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  • Burma Still Short on Food and Power

    Villagers lacking food and shelter. Towns without power. Eighteen days after a cyclone ravaged Burma, the relief effort is private and decidedly patchwork, contrary to what the state says.
  • Q&A: ‘Shadow Cities’ Author on Squatter Societies

    Expect to hear the word "poorism" in the future, as modern travelers flock to the developing world's slums and shantytowns, which could soon house one-third of humanity. Author Robert Neuwirth, who lived in and studied these settlements for two years, calls them the "cities of tomorrow."
  • Burma's Bounty

    Burma is a land of agricultural bounty—its rice yield ranks as one of the highest in Southeast Asia. This richness has cushioned the ruling junta from the food riots that are starting to plague neighboring states. 206 Number of kilograms of rice per person per year consumed in Burma, the highest in the region 3.8 Number of tons per hectare of Burma's rice yield—44 percent higher than that of neighboring Thailand 2,912 Average number of daily calories consumed by Burma's citizens, the highest in Southeast Asia 6 Percent of Burma's people who are malnourished, as opposed to 20 percent of Thais and 19 percent of Vietnamese
  • Breaking Up With The IMF

    With the end of the International Monetary Fund's $10 billion deal in Turkey, there's been much ado about the country's economic future. Some of it's warranted: Turkey was an IMF poster child, tackling inflation and reducing debt from 76 to 39 percent of GDP since 2001. But the country's political situation recently destabilized and its current account and trade deficits are rising.While Turkey could still use the IMF's approval to reassure investors, a more interesting question may be how much the IMF needs Turkey. Its remaining debt to the Fund (about $7 billion) dwarfs that of the next largest borrower, Liberia ($500 million). But $7 billion is not what it used to be in the developing world, which underscores the IMF's struggle now that its target market has plenty of access to capital. "Turkey was the last very large program for the IMF," notes Desmond Lachman, an American Enterprise Institute fellow. No wonder the Fund plans to focus on its advisory role. If you can't lend,...
  • Hizbullah’s Watching

    Even as Hizbullah leaders cut a deal to quiet Lebanon's guns, a commander of the Shiite force says it's "still patrolling" areas of West Beirut recently seized from Sunni rivals. The commander, who asked for anonymity, also describes how a new intelligence network shaped the combat. A year ago, he says, Hizbullah operatives began surveilling security guards with ties to the U.S.-backed Sunni leader, Saad Hariri. By the time fighting erupted in May, they'd compiled names and phone numbers of these rivals, whom they shadowed for months and then dialed up as the battle for West Beirut raged. "How are you?" the caller would begin. "How's your wife?" And then: "We can see you now. You have three minutes to evacuate."At a safe house in a mainly Shiite suburb, the commander insisted, "We're still in a state of war," despite the ceasefire. He predicted new clashes, this time with the Christian forces of former warlord Samir Geagea, and said Hizbullah recently imported new arms, in...
  • The Unexpected Winners In The Oil And Food Crunch

    High oil and food prices are a double blow no nation can dodge entirely. Even oil states like Iran are seeing food-price protests. But there's a small class of farm-and-gas exporters for whom the dual spike is more opportunity than threat. Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand are all enjoying the windfalls, and even war-tattered Cambodia is now reimagining its future. It's "the only country in the world that has oil and gas reserves that are still untapped, as well as land available for agriculture," says Marvin Yeo, who left the Asian Development Bank to start one of Cambodia's first venture-capital firms.Cambodia's hard-to-access oil and gas fields had been isolated for decades by low petroleum prices and the posttraumatic stress of the Indochina wars. But with oil at $125 a barrel, few fields are too risky, and Chevron, Cnooc, China Petrotech and Total are scrambling to negotiate exploration contracts—even though no one is quite sure yet how big the fields are. In March, the...
  • Furniture: There’s No Need Ever To Get Up

