come at a sensitive time....
  • Gonzales Hangs On … But for How Long?

    Late on the afternoon of March 10, 2004, eight congressional leaders filed into the White House Situation Room for an urgent briefing on one of the Bush administration's top secrets: a classified surveillance program that involved monitoring Americans' e-mails and phone calls without court warrants. Vice President Dick Cheney did most of the briefing. But as he explained the National Security Agency program, the lawmakers weren't fully grasping the dimensions of what he was saying. Tom Daschle, then the Senate minority leader, tells NEWSWEEK that Cheney "talked like it was something routine. We really had no idea what it was all about." Still, as Daschle recalls, there were "a lot of concerns" expressed by some Democrats in the room when Cheney asked for their approval to continue the program. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, recalls that she "made clear my disagreement with what the White House was asking."Last week, embattled Attorney General Alberto...
  • The Web: A New Metric, for Now

    In July, when Nielsen// NetRatings rejiggered its Internet traffic measurements to emphasize time spent at a given site, almost everyone cheered—even some of the sites that fell in the rankings. The old way rewarded bad design; the new way is friendlier to video, gaming and messaging. The shift was meant to compare apples to apples (every service can measure by minutes, while some biggies, like AIM, weren't covered by the old "page view" metric), but it's created a bushel of confusion. Advertisers must decide if minutes at, say, eBay are equal to e-mail time. And YouTube, now credited for viewers who watch long videos (before, each counted as just one page), must solve where and when to sprinkle ads."In TV, we know there's 20 minutes of ads to 40 minutes of content. We just don't know that norm for the Internet yet. Time spent can't measure that fully, but in the interim, it's the best option," says Scott Ross of NetRatings. Before these questions are answered, we may be on to the...
  • U.S. Intel Can't Keep Up With New Technology

    Six years after 9/11 , U.S. intel officials are complaining about the emergence of a major "gap" in their ability to secretly eavesdrop on suspected terrorist plotters. In a series of increasingly anxious pleas to Congress, intel "czar" Mike McConnell has argued that the nation's spook community is "missing a significant portion of what we should be getting" from electronic eavesdropping on possible terror plots. Rep. Heather Wilson, a GOP member of the House intelligence community, told NEWSWEEK she has learned of "specific cases where U.S. lives have been put at risk" as a result. Intel agency spokespeople declined to elaborate.The intel gap results partly from rapid changes in the technology carrying much of the world's message traffic (principally telephone calls and e-mails). The National Security Agency is falling so far behind in upgrading its infrastructure to cope with the digital age that the agency has had problems with its electricity supply, forcing some offices to...
  • Pakistan Ambassador Blasts U.S. Intel

    Pakistani Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani, a scholar and former general, says the government of President Pervez Musharraf is being unfairly blamed for the failure of U.S. intelligence to locate Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. In an interview last week with NEWSWEEK’s Michael Hirsh at Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington, Durrani attacked as erroneous the recent National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Al Qaeda has “regenerated key elements” of its ability to attack the United States. The ambassador also argued that the agreement that Musharraf signed with North Waziristan’s Pashtun tribes in September 2006, which gave pro-Taliban tribal elders full control in the Pakistani region, is still intact, even though senior U.S. officials such as Homeland Security Adviser Frances Fragos Townsend say it hasn’t worked. Excerpts: ...
  • The Editor's Desk

    When NEWSWEEK's Africa bureau chief, Scott Johnson, went out with a patrol in Congo's Virunga National Park to investigate the killing of rare mountain gorillas, what he and photographer Brent Stirton found was far worse than they had expected. Near the edge of the forest four members of the same gorilla family had been shot at close range, possibly the worst such slaughter in 25 years. Both Johnson and Stirton are experienced war journalists. Yet they were still taken aback by the scene. Two things in particular struck them. One was how human the great animals seemed in death; a 600-pound male silverback lay with one hand across his chest, as if he had just been beating it. The other was the tenderness with which the rangers treated the bodies. The next day more than 100 villagers followed them into the jungle, built huge stretchers from tree trunks and then uncomplainingly carried the gorillas back to camp—a three-hour walk. "I've never seen a demonstration of compassion like that...
  • Food: It's Smokin'

