U.S.

  • Excerpt: The Price of Condi's Loyalty to Bush

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat down for an interview with NEWSWEEK’s Michael Hirsh while en route from Berlin to Madrid on a European tour last week. Asked about her likely legacy, she was notably low-key in expressing any hope for a “break­through” agreement in the Mideast or on Iran. What follows is the full interview: ...
  • Road Test: Lexus LS 600h L

    Don't get crazy excited. Yes, the new LS 600h L is a hybrid, and it drives faster, smoother and more quietly than any Lexus I've tested. But while this long-wheelbase sedan gets better mileage than competitors in its class, the low 20s on an mpg readout is still pretty sorry by today's automotive standards. If you ignore that, I say, wow, Lexus has finally stepped up to play with the big guns, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.This impressive car is loaded with an armada of standard and optional features not found together on any other car. A button allows it to run only on electric power for up to three miles. And the LS 600h L parks itself. Really. I pulled up in front of a parallel spot, hit a button, and darn if the thing didn't back itself up and slide right in. The interior is abundant and elegant, with triple-tone leather appointments, heated and cooled massaging seats, and a razor-sharp Mark Levinson sound system. A button that sets the shocks for Sport, Normal and Comfort seemed silly...
  • Business: How H&M Is Remaking U.S. Fashion

    Even on a soggy spring morning, H&M is causing a commotion outside its newest store in suburban Chicago. Madonna and Beyoncé blast from giant speakers as workers hand out gift cards to dozens of shoppers lining up before the doors open to the Bolingbrook, Ill., store. These shivering shoppers are attracted by the two things H&M creates best: discount designer duds and get-it-now buzz. "It's, like, the only store I go into at the mall," says 23-year-old Sabrina Biziarek, while clutching her gift card and waiting for the doors to open.Since its first U.S. store opened in 2000, H&M has transformed the calculus of cheap chic. With an in-house staff of 120 designers and a nimble network of Asian and European factories, the Swedish retailer can move the latest look from runway to rack in three weeks. And H&M sells high style at crazy-low prices ($3.90 necklaces, $29.90 minidresses). America has become H&M's fastest-growing market, ringing up $231 million in sales this...
  • John Lewis Remembers a Civil-Rights Nemesis

    On the morning of March 7, 1965, some 600 men and women, black and white, headed east out of Selma, Ala., walking U.S. Highway 80 toward Montgomery in search of justice. Their efforts to register black voters three weeks earlier had been thwarted by Selma police. The civil-rights champions knew they were in for further conflict, but they did not yet know how much. Six blocks into their march, as they walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they found out. State troopers and members of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, some mounted on horseback with billy clubs and tear gas, had massed to shut the march down. In front of the news media, Selma Sheriff James Clark ordered his men to attack the peaceful demonstrators, who were beaten, tear-gassed and trampled. The melee, known as “Bloody Sunday,” proved a turning point in the civil-rights struggle, as Americans recoiled from the brutality demonstrated by Sheriff Clark and his men.Rep. John Lewis of Georgia was one of the many...
  • Mitchell Gold on the Bible and Gay Rights

    For years, Mitchell Gold, a founder of the popular furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, has been irritated by what he sees as fundamentalist Christians’ use of the Bible to justify withholding civil rights from gays. Scripture, Gold argues, was used in the past to defend slavery, prohibit interracial marriage and prevent women from voting. Frustrated that few politicians dare to confront anyone brandishing a Bible, in 2005 Gold formed the group Faith In America (FIA), which says its goals are to educate people about the past “misuse” of religion and scripture. FIA's latest campaign is centered on next week’s 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that overturned Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage, which had been supported by a Virginia judge who ruled the intention of “Almighty God” was to keep the races separate. This week, FIA ran a series of full-page ads in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, featuring a photo of former Florida...
  • Clift: God and Mike Huckabee

    The former Arkansas governor is an ordained Baptist minister who has eloquently handled questions about evolution in the GOP debates. But he's languishing in the polls. He thinks social conservatives could become irrelevant in the Republican Party. Is he right?
  • General Peter Pace, Casualty of War

    Gen. Peter Pace and Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, who climbed to the top rungs of the U.S. military in large part because of their proximity to Donald Rumsfeld, are now seeing their careers end for essentially the same reason. Rumsfeld's successor as Defense secretary, Robert Gates, realized that any attempt this fall to give General Pace two more years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would risk what Gates, with characteristic understatement, call "quite contentious" Senate confirmation hearings. His concerns, announced at the Pentagon on Friday afternoon, were almost certainly well-founded.Pace was widely disparaged on Capitol Hill as Rumsfeld's main man. The reputation is understandable; Pace did owe his promotion to chairman (the first Marine to ever hold the job) to the fact that, in his previous job as vice chairman, he found a way to get along with the demanding and irascible Rumsfeld, a knack that eluded most of Pace's colleagues. (Giambastiani, who announced his...
  • Fineman: The Politics of Pittsburgh

