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  • Identity Protection: Proving You're You

    For years, anyone calling a bank for account info has been prepared to answer a standard security question: "What's your mother's maiden name?" But as the threat of identity theft grows, financial-services companies are deploying a new array of questions—both on the phone and online—to confirm you're really you. These next-generation queries run the gamut from biographic trivia ("In what city was your first elementary school?" or "What was the name of your first boyfriend or girlfriend?") to questions that sound better suited to an online-dating questionnaire ("What's your favorite food? Favorite musician? The sports team you most like to see lose?"). Research analyst Michael Szydlo at RSA, a consulting firm that assists online security at Wachovia and Bank of America, says that while some of the queries may seem oddly personal, they're heavily researched to ensure two things: that you'll actually remember the answer, and that there are enough possible responses that it's hard for...
  • The Checklist

    SEE "Borat" on DVD. Sacha Baron Cohen's guerrilla comedy—naked wrestling and all—is one of the funniest and most hotly debated films in ages. READ "Driving With Dead People" by Monica Holloway (Simon Spotlight Entertainment. $23). Anunforgettable memoir about a young girl's struggle with mortality, her abusive family and finding a sense of herself. BUY L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche lipstick in Target Red ($5.99; target.com). The shade is bright, sexy and not tarty. And, it goes on evenly and doesn't bleed. SEE "Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudí to Dalí" at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Starting Wednesday, this 300-piece survey explores the work of Barcelona's artists, architects and designers in the years before Franco took power. HEAR "The Search" by Son Volt. Lead singer Jay Farrar departs from his alt-country roots with this riveting album, featuring Memphis-style horns, piano and strings.
  • Road Test: Nissan Altima

    Swank it wasn't when the Altima first debuted in 1990, but it didn't matter. Practical, well-priced and oddly jelly-bean-shaped, the sedan was immediately popular. Today, cheap and practical aren't enough. The car you want in your driveway is sporty, elegant and cheap. Nissan went for two out of the three with its completely redone Altima. At thirty grand, my fully loaded tester was priced wildly outside the original Altima's sticker category, a hint that this budget-minded five-seater is edging closer to the pricey sport-sedan segment.The new Altima is significantly more aggressive in looks and performance than the last-generation model, with a 3.5-liter, 270hp power train with plenty of torque for superquick acceleration, front and rear stabilizer bars and a sport-tuned suspension to hold the road tightly. It also has a gas-saving continuously variable transmission. But it's not just sporty. This five-seater is a great everyday driver, with a generous trunk lined with a grocery...
  • Money: Love and Taxes—Filing Tips

    If you got married (or divorced) last year, the Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2007 has some pointers:If either spouse owns life insurance or has a pension or 401(k) plan, update the beneficiary designations to reflect your marital status. Also, update your filing status on your Form W-4 and notify your employers if there is a change in address.You can deduct a number of medical expenses related to starting—or delaying—the expansion of your family. Deductions include fees paid for childbirth-preparation classes, certain fertility procedures, birth-control pills and operations to prevent having children.Though filing a joint return might make a couple feel closer, it may not make sense financially. For example, if one spouse has large medical expenses but lower income than the other, filing separate returns may result in a lower tax liability. Run the numbers both ways to determine which is better.If you got divorced on or before Dec. 31, you are considered divorced for the entire year....
  • N. Korea: Intelligence and Uncertainty

    Intel analysis is an art, not a science—and one that sometimes depends on the politics of the moment. Last week the government's senior North Korea intel analyst, Joseph DeTrani, told Congress that American officials now had only "midlevel confidence" in the same intel that led the Bush administration to assert in 2002 the North was actively "enriching" uranium—and could have a bomb-making plant up and running soon. During a confrontation with Pyongyang officials in October 2002 over the North's secret program, the then Assistant Secretary of State Jim Kelly says he actually had little certainty. He told NEWSWEEK last week that the North Koreans themselves "gave no specifics about what kind of program they had." According to several current and former administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, Kelly knew that Pyongyang was buying equipment for some 20 centrifuges from Pakistan in return for shipping Nodong missiles. He also...
  • The Hidden Risks of Laparoscopic Surgery