    For an alternative to flipping burgers on the grill this summer, take a cue from down-home Southern barbecue: try smoking. This technique differs from grilling in that meats are cooked at significantly lower temperatures (under 300 degrees for meats, under 100 degrees for fish and cheese) for up to 24 hours, which concentrates flavor and tenderizes meat. According to Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of the "Smoke & Spice" cookbook (Harvard Common Press. $16.95), the fattiest (and least expensive) cuts become most flavorful.Smoking aficionados cook with chunks of wood like apple or hickory ($15 for 10 lb.; cookshack.com). The easiest smokers to use are electric, which maintain an even heat and don't require a constant watch to add more wood. Cookshack also sells a great smoker ($500), though it's a bit smaller than Williams-Sonoma's Smokin' Tex ($500; williams-sonoma.com), which has four racks to cook several meats at once.If you forgo the smoker, try a SAVU Smoker Bag ($3.50...
  • Be Good To Your Bones

    To judge by those ubiquitous ads, just about every adult woman in America should be worried about osteoporosis, a skeletal disorder characterized by thinning bones. And since the ads are paid for by pharmaceutical companies, it's not surprising that the suggested remedy is medication. Is that the right approach for you?The first thing you need to know is that not everyone is at risk for osteoporosis. About 8 million U.S. women and 2 million men have the disorder. Women over 50 are the most vulnerable because they can lose as much as 20 percent of their bone mass in the years around menopause. They're also more likely to have it if they're Asian or Caucasian, have a family history of osteoporosis or weigh less than 127 pounds. Some other risk factors: anorexia, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and excessive alcohol use. Men get osteoporosis at a much lower rate—probably because they have bigger bones.Osteoporosis can be devastating. "It can cause loss of mobility and independence and...
  • Tech: Online Party-Planning Tools

    Planning a summer shindig? From firming up a date to sending out invites, these event-planning sites will help you get the party started. ...
  • Clinton vs. Obama: The Experience Question

    Does Barack Obama have have enough experience to be president? This is the question Hillary Clinton would like to spend the next seven months debating. Her slogan is that she's "ready to lead"; she cites her extensive foreign travel and sessions with world leaders. For his part, Obama prefers to talk about living overseas and the good judgment he displayed in opposing the Iraq War from the start. For months, Clinton and Obama have taken subtle digs at each other's résumés. But there's nothing subtle about it now.At last week's contentious presidential debate, Obama was asked if he would meet with hostile foreign leaders like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions in the first year of his presidency. Obama said he would. He said George W. Bush's policy of shunning those leaders had failed, and he would bring about change. Clinton turned the answer against Obama. She said she would not meet with the hostile leaders without preconditions, and...
  • A Life In Books: Natasha Trethewey

    Poet Natasha Trethewey won the Pulitzer Prize for "Native Guard," her latest book of prose inspired by historical events. These books shaped her personal history. A Certified Important Book you still haven't read: "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. It's ridiculous that I haven't read it, because it was the book my father was reading when he chose to name me Natasha. A classic that, upon rereading, disappointed: "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison. Don't get me wrong, it's such an important book, and the last lines of it are so wonderful, but it's not exactly an enjoyable read.
  • Is Barry Bonds Facing Indictment?