    A city down on its luck has an optimistic young leader. The scene there mirrors our national situation. Maybe we can all learn something from Luke Ravenstahl.
  • California's Famed Salton Sea Is Drying Up

    Norm Niver is old enough to remember when California’s Salton Sea was a rich ecosystem and a coveted tourist destination. The retired electronics-shop owner, 77, was a teenager when he first saw California’s largest lake—formed by accident when the Colorado River broke through a levee in 1905, flooding the low-lying Salton Sink southeast of Palm Springs. Niver recalls pleasant vacations fishing for saltwater species like orange mouth corvina, sargo and gulf croaker. Millions of migratory birds used the lake as substitute wetlands as development destroyed the state’s natural marshes. Humans flocked to the lake, too. In the 1950s, the Salton Sea was in vogue as “California’s Riviera.” Subdivisions and a fancy yacht club sprang up on the shores, and it became a playground for Rat Packers like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.But now, Niver says his paradise is "drying up and dwindling away." Increasing salinity, thanks to evaporation, salty agricultural runoff and lack of an outlet, has...
  • Book Report: What Hillary Has to Fear

    Supporters are breathing a sigh of relief that two new bios of Hillary Clinton don't deliver any salacious new nuggets. But they might expose something worse.
  • Debate Night: When Lightning Strikes

    In a presidential campaign season where debate fatigue already looms as a serious threat, there are occasionally moments of true spontaneity that make these events worth watching.At the third GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, it was mostly same-old, same-old, in spite of the all the preshow hype over a possible John McCain/Mitt Romney smackdown on immigration. But then Mother Nature stepped in.Asked to comment on a Roman Catholic bishop who compared his abortion stance to Pontius Pilate’s position on crucifying Jesus Christ, Rudy Giuliani opened his mouth to answer when lightning struck, quite literally, causing CNN’s sound system at the debate site to crackle and give out.Giuliani jokingly looked at the ceiling, as if he feared the wrath of a vengeful God—a fantastic bit of comic timing made even funnier when the boom of thunder and lightning interrupted his second attempt to answer the question. Amid more static from the sound system, McCain and Romney,...
  • The Making of the Brand

    NASCAR CEO Brian France joined us for a Live Talk on Monday, June 4. Read the transcript.
  • Fineman: Bracketology for the 2008 Race

    With 19 candidates and counting, the 2008 presidential race is tough to sort out—even for the political pros. A user's guide to the ultimate tournament.
  • Running Hard By Staying Out

    If you want to send a message in Washington, issue a press release—or go to the Palm. It's a restaurant where the jocular masks the manipulative: a stock exchange of politics, with bigger portions. It was perfect for Michael Bloomberg, the nominally Republican billionaire mayor of New York, who wants to run for president as an independent. Not long ago he asked Sen. Chuck Hagel, the maverick antiwar Republican, to dine with him there. They sat at a prominent table. Predictable things happened. The Washington Post ran a gossip item the next morning. TV bookers read it. "Face the Nation" booked Hagel, who praised Bloomberg as a man "not tied down and captive of a political ideology" and didn't say "no" to running mate. "It's a great country," he said, "to think about a New York boy and a Nebraska boy teaming up to lead the nation." Check, please!We are in the Palm phase of the 2008 campaign. Alluring (or merely diverting) scenarios of late-entering, out-of-the-box candidacies flow...
  • Online: Finding a Cheap Date

    If love don't cost a thing, why are online dating sites charging so many fees? The wave of the future, perhaps: free Internet dating. In April, craigslist saw 2.6 million personal ads posted, up from only 970,000 two years ago. Plentyoffish.com, a free dating site that was launched in 2003, now brings in 200,000 U.S. users a day—and $5 million to $10 million in advertising a year—according to its founder, Markus Frind, who runs the site by himself. "I think all the paid sites are going to go away," he says.Even Match.com is offering discounts to subscribers: six months free, if you don't find Prince (or Princess) Charming in the first six months. While the online-dating industry has been enormously successful so far—the market grew 10 percent last year to $649 million—the number of subscribers is expected to flatten after 2009, reports Jupiter Research. "The growth is not what it was before," says senior analyst David Card. How heartbreaking.
  • Climate: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

