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  • Apple Sets Iphone Customers Free

    A big reason for slack iPhone sales in Europe, analysts say, is that users cannot pick their mobile-service carrier. Apple chooses for them.
  • The Tipping Point

    David Sedaris is back with a new collection of essays, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames." He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Susanna Schrobsdorff. ...
  • A Softer Edifice

    War monuments on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall tend toward the phallic—most famously, the obelisk honoring revolutionary hero and first President George Washington. Hardly surprising, as nation-building and machismo go hand in hand.But if the latest structure to break ground on the Mall is any indication, we're ripe for a foreign-policy sea change. The U.S. Institute for Peace—a federal agency dedicated to war-zone conflict resolution—is erecting a new home that suggests Mahatma Gandhi more than Manifest Destiny. The five-story edifice will boast a stunning curved roof (smooth, white and shaped like the wings of a dove) to envelop offices and an educational peace center. The architecture is a study in juxtaposition: round and angular in equal measure.The shape of the planned headquarters hints at the confusing double role the United States now finds itself in: juggling international peacekeeping commitments with the messy and ongoing Iraq War and the administration's nebulous War...
  • Healing Sichuan’s Psyche

    The last time China suffered a disaster on the magnitude of the recent Sichuan earthquake, its Maoist leaders spurned psychology as a "bourgeois" discipline. Survivors of the 1976 Tangshan quake, which killed some 255,000 people, were left to cope on their own with posttraumatic stress. But on May 12, Communist Party leaders ordered an unprecedented mobilization of mental-health workers alongside disaster-relief efforts. The need is great: as many as 80,000 killed, 5,500 orphaned and 5 million homeless. Reports say 600,000 citizens may need psychological help."Some survivors act tough, but they really are having problems," says Dr. Yuan Linfang, head of a crisis-counseling team. Among the reactions Yuan observed in students caught in a collapsing school: fear of returning to class, and of opening textbooks.Trained aides like Yuan are in short supply. In 2006 China had just 19,000 mental-health professionals and psychiatric treatment still carries a social stigma. Experts also say...
  • Could Brazil Take No. 1?

    Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant formerly derided as "Petrosaurus," could become the world's most valuable company, based on its stock price. That startling forecast, made recently by mutual-fund maestro Ken Heebner, speaks volumes about how fast Petrobras, Brazil and world markets are changing.Oil companies are blowing past technology titans like General Electric and Microsoft to claim five of the top 10 spots in rankings of the world's largest companies. For a dizzying moment after its IPO last fall, PetroChina's market cap topped $1 trillion, or twice as much as the next two corporations—GE and ExxonMobil—combined. But that's not where the future lies. Oil companies are split between efficient private firms with waning access (ExxonMobil) and inept state enterprises with favored rights to local fields (PetroChina). The few well-run state firms, like Norway's Statoil, tend to be short on future reserves, too.In recent years, Brazil has streamlined into a darling of emerging...
  • The Rehabilitation of Nuclear Public Enemy No. 1

    If nukes in the hands of rogue states is the greatest threat the world faces today, then the planet might just have become more dangerous. That's because of the surprise rehabilitation in recent weeks of atomic enemy No. 1: AQ Khan. Khan is the father of Pakistan's atomic-weapons program, and he also helped spread banned nuclear technology to Libya and North Korea in the late 1990s. The man admitted as much in early 2004, after Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, under pressure from Washington, shut down Khan's operations and put him under house arrest.Now, with Pakistan in turmoil, Khan is suddenly back in public life—a worrisome sign. Last month, he was allowed to leave home for the first time in four years. And when the country feted the 10th anniversary of its nuclear tests on May 29, Khan was touted as a "national hero." He also recanted his mea culpa in an interview with NEWSWEEK. "I have been vindicated," he said last week by phone. "All allegations against me have proved...
  • Home: How Green Was My Shower

    Everyone loves a long, hot shower. But it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify one. Fortunately, a handful of companies are looking at ways to cut water consumption while saving the experience. With the Quench, from Australia's HydroCo., the first cycle is a normal shower for sudsing, shampooing and rinsing that lasts two minutes. Then it starts recycling the hot, suds-free water, saving about 114 liters for a seven-minute shower (starting at $4,000; quenchshowers.com).Other devices being planned aren't so kind. The Eco-Drop Shower, from Italy's Tommaso Colia, consists of floor mats with concentric circles that look like ripples in a rain puddle. The circles pulsate to become uncomfortable for a person showering too long (tommasocolia.com). Another prototype, from a Belgian design student, is a see-through bathtub marked like a measuring cup; the levels tell you how much drinking water you're wasting. A full tub equals 100 bottles. The question is whether the guilt defeats...
  • 4 Hours In Geneva

    A haven for luxury shopping, a world center of the fine-watch industry and home to the United Nations and the Red Cross, the small Swiss capital is a bustling, cosmopolitan city also offering plenty of delights on the artistic and culinary fronts. ...
  • Hot Spot: Bowery Hotel, New York

