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  • Both Parties Struggle With War Message

    It is absurdly early in the '08 campaign for pivotal moments, but Sen. Hillary Clinton's handlers were convinced they spotted one at the Democrats' first presidential debate, in South Carolina. Answering a question about how he would react to another Qaeda strike, Sen. Barack Obama talked about the lack of disaster preparedness in New Orleans and the need for reliable intelligence. He said that he would carefully target "some action to dismantle" the terrorists' network, but do so without the "bluster and bombast" that would "alienate the world community." The one thing he did not explicitly mention: the use of military force. Asked the same question by moderator Brian Williams of NBC, Clinton morphed into the commander in chief as aggrieved New Yorker. "I understand the extraordinary horror of that kind of attack," she said. "I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate." In Clinton's staff holding room at South Carolina State, there were smiles and high...
  • One Flag, Many Faiths

    Jewish and Muslim chaplains have dual roles: tending to their flocks and educating everyone about different traditions.
  • Mail Call: The Undoing of a Media Giant

    Readers of our cover story concurred that the Don Imus storm created a much-needed dialogue on race, power and media in this country. One said, "The issue is why so many people get off on his brand of rude, nasty remarks, and why it has taken so long for anything to be done about it." Another focused on introspection. "Thanks to Don Imus's racist remarks, tens of millions of Americans have been forced to examine their own attitudes on race." Still others pointed to the cultural purveyors of these messages, particularly the music industry. "Rap's references to black women as 'hos' and its gospel of violence toward women make Imus's comments look like a Sunday sermon." But one, echoing many, hailed the young people unwittingly caught up in this sordid episode who refused to play victim: "The world found out what a classy, intelligent bunch the Rutgers women's basketball players are."Can anybody honestly tell me how removing Don Imus from the airwaves makes life better for African...
  • Can Obama's Substance Match His Style?

    Barack Obama is a man of grace. With his eloquent language and compelling life story, he has crafted two best-selling books and can deliver campaign rhetoric with deftness. At town-hall meetings, he looks pensive as he carefully answers voters' questions, like the law lecturer he used to be. He sweeps his hand across the stage when he sounds expansive, and jabs a finger when he's critical of President George W. Bush. Even his clothes on the campaign trail suggest a seriously cool character, with his trademark black suit and white shirt unbuttoned at the neck.But beyond his charm and magnetic personality, what is the substance of the Obama campaign? In another era, his rivals might have asked, "Where's the beef?" John Edwards—the candidate Obama pushed into third place in the polls—is more specific, suggesting that Obama's fine words are no substitute for his missing health-care policy. "We have a responsibility, if you want to be president of the United States, to tell the American...
  • The Editor's Desk

    The biggest issue for our soldiers—and I can speak from experience both as a chaplain and as someone who served in Vietnam—is the guilt they feel when their friends are killed," Lt. Col. Roger Criner, a Southern Baptist, told our Eve Conant. "'Why did God take my buddies and not me?' "Criner, a 22-year veteran chaplain, oversees the work of Capt. Roger Benimoff, the Baptist minister who is on our cover this week. Benimoff served two tours in Iraq, tours so turbulent that he very nearly lost his faith—and says he is not fully reconciled with the Lord even now. "I hate God," Benimoff wrote in a January journal entry. How to worship a deity so many see as a God of love but who allows so much pain and horror in the world is an ancient question, and Benimoff's battle to keep his religion in the face of reality illumines a widespread but little-noted struggle many soldiers face.As the president and Congress battle over war funding and withdrawal proposals, our piece explores what life is...
  • Hot New Career Trend: Video Résumés

    Chris Dixon wants to be an economist. But even in today's improved job market, college seniors need to find ways to stand out. So Dixon, 22, who graduates from the University of Central Florida this June, figured he needed something that would make potential employers remember him. Instead of typing up a traditional résumé, Dixon decided to go Hollywood and shoot a video version with the help of one of a handful of companies that are turning résumés into indie productions. "It gives me the edge I was looking for to stand out from the competition," Dixon says.Video résumés may be the next big thing for tech-savvy college students trying to land their first jobs. Already, companies like MyPersonalBroadcast.com, TVResume.com and TheEdgeVideoResume.comare offering services that range from simple video storage on the Web to full production—including a script tailored to your curriculum vitae and advice on your job hunt.Employers say would-be film stars should proceed with caution. John...
  • Taylor: The President's War Powers