    Daily life in the developed world has depended so much, for so long, on clean water that it is sometimes easy to forget how precious a commodity water is. The average American citizen doesn't have to work for his water; he has only to turn on the tap. But in much of the rest of the world, it isn't that simple. More than a billion people worldwide lack clean water, most of them in developing countries. The least fortunate may devote whole days to finding some.When they fail—and they fail more and more often now that rivers in Africa and Asia are slowly drying up after decades of mismanagement and climate change—they may turn to violence, fighting over the small amount that is left. Water has long been called the ultimate renewable resource. But as Fred Pearce writes in his book "When the Rivers Run Dry," if the world doesn't change, that saying may no longer apply.Like the famines of the '80s, the global water crisis is far more than a straightforward issue of scarcity. Accidents of...
  • When Baby Comes Back

    Doug Fox is your basic boomerang kid. One year after graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, he's comfortably ensconced in what used to be the private nanny wing of his parents' Falls Church, Va., home. They charge no rent and subsidize his cell phone and his car so he can test out life as a private-school teacher and coach earning $28,000 per year. His mother, Marjorie, a financial adviser, wrestles with the money and dependency issues that come with having a young adult in the house, but she's happy that he's there. "If you're financially able to help your child achieve his passion, what better way is there to use your money?" she asks.The Foxes have a lot of company. As starting salaries slump and housing costs rise, more than half of all college graduates are returning to their childhood bedrooms, according to Experience, Inc., a Boston recruiting firm. More than 1 million American homes housed young adults in 2006, up 28 percent from 2004, according to research firm...
  • D.C. Sex Scandal: An Escort's Perspective

    She was 34 when she signed up to be an escort for Miss "Julia," a.k.a. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the alleged "D.C. Madam." The escort had a B.A., was making close to $60,000 a year as a financial consultant and belonged to the Rotary Club. She'd arrive at men's hotel rooms in her office clothes. "I'd look like one of their own," she told NEWSWEEK, requesting anonymity, "but I'd keep the sheepskin handcuffs and the little whips in my bag."Palfrey says she hired college-educated women to provide fantasy sex to clients, and denies running a prostitution ring. "It's not a way of putting women down," she told NEWSWEEK. "It's almost empowerment." Web sites like ifeminists.com reported the madam's travails, and feminist blogs have reveled in the outing of clients like Randall Tobias, who led the State Department's antiprostitution efforts while using the madam's services (only for massage, he says). "Why isn't anyone prosecuting him?" asks feminist writer Wendy Kaminer. The escort says she...
  • Mail Call: A New Look at Gender Identity

    Transgender readers were pleased to see our May 21 cover on the mystery of gender. "Thank you for showing the world that we are not freaks and weirdos," said one. A post-op transsexual woman added, "Gender is so much more than the public realizes and is prepared to accept. With articles like yours—and time—we will make progress." Other readers were touched by their stories. "I may not understand it," said one man, "but I salute the bravery and fortitude transgender people show just by getting out of bed and facing the world on their own terms every day."As a transgender woman I would like to thank you for your May 21 cover story ("The Mystery of Gender"). Far too many people have formed their opinions of people like myself from the likes of "The Jerry Springer Show" and endless other negative and sensationalistic portrayals that have been so prevalent in the media over the years. While my own transition has been an ongoing string of assaults (both verbal and physical), humiliations...
  • Sweet—And Steady

    Ronald Reagan's fans and foes disagree about almost everything, except this: they both tend to depict the 40th president as something of a one-dimensional figure. To those who love him, the Gipper is the hero who rescued America from self-doubt and the world from communism. To those who revile him, Reagan was a coldhearted cowboy who tried to classify ketchup as a vegetable for school kids and subverted Congress in the Iran-contra affair.The publication this week of "The Reagan Diaries" should give both sides reason to see the late president as a more complicated and more interesting man than either caricature would suggest. The journals, which Reagan kept throughout his White House years, are more record than reflection: he has his generation's tendency to avoid emotion; "a good time was had by all" is used here without irony. A performer, a public man—he was a lifeguard, a sportscaster, an actor and a politician—he seems to have always had an eye on his audience, and these...
  • Finding a Cheap Date

    If love don't cost a thing, why are online dating sites charging so many fees? The wave of the future, perhaps: free Internet dating. In April, craigslist saw 2.6 million personal ads posted, up from only 970,000 two years ago. Plentyoffish.com, a free dating site that was launched in 2003, now brings in 200,000 U.S. users a day—and $5 million to $10 million in advertising a year—according to its founder, Markus Frind, who runs the site by himself. "I think all the paid sites are going to go away," he says.Even Match.com is offering discounts to subscribers: six months free, if you don't find Prince (or Princess) Charming in the first six months. While the online-dating industry has been enormously successful so far—the market grew 10 percent last year to $649 million—the number of subscribers is expected to flatten after 2009, reports Jupiter Research. "The growth is not what it was before," says senior analyst David Card. How heartbreaking.
  • Tehran's Secret 'Department 9000'