    When surgeons removed Carol Hurlburt's diseased gallbladder in 2005, they had to cut a long, gory incision in her abdomen, and she was still hurting when her husband developed his own gallbladder infection a month later. Richard Hurlburt, however, was a candidate for a less painful, minimally invasive procedure performed with the aid of cameras inserted through small holes in his abdomen—a "laparoscopic cholecystectomy" that would have him home the next day. But, Carol says, Richard's common bile duct, which links the gallbladder, liver and small intestine, was cut. Over the next eight months, Richard became sicker and died waiting for a liver transplant. What was supposed to be a simple procedure ended in tragedy. Determining what caused it all, and where it went wrong, has moved from the hands of doctors to the hands of lawyers. Last summer, Carol filed suit.One of the most common surgical procedures in the country, performed on 750,000 patients annually, laparoscopic gallbladder...
  • Summer Camps: Harry Potter and the Final-Book Frenzy

    Jill Kleinman closed her children's bookstore to operate a summer camp, so she thought her days of catering to young bibliophiles and their parents were over. But last month "I got a call from a parent who wants to pull his child out of camp at midnight to get the new 'Harry Potter' book," says Kleinman, who runs Camp Taconic in Massachusetts. "I had to tell him no. It sets a bad precedent."According to the American Camp Association, many summer camps make accommodations—later bedtimes, more free time—when J. K. Rowling chooses a summer release date for an installment of her blockbuster "Potter" series. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final book in the series, will demand even more attention. The book, set for release July 21, will feature the final battle between Potter and his nemesis Lord Voldemort, and Rowling has teased at least two significant deaths. Scott Weinstein, director of Maine's Camp Med-O-Lark, has also fielded inquiries from parents anxious...
  • Jewelry: Politically Correct Karats

    Those about to propose have always had to consider the four C's of engagement rings: cut, clarity, color and carats. Now there's a fifth consideration: is it P.C.? Nineteen jewelers, including Tiffany & Co., Ben Bridge and Zales, have joined the "No Dirty Gold" campaign—which added 11 new signees on Valentine's Day—to spotlight concerns about the trade's impact on human rights and the environment. Campaigners say mining can produce 20 tons of waste per 18-karat gold ring (the World Gold Council disputes the figure), while displacing local dwellers and polluting drinking water.Spurred also in part by the film "Blood Diamond," potential jewelry buyers are taking notice. Sales at ecofriendly Brilliantearth.com, which offers "clean" Canadian diamonds and recycled gold, have more than tripled in the past year. "We're seeing people that like diamonds, and want to buy diamonds, and have recently learned about these issues," CEO Beth Gerstein says. "It's not just the vegan who does yoga...
  • Schlesinger on Reagan's Faults and Virtues

    On a Saturday evening in Georgetown in late 1946, the columnist Joe Alsop was giving a dinner at his house in the 2700 block of Dumbarton. The guests were predictably drawn from the glamorous and the powerful; Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and influential journalists frequently came to Alsop's table. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., not yet 30 and already a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, was there, as were the Henry Cabot Lodges. Mrs. Lodge, Schlesinger noted in a letter to his parents, was "exceedingly attractive." There was one other guest of interest: a congressman-elect from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. "Kennedy seemed very sincere and not unintelligent," Schlesinger wrote, "but kind of on the conservative side."The scene is classic Schlesinger: there he is, at once a historian of the past and a player in the politics of the moment, savoring a good dinner with good company, surveying the table with an astute eye—by turns generous, pitiless and politically incisive....
  • A Budget Battle Over Child Health Care

    Marian Wright Edelman used to be close to Hillary Clinton. But they had a falling out over welfare reform. Can they mend their fences over health-care funding for kids?
  • Inside UCLA's Cadaver Scandal

    The Willed Body Program at UCLA's School of Medicine was the first of its kind in the nation—a university office specifically set up to house and preserve corpses donated by the public to foster medical research. Founded in 1950, the program helps med students learn all-important lessons of anatomy—and provides doctors an invaluable testing ground for cutting-edge procedures that, once perfected on the corpses, can more safely be tried on humans. So it came as a bit of a shock when the leader of UCLA's prestigious outfit was implicated in a scandal involving slicing up the bodies and selling them off illegally. This week, following a three-year investigation, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged program director Henry G. Reid—along with Ernest V. Nelson, an outside supplier of human tissue to medical companies—with conspiring to conceal and profit from the sale of hundreds of body parts. Each man is being held on $1 million bail—a figure roughly equal, authorities say, to the value of...
  • Scooter Libby's Pardon Problem

    President Bush may well pardon Scooter Libby. But he'd have to flout Justice Department guidelines in order to do it.
  • A 'Barbie Bandit' Father Speaks Out

    That's how the father of one of the 'Barbie Bandits' describes their fall from grace. How nice middle-class girls became strippers and alleged bank robbers.
  • Isikoff: Libby Jury Kept a Narrow Focus