    President Bush did not mince words May 1, in announcing his decision to veto the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill. “This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of the operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency by the Constitution, including as commander in chief of the armed forces,” Bush said. His pronouncement did more than blunt a Democratic-led congressional effort to start winding down the war. He also planted the seeds for an extraordinarily sweeping assertion of presidential power—one which, if carried to its logical conclusion, could allow him to defy any and all congressional restrictions on the conduct of war in the future.The bill that Bush denounced as unconstitutional would in fact have placed only minor restrictions on his conduct of the Iraq War. Yes, it would have required that Bush begin withdrawing troops by July 1 under certain circumstances, and by October 1 at the latest. But...
  • The Checklist

    RENT "Little Children." Kate Winslet plays an unhappy suburban housewife who hooks up with a hapless stay-at-home dad. Not everything works, but this haunting film is hard to shake off.READ "Prisoner of Tehran" by Marina Nemat ($26; Free Press). This powerful memoir examines Nemat's struggle to forgive those who beat her and sentenced her to death at 16 for speaking out against her government.HEAR "American Doll Posse," by Tori Amos. Her ninth album gets political at turns, but she's at her best in burners like "Big Wheel," with its bouncy piano chords and sharp-tongued lyrics.SURF eBeanstalk.com. Finding the right gift for a child can be tricky. This site makes it easier by featuring only products selected by developmental experts and reviewed by moms. And there's free shipping.SEE Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather (Sat.; HBO pay-per-view). This junior-middleweight title bout is the most anticipated in years.
  • God, War and the Presidency

    Army Chaplain Carlos C. Huerta had been a rabbi for 20 years, but when it came time to comfort a dying Iraqi boy in a field hospital in Mosul, he did what he thought an imam might do. Huerta, who was on his second tour in Iraq in 2005, clutched the boy's hand—and recited passages from the Qur'an. "To do this job right, I learned suras [chapters] from the Qur'an, I learned to say the Lord's Prayer, I learned to say Hail Marys," he tells NEWSWEEK. "Soldiers who are dying deserve to get their last comfort."Most chaplains in the military are Christian, from nearly all denominations. But a few dozen are from other faiths, including about 30 Jews and 10 Muslims. They spend some of their time tending to the special needs of their own flock, leading holiday services, for example, and seeing that dietary restrictions are accommodated (about 4,000 of the 1.4 million active-duty troops identify themselves as Jews, while Muslims number about 3,400, according to the Pentagon).Often, they are...
  • Taking Our Time Off

    The hectic 10-city, 10-day package tour is a thing of the past. We say good riddance.
  • Can Meditation Improve Your Brain?

    Thanks to the Dalai Lama, lots of monks have lent Richard Davidson their brains. For almost 20 years Davidson, a neuropsychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a long-time meditator himself, has been curious about how Buddhist meditation of the kind the monks practice might change their brains. He has lugged electronic equipment up into the hills above Dharamsala (the Dalai Lama's home in exile in northern India) to test the brains of yogis, lamas and monks living in primitive huts there, and persuaded other monks to visit his lab.Over the years he has found that the brains of monks who are the most experienced meditators are indeed different from other brains. They have a much stronger "gamma" wave, a form of electrical activity in the brain that is associated with consciousness and pulling together information and perceptions from different regions of the brain. They also have much greater activity in the left than the right prefrontal cortex (just behind the...
  • Secret Obama Fax Was Ethics Slip