    The Bowery is famous for its flophouses and kitchen-equipment suppliers, but this elegant hotel brings new sophistication to what was once skid row. ...
  • Travel: Homes With A View

    For those eager to own a remote holiday home but are leery of the hassles, there's an easy compromise: let one of the world's top hotel brands manage it. In recent years, hotel-branded residences have become hot properties in big cities and resort destinations around the world. Now hotel-branded villas are mushrooming along some of Asia's most pristine beaches.In the Seychelles, Raffles is building its first homes, 23 fully furnished villas located on roughly 2,500-squaremeter plots next to the soon-to-be-constructed Raffles Resort. In addition to spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, villa owners will receive VIP treatment at the airport, golf-cart transportation within the resort and access to the Raffles AmritaSpa and private beach ($3.15 million to $6.3 million; rafflesrealestate.com).On Koh Kood, Thailand's fourth largest island, Six Senses Resorts & Spas is developing the Soneva Kiri resort, with 36 residential pool villas up for grabs. Each four- to six-bedroom home is...
  • Dealing With the Devil

    When Israel swaps prisoners with its enemies, it gets back its fallen soldiers but hurts the rest of us.
  • The Odd Couple

    Germany's unwieldy grand coalition is making for a confused foreign policy—and it could get much worse.
  • Democracy on Trial

    Our April 14 report on Turkey's judiciary coup d'état galvanized readers. One said, "It's hard to believe in Ataturk's antiquated values." Another wrote, "The court is acting in accordance with a democratically approved Constitution." A third criticized the West: "It does not want a strong secular Turkey." ...
  • Battle For The Airwaves

    The spectrum up for grabs now could ultimately lead to new markets worth more than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Welsh Soul

    Following in the famous footsteps of fellow Welsh crooners like Dame Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Charlotte Church, 23-yearold singer Duffy (first name: Aimee) is blowing up the charts. Her soulful debut album, "Rockferry," topped the Pan-European Album Chart soon after its release this spring. Since then, it's reached No. 1 in Britain, Ireland and Sweden and has just been released in the United States.Duffy, who grew up listening to her father's Motown records, says soul touches a special chord for her: "I long for a sense of truth, a sense of honesty, a sense of desperation." Indeed, the isolation and longing in the sounds of 1970s Detroit may help explain why soul has been so popular with singers from Wales, a region that's battled rural poverty and has long been the cultural black sheep of Britain. One thing's clear: Wales may be a long way from Motown, but Duffy's right at home in both.
  • A Safe But Sterile Internet

    In the web counterrevolution that Jonathan Zittrain foresees, users will lose the ability to control content, companies will gain the power to censor data, and security will trump innovation. It's a gloomy scenario that his new book, "The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It," says is already underway.Zittrain, a professor at Oxford's Internet Institute, has long fought against attempts to control the Web and its Netizens. So it's no surprise that the book's biggest concern is the loss of the Web's free, communal ethos. Now, Zittrain says, the Net faces many threats to its openness: rising copyright infringement and identity theft encourage state interference, while viruses and spam are leading users to abandon flexible PCs for safe yet limited access through iPhones and BlackBerrys.For anyone who's lost files to malware, a lockdown may not sound so bad. But as Zittrain points out, corporate devices and services allow makers to exert unprecedented control. They can be censored...
  • Still Higher Food Prices

    The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently predicted that commodity prices for the coming decade are going to rise higher and higher. 20 Projected percentage increase of average prices of beef and pork for 2008–17, compared with 1998–2007 30 Projected percentage increase of average prices of raw and white sugar for 2008–17, compared with 1998–2007 40 Projected percentage increase of average prices of wheat and maize for 2008–17, compared with 1998–2007 80 Projected percentage increase of average prices of vegetable oil for 2008–17, compared with 1998–2007
  • Socialist Showdown

    France's next presidential election isn't until 2012, but Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë is already bidding to be the candidate of change. Delanoë claims in a new book ("Audacity") to be both "socialist and liberal." That can be an oxymoron on the French left, where some use "ultraliberal" as a slur for unbridled capitalism. Delanoë plays up his private-sector credentials as a former consultant and chides Socialists to stop battling "bogeymen" like "flexibility" and "competition."Not that Delanoë's all for an unchecked economy. He still wants to reverse conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy's tax breaks, and his "liberalism" focuses more on political freedoms like gay adoption. His apparent aim is to steal the center from Socialist rival Ségolène Royal, who lost to Sarkozy in the last presidential election. The problem: Delanoë needs to win over Socialists first, and inflation anxieties may lead them to favor a candidate with a more palliative line. Indeed, Royal, who often flirts...
  • Spam Options