    The jury in the I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby trial had a “tremendous amount of sympathy” for Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff—even wondering if he was being made the “fall guy” for others at the White House, one of the jurors told reporters today.“It was said a number of times, what are we doing with this guy?’ juror Denis Collins told reporters on the courthouse steps today. “Where is [Karl] Rove? Where are all the others?”In the end, the jurors stuck to the  issues directly in front of them and delivered a stunning verdict, finding Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff guilty on four of five felony counts involving obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to the FBI.But Collins’ revealing comments illustrate how difficult it was for the jurors—and perhaps members of the public—to distinguish the relatively narrow questions in the Libby trial from the much larger issues about Iraq war intelligence and White House conduct that have...
  • How to Design a Healthier Planet

    The green movement is so much more than a referendum on what kind of car we drive—or don't. In a post-McMansion age, our homes, offices and community facilities have become a reflection of our newly green values, whether that just means replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent, or redoing our entire living spaces with solar panels, compost heaps and hemp wallpaper.Each year the American Institute of Architects singles out the nation's Top Ten Green Projects, based on the incorporation of so-called sustainable design concepts. Is the project energy-efficient? Does it employ natural light and conserve water? Is the building designed to promote community interaction? In short, how does what we build have an impact on the world around us? Here, we spotlight four of 2006's winners.A headquarters building is more than a roof over the head of the CEO; it's a three-dimensional billboard advertising corporate values to the world. Which is why software companies build "campuses" to...
  • Fast Chat: Explorer Barbara Hillary

    Barbara Hillary has a big dream. At 75, the Queens, N.Y., resident wants to be the first African-American woman to set foot on the North Pole. She plans to fly out of Longyearbyen, Norway, with a group on April 20; they will cross-country ski to the Pole. She spoke with Karen Springen. This is not your first adventure, right?I snowmobiled and dog-sledded in Quebec, and also photographed polar bears in Manitoba. So why the North Pole?[African-American explorer] Matt Henson was a great inspiration. Historians believe Adm. [Robert] Peary's trip to the North Pole [in 1909] would not have been successful without Henson. How are you getting ready?I'll be trying to pull weight—a plastic bag of sand—on a sled at the beach to simulate the conditions. What are the risks? Frostbite?Worse. A polar bear could eat you. Why would you do this, then?I am not rushing to meet the Grim Reaper. However, if I'm going to die, I want to go doing something I enjoy.
  • Terror: Is Tehran Targeting New York?

    Increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran have revived New York Police Department concerns that Iranian agents may already have targeted the city for terror attacks. Such attacks could be aimed at bridges and tunnels, Jewish organizations and Wall Street, NYPD briefers told security execs last fall, according to a person with access to the briefing materials who asked for anonymity because of the sensitive subject matter.NYPD officials have worried about possible Iranian-sponsored attacks since a series of incidents involving officials of the Iranian Mission to the United Nations. In November 2003, Ahmad Safari and Alireaza Safi, described as Iranian Mission "security" personnel, were detained by transit cops when they were seen videotaping subway tracks from Queens to Manhattan at 1:10 in the morning. The men later left New York. "We're concerned that Iranian agents were engaged in reconnaissance that might be used in an attack against New York City at some future date,"...
  • Academia: Gallaudet's Bad Grade

    Students at Gallaudet rebelled last year over whether the appointed president was "deaf enough" to lead the nation's premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing. But while debate focused on issues of Deaf culture, the university's foundation was crumbling.Now an academic-certification group has warned the school that its accreditation status is "fragile" and could be revoked. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education's stinging Jan. 13 letter, released last week, cites concerns over eight standards including academic integrity, low graduation rates and a lackluster response to previous inquiries. Accreditation affects major parts of university life, like federal financial aid. "Yes, we have some serious things we need to address," says university spokesperson Mercy Coogan. "But we've been slugging away at it."
  • JetBlue's Contrite Airfare Bargains

    When people are as contrite as the folks at JetBlue, you have to forgive them, right? Especially when they're offering rock-bottom fares, like $39 from D.C. to Boston, $59 from New York to Houston and some money-back guarantees. Professional fliers like Randy Petersen of WebFlyer.com and Tom Parsons of BestFares say there's no reason not to scoop up great deals from JetBlue while the prices are low and the carrier is on its best behavior, following a service meltdown after a Valentine's Day storm. The company said it would repay customers who got stuck and laid down the industry's first "bill of rights" for passengers. It promises to pay for delays with vouchers ranging from $25 to the cost of a round-trip ticket (jetblue.com). The airline has also made moves to avoid any future calamities, promising to notify customers in advance of delays and to keep more planes in the air, getting pilots and crew where they need to be.More to the point, those low fares may not last. Last week the...
  • The Politics of the Brit Drawdown