    Are the Feds ever going to wrap up their criminal investigation of San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds? Lawyers close to the investigation say there is little doubt the Bonds investigation, which has been underway for years, is still very much alive. According to news reports, a federal grand jury investigating the case recently had its term extended. Greg Anderson, Bonds's close friend and former personal trainer, remains jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before the grand jury, said his lawyer, Mark Geragos. (Geragos told NEWSWEEK that Anderson will "never" testify against Bonds.) Another lawyer familiar with the investigation, anonymous when discussing sensitive matters, said prosecutors on the case have been shuttling in and out of the grand-jury room. But a law-enforcement official close to the case, who also requested anonymity, said that a Bonds indictment does not appear imminent—almost certainly not before Bonds has time to match and surpass Hank Aaron's...
  • Liu: China’s Fight to Spin the ’08 Olympics

    Tu Mingde first became involved in China's Olympic efforts in 1972. Now Tu is assistant to the president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), which is responsible for the city's preparations for next summer's Games. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Melinda Liu and Jonathan Ansfield about the countdown to 2008. ...
  • Real Estate: The Color of Sales

    The housing slump notwithstanding, sellers of ecofriendly homes are seeing green. "Our local real-estate market is in the tank, but we're hiring people left and right to try to keep up with demand," says David Stitt, an ecofriendly builder in Arkansas. At 340 on the Park, a new green high-rise overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago, 337 of the building's 343 units are sold—despite prices from $350,000 to more than $2 million. "We're selling expensive real estate in the city of Chicago, and it can't feel Birkenstockish," says Kerry Dickson, of the developer Related Midwest. In December, Elaine Cottey and her husband will move into their unit. They like the ecologically correct bamboo floors, the bike room and the 11,000-gallon tank that collects storm water used to irrigate the landscaping. All the right stuff, and it still looks luxe. "It's a win-win situation," says Cottey.Today's buyers want to save money on energy and breathe air without smelly chemicals in the paint. There's also...
  • Perfect Weekend: ¡Hola, Buenos Aires!

    Join Europeans making the most of a weak peso or Americans jetting in for photo shoots with sexy Argentine models against crumbling urban backdrops. ...
  • GOP Iowa Debate: Just More of the Same

    One danger about scheduling so many presidential debates so early in the campaign is that it doesn’t take long until they all start blurring together.Today’s debate mostly proved that point. When the Republicans vying to be their party’s 2008 nominee gathered for their fourth debate in as many months, perhaps the only distinguishing difference from other forums held so far was the location—Iowa—and the number of men on stage—now eight, since Jim Gilmore dropped out last month.No doubt there were subtle changes among the GOP field, mainly in terms of performance. After some shaky moments in a few of the earlier debates, Mitt Romney came off confident and smooth—delivering perhaps the best line of the day, a dig at Barack Obama’s foreign policy moves last week. “He’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in a week,” Romney declared. (The line was clearly not off the cuff. Upon delivery, his campaign almost instantaneously zapped reporters covering the debate a link to a YouTube...
  • Democrats to Court Gay Voters at Forum

    In a crowded primary field, every vote counts. So it’s probably not surprising that six of the eight Democratic presidential contenders for 2008 plan to participate in the first debate devoted entirely to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues on Aug. 9 in Los Angeles. (Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd declined to attend, citing scheduling conflicts) Still, the event’s sponsors, the Human Rights Campaign and Viacom’s Logo cable TV network, are touting the event as an historic opportunity for the gay community to raise its issues on a national stage. The forum, moderated by Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News, will run from 9-11 p.m. ET on Logo and Logo.com. (The sponsors say they invited GOP candidates to participate in their own gay debate, but that none signed on.)While gay and lesbian voters have largely been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats at least since the ‘80s, some activists say their community is taken for granted by the party. Privately, political strategists...
  • Did This Maryland Mom Murder?

    By many accounts, Christy Freeman seemed like an average small-town mom, juggling the demands of running a taxi company and raising four teenage kids. She worked hard, friends say, often taking the wheel of a taxi herself as many as 12 hours per day. And yet she still managed to carve out time for her kids, driving them to athletic matches. Among some year-round residents in the beach community of Ocean City, Md., Freeman was popular for the discounts she gave them. One of her neighbors, Karen L’Hussier, recalls that Freeman once went out of her way to pick up L’Hussier’s son to ensure he got home safely.So no one would have imagined the horrors that lay hidden in the two-bedroom apartment Freeman shared with her longtime boyfriend and kids. Last week, authorities discovered the remains of four dead infants and fetuses—all of them believed to be hers—in or near her home. Two sets of remains were found in a trunk in her living room, one in a motor home on her property and the final...
  • Meet the General Who Lends Gravitas to Obama