    President bush said last week he expects a "bloody" summer in Iraq. What he didn't say is that a growing covert war between the United States and Iran may be one reason the conflict is escalating. U.S. intelligence has identified the principal unit behind Tehran's efforts to supply Shia insurgent cells in Iraq. It is a super secret group called Department 9000, which is part of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to three U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reporting and analysis on the Iraqi insurgency who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive material. Department 9000 acts as a liaison between the insurgents and the IRGC, the Iranian regime's principal internal-security mechanism, providing guidance and support. More recently, says one of the officials, these secret Iranian paramilitaries have even begun to help Sunni insurgent groups in order to keep the Americans bogged down. "The new developments with Sunni groups are...
  • Health: Let The Bugs In

    Not all bacteria are unfriendly. Some, like probiotics, are good for us: they coat our digestive tracts and may ward off yeast infections, stomach upsets and allergies.The University of Michigan's Dr. Gary Huffnagle, author of "The Probiotics Revolution," says most adults don't get enough of them: "Your intestinal environment is shaped by what you eat, and foods high in refined sugar and antibiotics can kill off those good microbes." To help those good bugs flourish, eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kimchi, pickles, miso soup and aged cheese. Or try supplements. For supplement reviews: consumerlabs.com/results/probiotics.asp.
  • Rivers of Doubt

    The common white sucker is nobody's favorite fish. It's a bottom feeder that trout fishermen in Colorado happily toss back into the water. But it's also what scientists call a sentinel—a species whose health (or lack thereof) can warn us about problems in the environment. So imagine the reaction of environmental endocrinologist David O. Norris of the University of Colorado when he discovered some alarming changes in the sucker population of Boulder Creek. Upstream, where the water flows pure and clear out of the Rocky Mountains, the ratio of males to females is 50-50, just as nature intended. Downstream, below the wastewater-treatment plant in Boulder, the females outnumber the males by 5 to 1. Even more worrisome, Norris found that about 10 percent of the fish were neither clearly male nor female, but had sexual characteristics of both. "On the one hand, we were excited [to make such a dramatic finding]," says Norris. "At the same time, we were appalled."There's something fishy in...
  • The Editor's Desk

    Long ago, Mary Carmichael, the author of both this week's cover story on pain and a long piece on the global water crisis, wanted to be a doctor. Medicine's loss was journalism's gain, but at a price: some sea urchins had to give their lives along the way.I will let her explain: "Before I wanted to be a journalist," Mary says, "I wanted to be a biologist. (It was my parents' fault; they had hundreds of dusty old copies of National Geographic in the attic.) I also thought about being a doctor. But when I got to my senior year in high school, I started an AP biology project breeding sea urchins and promptly managed to kill 45 of them by mistake. As ?sea urchins die, their spines all slowly fall off. You can imagine how traumatic this was—for them, obviously, but also for me—why medicine really wouldn't have been the right career path."The shift from possible practitioner to journalist is common in our world; Sharon Begley (who also has two significant offerings in the magazine this...
  • Web Sites: Virtual Real Estate

    Hunting for a new home? Real-estate Web sites are rolling out snazzy features, like satellite maps and home-value calculators, to make finding your next pad simple, educational and fun. A roundup.
  • The Checklist

    RENT "The Third Man" The new two-DVD set of the Carol Reed-Graham Greene 1949 classic stars Orson Welles as the charmingly immoral Harry Lime. Set in post-WWII Vienna, this atmospheric thriller is as good as it gets.HEAR "Perry Farrell's Satellite Party: Ultra Payloaded." Former Jane's Addiction frontman Farrell unleashes his newest art-rock experiment just in time for the revamped Lollapalooza. Think funk, garage rock, interplanetary party. A pure blast from pop's outer limits.READ "I Love You, Beth Cooper" by Larry Doyle. Nerd lets head cheerleader know he loves her—in a high-school graduation speech. High jinks ensue. Unoriginal, you say. You're mistaken. Fresh, sweet, seriously funny.GO to the Red Earth Festival, one of the nation's largest Native American heritage festivals, in Oklahoma City, June 1-3.TRY Pur's new Flavor Options. Add strawberry, raspberry or peach flavor to your filtered water without adding sugar, calories or dyes (pitcher, about $35; flavor cartridge, $10).

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