    Sen. Barack Obama vows to bring a "new kind of politics" to Washington. But a copy of a 36-page fax from Obama's Senate office, obtained by NEWSWEEK, shows that the rookie presidential candidate, riding the biggest wave this side of his native Hawaii, needs to keep a sharp eye on the details of his own campaign. Senate ethics rules allow senators with active campaigns to "split" the work time and salary of official schedulers such as Obama's Molly Buford. According to Obama's campaign spokesman, Robert Gibbs, she in fact is paid by both entities. But Senate rules and federal law forbid the use of official equipment—such as faxes and phone lines—to conduct campaign business, which was what Buford was doing last Thursday when she faxed Obama's political "call list" to the senator's personal aide at a Columbia, S.C., hotel. "These are the call sheets for tomorrow's call time," she wrote on the official cover page, emblazoned with the seal of the U.S. Senate.The transmission was an...
  • Road Test: VW Rabbit

    VW's cheapie Rabbit is proof positive that throwing money at a car won't make it any more fun. This five-door's Euro looks; decent zip; soft, tactile controls; stylish gadgetry, and lithe handling point to something much more pricey. There's even a handy overhead sunglass case tossed in just to be nice. A ride in the Rabbit is as satisfying as going to Target's shoe department and finding a sprightly pair of Pucci sandals hidden among the klunkers. Score. Though you might think this Rabbit is a kid's car, it isn't. Well, it could be, but who cares? Steering is decidedly German, i.e., sharp and responsive. The hatchback trunk makes for easy loading and retrieval of cargo, and the sport-textured cloth seats are easy to clean. This five-seater is surprisingly tall inside, with ample headroom for me and my tall friends.And there are plenty of other grown-up features, like CFC-free air conditioning with a pollen and odor filter, power windows with pinch protection so that little fingers...
  • God, War and the Presidency

    Jewish and Muslim chaplains have dual roles: tending to their flocks and educating everyone about different traditions.
  • China's Roadside Eats

    Spring has sprung. The hills north of Beijing are alive with ... the sound of noisy restaurant attendants, some waving red banners, standing at the side of the road shouting, "Stop here for a delicious meal!" at the throngs of city dwellers zooming by in their cars.Chinese are hitting the road in record numbers. Car ownership more than tripled between 2000 and 2006, and China is now the world's second largest auto market after the United States. This love affair is spawning booming new auto-service industries, from vehicle accessories to roadside eateries. For better or worse, China is beginning to look—and taste—a lot like America in the 1950s. McDonald's and KFC (known for its Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets all over the country) plan to open 25 drive-through restaurants in China; both began testing the waters with drive-ins in Beijing and elsewhere in 2005.McDonald's has entered into a strategic alliance with Sinopec, China's biggest oil producer and marketer, to open drive...
  • Touring Troubled Lands

    Tourists generally stay away from conflict, but the desire to travel can also be the beginning of a healing process. Many people are rediscovering the beauty of strife-torn regions that are only now emerging from their troubles. It often starts with citizens traipsing across the border for weekend breaks or shopping trips, but it can eventually lead to economic revitalization. A shared history, culture and language are part of the appeal of vacationing close to home. “Travel has a normalizing effect,” says Tom Hall, editor of the Lonely Planet travel guides. Here are some formerly troubled lands that have seen an upswing in local tourism ...
  • Cybertours: Climbing the Highest Peaks—from Home

    The sun is shining and the waves are lapping at the sand. Just beyond the lounge chairs and palm trees, a gaggle of beautiful people with perfect tans and lush hair gyrate to music wafting from a pair of seaside speakers. It is, in short, a dream holiday. What's more, it's free, 100 percent ecofriendly and available any time to anyone with a broadband connection.Old-fashioned travelers might bristle at the fact that this is a cyberspace beach resort, and the beauties dancing on the sand are actually the animated avatars of people sitting behind computer screens (and probably wearing sweat pants). But to the more than 5 million players in the absorbing world of the online game Second Life (SL), where the shimmering oasis exists, this is nothing less than a real vacation. Cyber-resorts, they argue, come with all the escapist benefits of any real-world holiday: a new perspective, stunning scenery and plenty of ready romance. But these vacations also promise things that real travel can...
  • 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...