    In public, British and American officials say the U.K.'s withdrawal of troops from southern Iraq is a sign of success. But that wasn't the private reaction when the Brits first explained their plans last year. Several officials on both sides of the Atlantic (who all declined to be named when discussing the internal debate on security issues) say there was real consternation among Bush's aides about the prospect of a British withdrawal at a time when the president was planning to make the case for a surge of troops. Two senior officials in Washington said the concern was about how the British drawdown would look in PR and political terms inside the Beltway.The two sides have been running on different tracks for several months. As the Brits outlined their plans for withdrawal, in November and December of last year, the details of Bush's surge were far from settled. At the same time, the Baker-Hamilton group was releasing an alternative strategy for Iraq. British officials were far...
  • Alter: The Apology Primary Is On

    Hillary Clinton is right to resist efforts to make her cry uncle and apologize for her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq-war resolution; that would look weak. Her mistake was in not anticipating this problem with the liberal base of her party last summer and cauterizing the wound in advance, before it festered. Instead, she offered lame rationalizations. She should have taken a leaf from John McCain and her husband, each skilled in the subtle politics of contrition. This skill will be essential to the success of the next president.In recent years, the word apology has reverted in politics to its original meaning in Greek, which is "defense." (Plato's "Apologia" is an account of Socrates' unsuccessful defense of himself in his trial.) Exhibit A is McCain, whose career-enhancing apologies are legion. A partial list includes apologizing for making a "confession" tape during his captivity by the North Vietnamese; for committing adultery during his first marriage; for his role in the...
  • Mail Call: Collision Course for Conflict in Iran?

    Readers of our Feb. 19 cover story drew a line between the Iranian people and the antagonism between their president and George W. Bush. "It is truly frightening that world peace is threatened by Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, two men who operate in a culture of mutual distrust, arrogance and overheated rhetoric," one said. Some worried that our black-and-white photos showing a black-veiled woman, the Martyrs' Museum and the grave of Imam Khomeini were "fanning the flames," as one put it. "I wish you had used this opportunity to help Americans relate to modern Iranians through our shared experiences, rather than cloaking the entire country in an aura of danger and mystery," another said. Others simply warned darkly of the prospects of another full-scale war. "What's scary is that Iran may be doing the bad stuff Bush claims," one noted, "but he and Dick Cheney have so destroyed our nation's credibility, there's no way to tell anymore."Your cover story detailing the heightened tension...
  • The Checklist

    GO to Ireland. Aer Lingus is offering round trips from New York, Boston or Chicago to Dublin or Shannon for $399, including car rental. Book by Wednesday for specific March departure dates. SEE the moon turn red as it passes completely through the Earth's shadow on Saturday. NASA's advice: face a clear view of the eastern horizon at sunset. For more info, see sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse. SURF foodnetwork.com/robinmiller for the nutritionist and chef's new "Quick Fix Meals" interactive cookbook. These short video and print recipes can be organized into weekly meal planners and shopping lists. READ "Today at the Bluebird Café: A Branchful of Birds," by Deborah Ruddell (Margaret K. McElderry. $15.99). This collection of 22 fun poems and charming illustrations about the lives of birds will send your child's imagination soaring. SHOP myShape.com, a new site that helps women select clothes based on their measurements, body shape and style preferences.
  • Why Can’t Mike Huckabee Catch Fire?

    Mike Huckabee is in an unusual situation for a politician. He doesn’t have to pander to his base. A former Southern Baptist preacher, he starts his 2008 presidential bid well to the right of his party’s most serious contenders. His long-held pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-gay marriage agenda would seem to be music to the ears of conservatives unhappy with the fact that social-issue moderates like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and (at least until recently) Mitt Romney are hogging the headlines. So why isn’t the governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential candidate, stuck around two percent in recent polls, catching fire among religious conservatives? Huckabee has a plan to fix that—and it starts with this interview. NEWSWEEK's Susannah Meadows talked with the other guy from a place called Hope about gays, hell and donuts. ...
  • Uncorked: Brunello di Montalcino

    Brunello di Montalcino, the Sangiovese-based red wine from Tuscany, doesn't come cheap. But you might want to splurge on these intense, distinctive wines that age well. Save up for wines from 2001, a nearly perfect vintage; the top Brunellos, Riservas, are now hitting the market.
  • Law: Court-Ordered Protection for Pets