    Those who fall in with the Barack Obama campaign tend to fall hard for the man himself, and none more than Jonathan Scott Gration. A recently retired Air Force major general who voted for George W. Bush in 2000, Gration accompanied Obama on a 15-day tour of Africa last August and was, he says, simply bowled over. When the two traveled to Kenya, the homeland of Obama’s father, the U.S. presidential candidate directly confronted President Mwai Kibaki over corruption. "It was an incredible thing to watch," Gration later blogged on BarackObama.com. After the two of them went to Robben Island, the South African prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for almost three decades. Gration had something of an epiphany. "To see how Mandela saved his country by bridging racial, ethnic and in some cases cultural diversity, and turn a page from a turbulent time—I think that’s sort of what the senator’s doing," Gration told NEWSWEEK in an interview this week. "He’s using his experience to turn...
  • On Collapsed Bridge, Warning Signs Were There

    Survivors of Minneapolis’s bridge collapse said there was little warning. But the warning signs were in place years before.Long before Wednesday’s accident, which killed at least four and injured around 80, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MDOT) had warned about problems with the bridge. The structure had a "structurally deficient" rating since 1990 and has been inspected every year since, according to MDOT. Don Dorgan, an MDOT engineer, says, "We thought we had done all we could—obviously something went very wrong." In a 2001 report, engineers wrote that the bridge’s deck truss had many fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss system. Still, the report concluded the bridge “should not have any problems with fatigue cracking in the foreseeable future.” Then, in 2005 and 2006 the bridge was deemed “structurally deficient,” meaning that the bridge doesn’t need to be closed but is in poor condition and ill-equipped to handle current traffic loads. Apparently that...
  • Q&A: Can a Pedophile Be Law-Abiding?

    Is there such a thing as a lawful pedophile? Parents and children’s advocates in the Los Angeles area have grown worried about Jack McClellan, a self-described pedophile who in recent months has maintained an on-again, off-again Web page where he charts his trips to family-friendly venues like parks, county fairs and bowling alleys to meet what he calls LGs—little girls. McClellan tells reporters that he gets a “high” from being around girls between 3 to 11 years old, but insists he does not molest them. (Pedophilia covers a continuum from legal fantasy to illegal molestation and rape.) So far, law-enforcement officials agree with him. L.A.-area cops say McClellan is not under investigation. “We’ve monitored his Web site, and at the moment we’re determined that it does not cross into that area where it’s criminal in nature,” says Capt. Joe Gutierrez, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau, which handles sex crimes and child-exploitation cases.(On Friday, a...
  • Capital Sources: Taking Aim at D.C.'s Gun Law

    The District of Columbia has the most restrictive gun laws in the country. But that’s a distinction the nation’s capital will soon lose—if Robert Levy prevails. Levy was born in Washington, but left years ago; a resident of Naples, Fla., who made a fortune as an investment analyst, he is now a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. A critic of what he sees as unnecessary government regulation, he rounded up six D.C. plaintiffs who either owned firearms or wanted to, for self-protection, and helped bankroll their challenge to the city’s gun law—which makes it illegal to own or possess an unregistered handgun (D.C. stopped registering handguns back in 1978). The city permits registered “long” guns like shotguns and rifles, but they must be disassembled or disabled with trigger locks, and it’s illegal to use a firearm of any kind in self-defense—even in the owner’s home. The suit, which is being bankrolled by Levy, has been successful so far; in...
  • Money: Your Cash is on Line 1