    To stretch their battered food dollars, Americans are turning to a much-maligned staple: Spam. Sales of the canned meat product rose 10 percent over the previous three months as inflation-hit consumers used it to replace pricier cuts on their menus. And with food prices reaching heights unseen in a generation, the "spam option" is turning out to be universal.Many Japanese schools have taken beef out of lunches in favor of less costly chicken or pork. In India, lower-middle-class families are eating meat once a week on average instead of two to three times previously, while the abject poor subsist mainly on rice, chilies and salt. South Africa's slum-dwellers get by on chicken heads, feet and gizzards mixed with wild greens. In the Philippines, villagers are substituting yams and other tubers for rice they can no longer afford. Officials in Bangladesh are promoting spuds as an alternative to rice, which is in short supply. Their slogan: "Think potato, grow potato, eat potato."
  • Automobiles: Move Over, Speed Racer

    Low, flat and stable on curves even at very high speeds, the Mercedes SL63 coupe features a new 7-speed sports transmission. It shifts quickly and responds like a manual transmission, but with the smoothness of an automatic. It packs a 518-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine, and hits 60mph in a snappy 4.7 seconds. It's comfortable, too; the AMG sport steering wheel features shifter paddles that make it ergonomic between the hands. A Racetimer will keep track of lap times. And there's no need to suffer a chill with the top down; just push a button to allow warm air to circulate through the head restraints like a cashmere scarf ($136,425; www3.Mercedes-benz.com).
  • Style: Packing a Colorful Punch

    Some women have serious trouble deciding which handbag to carry with a particular frock. Now there's an easy way out: the multicolored purse, destined to become the accessory of choice this summer. Louis Vuitton's Firebird, a roomy tote in monogrammed Motard leather with velvet trim, offers a new take on the classic LV monogram print, mixing highly contrasting yellow, black and coral ($5,400; louis vuitton.com). Chloé's sherbet-hued Saskia Patchwork Pochette also mixes unusual shapes and colors, featuring an edgy layering of apricot and pink leather lapels ($1,560; chloe.com). For a bolder look, Prada's Nappa Stripes Multicolor Small Hobo purse features four brightly colored striped leather panels in hues of either fuchsia-violet or turquoise-violet ($1,675; saks fifthavenue.com). For the ultimate patchwork effect, Dolce & Gabbana's Miss Pocket Patchwork Snakeskin North/South Bag mixes dozens of small multicolor patches of snakeskin ($3,995; eluxury.com). There's nothing it won...
  • The Maximalist

    Appropriately dubbed the "Jagger Dagger," this showstopping 18-karat white gold Hero Dagger ice pick, created by jewelry designer Jade Jagger, is made by Belvedere to chip just the right-size shards of ice off the old block for its superior vodka martinis. But this glittering implement could easily be mistaken for a work of art; it's blinged out with 12 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds, 46 sapphires and a lapis lazuli crown. It comes complete with a white leather Bill Amery box containing LEDlights to make sure the stones always stay in the spotlight. For the eyepopping sum of $250,000, it had better come with an extra bottle or two of Belvedere (harrods.com).
  • 4 Hours In Mendoza

    The capital of Argentina's wine region is fast developing a reputation as the "new Napa" for its spectacular food and wine. Just remember that Mendocinos take their siestas very seriously: most businesses close between 1 and 5, so make sure your four hours coincide with sunset. ...
  • Hotspot: Intercontinental, San Francisco

    More contemporary than its sister hotel, the Mark Hopkins, up the road, this InterCon's turquoise, aquarium-like façade epitomizes the hip art vibe that energizes the City by the Bay. Designed to be ecofriendly, it's the first new lodging establishment to open its doors in San Francisco in the past three years. ...
  • Fitness: Gyms Go Designer

    Those seeking a gym worthy of their Stella McCartney exercise clothes are in luck. A new wave of luxury fitness centers allows exercise lovers to work up a sweat in high-concept spaces designed by brand-name architects.London's trendy $10 million Gymbox even resembles a high-end nightclub. Created by Ben Kelly and the award-winning firm Light and Design, the space offers neon lighting, film projections, split-level flooring and a "floating" dance studio that can turn into a nightclub at the flip of a switch (www.gymbox.co.uk).The 1,700-square-meter Younique fitness club and spa in Milan features a downstairs spa area that includes a Swarovski-crystal-studded sauna, Turkish bath and warm-massage waterbeds (yhc.it). Famed design firm Conran and Partners transformed an old glass factory in Cambridge, England, into Glassworks, a sleek new health club that preserves the original timber roof and exposed-brick walls. It also boasts a ground-level Jacuzzi, where members can view boats...
  • The Big Beef Backlash

    America and South Korea have much to gain from their big trade deal, but may kill it for silly reasons.
  • Looking for a Hero

    Big football tournaments often seem to end in failure. Will this year's Euro Cup be any different?
  • A Bunch Of Crooks On The Run

    With the death of its leader, the band faces extinction. It would be high time. They've degenerated into criminals.
  • Man of the People

    A Gandhi tries to recast his image—and reform his party in the process.