    The couple had a fight—and the woman returned home to find the body of her gray-and-white kitten, decapitated, in her front yard. (Court papers didn't ID the Bethalto, Ill., woman.) Similar incidents are prompting lawmakers to try to protect animals from abusers. Maine, New York and Vermont have already passed laws, and 11 other states are considering measures that would allow pets and farm animals to be included in orders of protection requested by victims of domestic violence.Few shelters accept animals, so women must often choose between their own safety and that of a beloved pet. Penalties for violating an order can include fines or jail time. Illinois Rep. John Fritchey proposed a bill after learning of vengeful partners who've stabbed puppies or killed horses to intimidate or threaten their exes. "It's often a short line between harm to an animal and harm to a person," he says.
  • 'Star Trek': To Boldly Go ... On?

    Fans of the "Star Trek" franchise love forward-looking stories, but for a while now they've had to live in the past. Trekkers flocked to Christie's auction house this past October, snapping up more than $7 million worth of props and costumes from the show (one model of the starship Enterprise alone fetched nearly $600,000). The Christie's auction highlights the franchise's obsessive fan base and rich mythology. But does "Star Trek" have a future?That question will get an answer in 2008, when the as-yet-untitled 11th "Trek" film is scheduled for release. J. J. Abrams, the man behind such hit television shows as "Lost" and "Alias," is in talks to direct. The film's screenwriters, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, are not new to reviving iconic franchises. The pair wrote this summer's live-action "Transformers" movie as well as "Mission: Impossible III." Speculation on the film's plot is rampant, and the writers would neither give cast details nor confirm rumors that "Trek" XI will be a...
  • Road Test: Mini Cooper

    When the Mini Cooper folks took me and a few other automotive journalists to a racetrack to test these new second-generation coupes, it had the trappings of a joke. We're talking about a subcompact city car, not a Ferrari, right? But instead of laughing, I whooped it up. Ninety-five miles per hour in a hair over 15 seconds, and 0 to 60 in a respectable 6.7 seconds. Yeah, baby.OK, so I get that BMW, which owns the Mini, tore it up engineering this car to exude performance. This redone four-seater comes in a choice of two engines: a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, 118hp version, or the S, which is supercharged and makes 172hp. Both have torque pull at any speed, and both get a standard sport button that tightens the shocks for better handling. The new all-aluminum engine significantly reduces weight, helping this Mini to achieve 16 percent better fuel economy.I really liked the electric steering, which took the shimmy out of the steering wheel while traveling over bumpy terrain. But it's...
  • Marketing: Ads That Greet You by Name

    Ads just got personal. Thanks to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags—scannable devices like the ones in an E-ZPass—advertisers can tailor messages to individuals. Last month, Mini USA began erecting billboards in four U.S. cities for a volunteer pilot program. When a Mini Cooper passes, the RFID in the driver's key fob is picked up, and the board displays a personalized message like, "Motor On Jim!" The Texas-based company Media Cart Holdings is set to begin testing its shopping carts—which sense RFIDs on shelves—in a handful of supermarkets. Roll by the milk section, and you may see a silent ad on the cart's digital screen for cookies. The cart will also locate items on your shopping list. "We know basically—to the foot—where these carts are in the store," says Media Cart CEO Steve Carpenter.Any mention of RFIDs raises concerns among privacy advocates, especially proposals to include the devices in ID cards. Mini and Media Cart say prior consent is obtained from all users.
  • Is Hillary Afraid of Being Embarrassed by Bill?

    Last December, a NEWSWEEK reporter tentatively broached a delicate subject with a longstanding adviser to Hillary Clinton: was there a concern in the Hillary camp that her husband might somehow embarrass her in the campaign ahead? The reaction was swift and fierce. "If that's what you want to talk about, I'm hanging up right now," said the adviser, who did not wish to be identified even entertaining such a question.But it is the elephant in the room. Senator Clinton's presidential campaign can ill afford another scandal swirling around her husband, whose second term in the White House was badly disrupted by the Monica Lewinsky affair. Perhaps the Clintonites are understandably worried that the Republican right will try to create a scandal where there is none or dredge up old history. They doubtless anticipate an assault from Clinton's old foes, but they may have been caught unawares by the attack from one of Bill's old friends. In an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen...
  • Conservatism's Fresh Face

    At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, activists were down—but a long way from out. Meet one of the reasons why.
  • Cleland on the Veterans’ Health-Care Crisis