    For those who find it comforting to check their money 24/7, cell-phone banking has arrived. A host of credit unions and banks, including Bank of America, Citibankand Wachovia, are giving customers mobile account access. That's useful if you want to check your balances before you plunk down that debit card, or if you want to pay bills while you're on the commuter bus. Visa and MasterCard are already testing the next phase: wave your cell phone at a cash register and, thanks to infrared technology, you'll pay and be on your way.That's handy, but frightening, too. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is warning bank customers to make sure their accounts are password protected and that no sensitive data get stored on the cell phone. Ask your bank if it offers any further safeguards.And consider the cost. Most banks offer the service free of charge, but some require specialized software or equipment, and you could still eat up a lot of cell-phone minutes "talking" to your checking account...
  • Film: Occupying Iraq—What Went Wrong

    Lucidly, and without partisan rhetoric, Charles Ferguson's not-to-be-missed documentary, "No End in Sight," lays out the disastrous missteps of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The magnitude of the errors perpetrated by the Bush administration—ignorance, incompetence, arrogance, bad or nonexistent planning, cronyism and naiveté—can make you weep with anger. We hear about jobs in Iraq handed to the sons of Bush campaign donors, of the young woman put in charge of managing traffic in chaotic Baghdad despite never having studied traffic control or Arabic.Thirty-five people are interviewed in the film, including Jay Garner, who briefly ran the reconstruction before being replaced by L. Paul Bremer; Ambassador Barbara Bodine, who was placed in charge of Baghdad (in an office that didn't even have phones); former deputy secretary of State Richard Armitage; a clearly bitter Robert Hutchings, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, who believes President Bush did not read the one-page...
  • A Life In Books: John Banville

    Call it a victory for the not-so-old man and "The Sea." Irish novelist John Banville clinched the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2005 for his 18th novel, "The Sea." If he awarded a Banville Prize for most important book, this would be his shortlist. A Certified Important Book you haven't read: George Eliot's "Middlemarch," which is a source of shame. I know it's superb, but I have always been daunted by this masterpiece. The book I most want my kids to read: "The Tower" by W. B. Yeats. They would learn, or at least glimpse, how magnificent poetry can be.
  • College: Why Internships and Study Abroad Don't Mix

    By this point in the summer, interns at many companies are busy learning the ropes and filling in for regular employees out on vacation. But there's a growing group of collegians who can find it difficult to gain these important career toeholds: students who spend a semester or full year studying abroad. The number of students studying overseas grew by 144 percent from 1995 to 2005, and at schools like Wake Forest, Georgetown and Duke, more than half of undergrads now do a stint studying in a foreign country. The trouble is, being overseas can make it difficult for students to do the in-person interviews required for top internships—and for students who study in increasingly popular places like Australia or South Africa, the school calendar can keep them from returning to the United States until late June, well past the date when most formal internships have already begun. "Recruiters are somewhat frustrated," says Notre Dame career-services chief Lee Svete. "The competition is such...
  • Bush-Brown Summit: Fresh Start for U.S., U.K.

    When the biggest question about a summit is sartorial—how will the new British prime minister dress?—you can bet the meeting will be a success. And so it was when Gordon Brown had his first encounter with President George W. Bush on Sunday in the "business casual" confines of Camp David. Anyone expecting an explosion of disagreement between the two leaders on matters of substance would have been disappointed. True, it was not a hot date à la Bush and Tony Blair, Brown’s predecessor. But equally true, it accomplished what both parties in the new U.S.-U.K. marriage wanted: a fresh start marked by mutual respect and admiration.The dress issue was easily resolved. Brown has seldom been spotted in anything but a dark suit and tie, and his visit to Camp David was no exception. Bush has been known to greet guests in casual slacks and an Air Force bomber jacket. This time, in deference to Brown, he wore a jacket and tie. The body language also passed muster. After the helicopter ferrying...
  • Road Test: Bentley Arnage T