    The controversy touched off by an investigative series in The Washington Post on the state of the military health-care system is growing. At a congressional hearing Monday, military officials said they were checking conditions at other hospitals—not just Washington’s Walter Reed, where the Post uncovered run-down living conditions for soldiers and mismanagement. Several congressmen also addressed the bureaucracy at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where a Newsweek investigation turned up long waits for veterans seeking medical care and disability payments.Max Cleland, a former Georgia Senator and a Vietnam veteran, has a unique perspective on the health care issue. He was treated at Walter Reed nearly 40 years ago after losing two legs and an arm in a grenade blast in Vietnam. Later, he headed the Department of Veterans Affairs during the Carter administration. In the past two years, Cleland has gone back to Walter Reed for therapy as the Iraq war reignited old traumas from...
  • On Being a First Gentleman

    How would Bill Clinton feel as First Gentleman to President Hillary? Ask the husband of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
  • Q&A: Fla. Transsexual Talks About Firing

    Last week, Largo, Fla., city manager Steven Stanton jolted townspeople with the admission that he was a transsexual who was planning to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. Residents flooded city hall with e-mails and phone calls, mostly calling for his ouster. On Tuesday night, the city commission gathered for a tumultuous 3½-hour meeting packed with both supporters and opponents of Stanton. In the end, commissioners voted 5-2 to pass a resolution that initiated the process of firing him. As Stanton, 48, ponders his next move (he has five days to appeal), he spoke with NEWSWEEK's Lynn Waddell. Excerpts: ...
  • Schlesinger on Reagan's Faults and Virtues

    When I was writing a biography of Robert Kennedy in the late '90s, I had lunch with Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the author of the then—and probably still—definitive biography of RFK. Schlesinger, whom I knew slightly, might have brushed me off, but he was gracious and even eager to talk about our mutual subject. Though he was then nearly 80, he knocked back two martinis and tucked into a large steak at New York's Century Club. Then he launched off on cheerful, gossipy tour of the 20th-century horizon, which he had lived as fully as the great leaders he wrote about.Schlesinger was, in some ways, a walking reproach to modern academic historians. He believed in writing from experience, and he argued that individuals—and not just broad social and economic movements—shaped history.Though he won two Pulitzer Prizes and a basket of lesser awards, and though he was regarded at times as the reigning authority on Presidents Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, he was never a...
  • Terror Watch: The Missing Padilla Video

    The government made a secret video of its interrogations of 'enemy combatant' Jose Padilla. But now that he's on trial, the Feds claim they don't know where it went.
  • Only One Side Of The Story

    By age 14, Somalia-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali had survived genital mutilation at the hands of her grandmother, a fractured skull from her Qur'an teacher and brutal beatings from her devout Muslim mother. By comparison, her father was kind. The Somali rebel, who had largely abandoned his family to plan coups and marry three more women, only meddled when it came to arranging his 23-year-old daughter's marriage. When Ayaan refused, he disowned her.A violent, loveless childhood. The splintering effects of civil war. The pervasive misogyny of her culture. Hirsi Ali's exceptionally harsh life story--told in her new memoir, "Infidel"--would elicit empathy from the coldest of hearts. But that's not the book's only purpose. Hirsi Ali, a 38-year-old Dutch citizen and women's rights advocate who now lives in Washington, D.C., is one of Europe's most infamous critics of Islam. She renounced her Muslim faith after the 9/11 attacks, decried what she regarded as the religion's brutality in...
  • Slave Trade

    Once there was a Christian, a man from a wealthy family. He had conservative values, and he crusaded his whole life for social justice. In the end, he changed history. His name was William Wilberforce, and in 1807 he finally succeeded in abolishing the British slave trade.It is no wonder, then, that a new movie about his life, "Amazing Grace," directed by Michael Apted and opening this week, has its biggest boosters among evangelical Christians. The movie is, by most accounts, problematical entertainment: it's a worthy but lengthy costume drama about parliamentary politics--centered on a Tory most Americans have never heard of. One executive who worked closely on the film calls it "more interesting than good." Its marketing and outreach effort, on the other hand, is inspired. It shows a deep understanding of the new life being breathed into the evangelical community by Bono, Rick Warren and others--people who are making social causes (Africa, poverty, HIV/AIDS) the centerpiece of...
  • Time To Change Tacks On Iran

    Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the United States has pursued a series of failed policies toward Iran. It has variously sought to topple the regime, threatened military action and proposed strictly limited dialogue--all with an eye toward boxing Tehran in and limiting its influence in the region. This strategy of "containment" continues to dominate U.S. policy.President George W. Bush repeatedly insists that "all options are on the table"--a not-so-subtle reminder that Washington might yet use force to halt Tehran's nuclear program. Yet realistically, the United States has no military option. Iran has dispersed many nuclear facilities and hardened others. Even if U.S. forces could find and destroy those targets--quality intelligence is a serious hurdle--they could be rebuilt relatively quickly. The bottom line: Washington must accept certain distasteful facts--beginning with Iran's ascendance as a regional power and the staying power of its regime. It should open talks with Iran,...
  • A Cheerful Anachronism

    Some rice farmers from congressman Ron Paul's district were in his office the other day, asking for this and that from the federal government. The affable Republican from south Texas listened nicely, then forwarded their requests to the appropriate House committee. It may or may not satisfy their requests in some bill dispensing largesse to agricultural interests. Then Paul will vote against the bill.He believes, with more stubbornness than evidence, that the federal government is a government of strictly enumerated powers, and nowhere in the Constitution's enumeration (Article I, Section 8) can he find any reference to rice. So there. "Farm organizations fight me tooth and nail," he says, "but the farmers are with me." Of course they can afford to indulge their congressman's philosophical eccentricity because lots of other House members represent rice farmers, so rice gets its share of gravy. Still, Paul is a likable eccentric, partly because he likes his constituents while...
  • Hassle And Humiliation

    It was a great idea--a program to build bridges between young Arab modernizers and Americans. The Arab and American Action Forum, launched last September at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, is an exercise in soft power, bringing together 100 young Arab leaders from all walks of life and introducing them to a similar group of Americans. The goal was to begin a dialogue, build trust and create joint projects for both peoples. The group's Arab organizers are pro-business and pro-American, many with degrees from U.S. colleges and fond memories of their time in America. Aside from Bill Clinton, the forum is backed by the two leading modernizers in the Middle East, Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum and Jordan's King Abdullah.As I said, it was a great idea, until these young Arab leaders landed at John F. Kennedy airport. The first group of participants, mostly CEOs of large companies, were pulled out of the regular immigration lines and made to stand for two to...
  • I Did It My Way

    Tony Blair is back where it all began--Myrobella, the house he bought after being elected to Parliament in 1983. It's a ramshackle place, half home, half office, tucked behind a row of old miners' cottages in the north of England. It would be quaint if it weren't for all the police, or if you didn't know President Bush's Marine One chopper once tore up the field next door.He has claim to grander residences, of course--10 Downing Street and the country estate at Chequers. But this is his political home. With Blair on the way out of office, a fin de régime pall suffuses the place these days. It's inescapable even amid the hustle and bustle of his security detail and his traveling staff, weighed down by satchels and carryalls and, poignantly, the scuffed, iconic "red box" in which British government ministers carry their overnight paperwork. Blair has disappeared upstairs to change into jeans. His small downstairs study fills with people waiting to see him: John Burton, his local...
  • Road Test: Maserati Quattroporte

    Gawk at the babe-alicious lines of the redone Quattroporte: smart, sassy, sexy and oh so Italian. Nice job, Maserati. But the exotic marque's latest spruce-up of its popular sedan (made even more seductive thanks to the carmaker's presence on "Desperate Housewives" and "The Sopranos") isn't just showroom pretty.Wearing a new six-speed automatic transmission, the Quattroporte rides smoother than ever and offers nearly seamless shifting. Though you can still buy the DuoSelect transmission, which gives a more serious manual-like shifting feel, this new automatic version appeals to those of us who crave sportiness without the unsettling jerkiness of a manual. The new engine gives the Quattroporte near-perfect weight balance, offering noticeably better road handling, improved braking and zero to 62mph in a snappy 5.6 seconds (with a 168mph top speed). And like any self-respecting high-maintenance beauty, this one demands a choice of wardrobe. How about a selection of five kinds of...
  • Ties Of Blood And History

    The last time the United States and Britain threatened to go to war against each other was in 1895. As European powers raced to expand their empires, Britain coveted a mineral-rich slice of Venezuela along the border of its colony British Guiana. Invoking the Monroe Doctrine, President Grover Cleveland vowed to "resist by every means" British adventuring in the Caribbean. The prospect of taking on Britain thrilled some jingoistic Americans, including Theodore Roosevelt, who was at the time a New York City police commissioner. "Let the fight come if it must," he wrote to his friend Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge. "I don't care whether the seacoast cities are bombarded or not; we would take Canada."Fighting a war with England, whose Navy floated 55 battleships against America's three, because of a border dispute in Venezuela was a preposterous idea. (TR was still going through the Sturm und Drang period of adolescence, explained philosopher William James.) Both governments calmed down when...
  • Perspectives

    "The drug dealer is us."White House drug czar John Walters, on a report showing that prescription-drug abuse among teens is not declining, though teen marijuana use is down"Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I'm ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I'm asking you to give me."Comedian Al Franken, announcing that he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2008"I'm ready to bear all responsibility for what happened."NASCAR star Michael Waltrip, after his racing team was caught cheating with a banned fuel additive. Waltrip said he considered dropping out of the Daytona 500 preparations over the incident."We're assuming it was male, although they did have a mask on."Sgt. Mark Clark, of the Scottsdale, Ariz., police, on a report of a person dressed as Batman running across a middle-school campus and disappearing into the desert. Some local schools were puton lockdown as a precaution, but "Batman" was not located."It's...
  • The More, The Merrier

    If you think planning a vacation is difficult, try organizing one for a family of 14. That's what Helga Knox, 54, did last year for her husband, George, three of her stepchildren and their spouses and six stepgrandkids. They splurged on an eight-day, small-ship cruise through Alaska's Inside Passage, debarking to hike, raft, kayak and--the trip's highlight--ride a helicopter to stand on Juneau's 7,000-foot Mendenhall Glacier. "It was the perfect trip," says Knox of last July's adventure. "I just get excited about it whenever I think of it."Families like the Knoxes make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry. In 2003, 38 percent of family vacationers took at least one trip that involved three generations, up from 19 percent in 1999, reports the Travel Industry Association. And travel agents say the number of large family groups going away together is still rising. "Five years ago I didn't do any of this, and now each year we're doing more and more," says Patty...
  • Now Comes The Hard Part

    The ink was barely dry on the nuclear deal signed February 13 by North Korea and the other members of the Six Party Talks before pundits began to blast the agreement. The arrangement--under which North Korea promised to seal and then disable core parts of its nuclear-weapons programs in exchange for energy aid and gradual relief from international sanctions--has been attacked by hawks, including former Bush staffers, as a reward for bad behavior.Former Clinton aides, meanwhile, say it's nothing more than what they negotiated in the 1994 Agreed Framework--which would still be in effect had Bush stuck with the plan. As happens so often these days, the left and the right are converging to attack the president. But while the deal may not be perfect, both sides have got it wrong.To start, the new accord goes way beyond the 1994 agreement, which promised North Korea two light-water nuclear reactors worth more than $5 billion and hundreds of millions of dollars of heavy fuel oil in...
  • And There's More! A Deal That Hard-Liners Hate.

    Hard-liners already loathe the new deal in which Kim Jong Il's regime has agreed to halt activity at its main nuclear plant in return for emergency oil supplies. John Bolton, who recently departed as U.S. envoy to the United Nations, told NEWSWEEK: "We violated the principle that we don't reward bad behavior." Promises to ease North Korea's economic squeeze are among key elements of the deal (struck by the United States and other participants in the Six-Party diplomatic talks). Among the provisions of the agreement are promises by the United States to begin direct talks with North Korea about "moving toward full diplomatic relations," and that Washington will take steps to remove Pyongyang from its official list of state sponsors of terrorism. In return, Pyongyang agreed to "shut down and seal" its main nuke reactor at Yongbyon.But Pyongyang may also get access to controversial bank accounts. Meeting in Beijing three weeks ago, North Korean and U.S. Treasury officials held detailed...
  • Working 9 To 5

    Once, clutches were precious evening accessories, done up in beads and velvet. But come this spring, they're working the day shift. "The big bag has gotten really big," says Sophia Chabbott, accessories editor at WWD. "Women want an option that lets them be more free." Tuck one inside a larger bag, or bring it solo to a weekend lunch date and give your shoulder a much-needed break.
  • Governor Romney, Meet Governor Romney

    There is something a little too good to be true about Mitt Romney. The former governor of Massachusetts and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is so buff and handsome in late middle age that when a brochure from a recent campaign showed him standing, bare-chested, on a swimming float, he was accused of sexually pandering to women voters. Romney, who is still married to his high-school sweetheart, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and doesn't swear. His wife has said that, in private, he never even raises his voice.As a candidate, he can appear slightly overproduced, a little too smooth for the hurly-burly of the hustings. Lately, Romney has been courting the evangelical vote, key to winning Republican primaries. He knows that some evangelicals regard his religion, Mormonism, as heresy (according to the National Journal, more than a quarter of self-identified evangelicals tell pollsters that they won't vote for a Mormon). So last week, at a lackluster rally in the Bible...