    He may be nasty on "American Idol," but when Simon Cowell slips behind the wheel of his very well-behaved Bentley Arnage and cruises down Rodeo Drive, he might appear almost charming. That's because it's nearly impossible to come off as anything other than civilized while inside this English gentleman's cruiser. Though the Arnage T still looks overly conservative to most of us stateside, it's actually been tarted up a bit for 2007, with flashy, smoky metallic trim and an optional rear-seat cocktail bar and champagne cooler.There's a sense of relentless locomotion while driving this heavy sedan, owing to its substantial heft and a monster of a 6.7-liter, twin-turbocharged, 500-hp, V-8 engine. All the more reason to appreciate its high-performance ventilated disc brakes. And though maneuvering through tight turns isn't what these I'm-richer-than-you wheels were meant for, handling is better than expected. Mostly, though, the car oozes wealth. There's diamond-tufted leather and heavy...
  • The Editor's Desk

    After September 11, many Americans asked whether Muslims living here at home were susceptible to the same extremist ideologies that had fueled the 9/11 hijackers. Or to put the question more starkly, would young Muslims here turn against America and toward Al Qaeda's brand of murderous nihilism? Nothing like that has happened. There have been a few, unsuccessful homegrown plots. But America has not proved fertile ground for Islamic radicalism. In fact, Muslims here are more integrated, affluent and politically engaged than anywhere else in the West. They have, in short, bought into the American Dream.Of course, that is not the whole story. Many Muslim Americans were subjected to heavy-handed scrutiny after 9/11. Throughout the country there are significant pockets of discontent that, if left to fester, could lead to deeper alienation and radicalism. But still, compared with countries like France and Britain, where many Muslims live in ethnic ghettos and lead lives isolated from the...
  • Sexual Abuse: Trusting Memories

    Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may be as trustworthy as memories that persist from the time of abuse, reports the journal Psychological Science. In a first-of-its-kind study, investigators checked out CSA memories of 128 individuals by interviewing others abused by the same perpetrator, or people who learned about the victim's abuse shortly after it occurred or when the abuser confessed. Over a six-month period, they found corroborating evidence for 37 percent of memories that had been recovered outside of therapy, nearly matching the 45 percent corroboration rate for continuous memories. Memories recovered in therapy, however, could not be corroborated. While not proving such memories are false, the finding suggests they should be treated cautiously. Elke Geraerts, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and the study's author, believes suggestive therapy can create an expectation that traumatic memories will be unearthed. "Too many therapists...
  • Crime: Cruel and Unusual

    The man known as "Fat Dog" can't quite understand why people make a fuss about it. A pit-bull breeder from outside Savannah, Ga., Fat Dog says dogfighting is no bloodier than some of the human combat people watch on cable television every day, on shows like the Ultimate Fighting Championship's "Fight Night." And the matches, though staged in secret, can have the trappings of a conventional sporting event. Fat Dog, who did not want his real name revealed, said he's been a spectator at about 50 professional matches over the years. The last one he attended, in rural North Carolina, was held in a structure built just for dogfighting, complete with bleachers and even a concession stand. "There was a great dog [there] named Zebo, who ended up a grand champion," Fat Dog told NEWSWEEK. He said he's seen only two or three dogs die in such matches. "They [the dogs] have every opportunity to quit, just like a boxer does."The indictment last week of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick on...
  • The Checklist

    RENT "Zodiac." David ("Se7en") Fincher's long, obsessive, fascinating account of the search for San Francisco's Zodiac killer zeroes in on the hunters (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo), who become consumed by their quest.READ "Pudlo Paris 2007-2008" by Gilles Pudlowski ($19.95). Available in English for the first time, this popular French guide reviews restaurants, bars, cafés and gourmet shops, and profiles the year's top chefs, bistros and bakers.HEAR "Beauty & Crime." Suzanne Vega celebrates her long-overdue return with this valentine to her hometown of New York City. The funky pop-folk collection proves that Vega is as original, gritty and gorgeous as ever.EAT Tyrrells Potato Chips, a new "crisp" from England ($19 for five bags; chelsea marketbaskets.com). Our favorite was the addictively seasoned, award-winning Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper.GO to the 27th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach, Calif. It's the largest competition of its...