    A chair should ultimately be functional, inviting and comfortable. But it can also be a beautiful work of art. At the latest Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka unveiled for Moroso his simple yet stunning Bouquet Chair, which "blooms" on a slim chrome stem with "petals" made of individually sewn fabric squares (price unavailable; moroso.it). To take a seat in the Fantasy Fantasy Chair by New Zealand designer Phil Cuttance is to be transported into a world of mythical creatures and fantastical human forms. The large, boxy piece is covered with fabric illustrated by artist Jared Kahi, who created the images using an inkjet textile printer ($1,590; philcuttance.com). The Lathe Chair V by Sebastian Brajkovic features a hand-embroidered, rainbow-shaped backrest, which gives the impression of a chair in motion, on the verge of tipping over ($29,160; cwgdesign.com). It's best to take it sitting down.
  • 4 Hours In Taipei

    Taiwan's capital boasts scenic mountains, the world's tallest building and delicious food. Its reputation will only grow, thanks to a hotel construction boom and a president-elect who plans to relax restrictions on mainland travelers. ...
  • Hot Spot: Francesca, Buenos Aires

    Owned by the Argentine entrepreneur turned restaurateur turned fashion model Federico Rivero, this elegant eatery—named after Rivero's 7-year-old daughter—is one of the best restaurants to open in B.A. in years. It smartly combines world-class cuisine with impeccable style and service. ...
  • Waiting For The Boom To End

    The average rental price is up 5 percent--down from the usual 10 or 15 percent, but still a long way from a crash.
  • Asia Raises The Gavel

    With its art market thriving, China passes France to become the third biggest auction center.
  • Mine’s Bigger Than Yours

    In a battle of egos on the high seas, size counts. Three Americans go at it to see who can build the ultimate sailing yacht.
  • Very French Delights

    What could be more luxurious than a glass of rosé, Stan Smith sneakers or a pocketknife?
  • Shining In The Gloom

    The rest of the world may be feeling an economic pinch, but for the richest of the rich, the luxury spending spree goes on unfettered.
  • Asia’s Other Crisis

    Famine looms—not just in Burma but also North Korea. And the U.N. has only made matters worse.
  • Where Big Is Best

    The rise of megacities has created slums and chaos elsewhere, but in China, they are cleaner and more efficient.
  • The Modern Silk Road

    Sino-Gulf trade is booming as the world's two most liquid economies create a host of new alliances that are shifting the world's economic center of gravity.
  • The King Versus The Radicals

    Saudi Arabia's monarch is using Aramco—the crack state oil company—to build a Western-style university in a bid to outflank the repressive clergy.
  • How Tycoons Fall

    Lee's departure has forecasters predicting big changes for family business empires. Again.
  • King Coal’s Comeback

    The Welsh coal-mining industry was all but dead, until booming global demand sparked a revival.
  • Gone In 11 Minutes Flat

    Singapore's top terrorist slips out of jail—revealing worrying cracks in this ultracompetent nanny state.
  • The Stealth Rescue

    As Burma's generals dither, victims of Cyclone Nargis are getting secret help from private citizens.
  • Britain’s Mr. Nice Guy

    A rebranding campaign and a struggling British Labour Party are helping to revive the touchy-feely new Conservatives.
  • Mail Call: Tibet and the Torch

    Readers of our March 31 report on China's crackdown in Tibet sympathized with Tibetans but not with protests over the Olympics. "You reported the truth about Tibet's sad plight," said one. Another agreed: "China has ruthlessly crushed Tibetans." Still, opined a third, "don't meddle with the Games." ...
  • The Cash-Machine Capers

    Forcing open cash machines is risky work. Those who try with a car must smash into the hunk of steel driving at least 40kph for a shot at success—and ATMs often withstand even faster charges, says Travis Yates, head driving trainer at the Tulsa Police Department in Oklahoma. Some thieves drag dislodged machines away to open with a blowtorch, but that's hardly any more discreet than ram raids. And many new ATMs release a blast of ink when jarred, ruining the cash inside. Increasingly, the machines are placed behind heavy metal barriers or inside shops, or both, to thwart attacks. If you're an old-school ATM thief, "you're more than likely going to end up disappointed," says Yates.Still, theft from ATMs is up—it leapt to €468 million in Europe last year, an increase of €131 million over 2006, according to a new report by the Edinburgh-based nonprofit European ATM Security Team. Thieves are using new electronic tricks to steal data from ATM cards, often with electronic spying equipment...
  • Fast Chat: Alpha Dogs of London

    In "Alpha Dogs," London Times editor James Harding investigates the Americanization of global politics and points to a culprit: the Sawyer Miller Group. Throughout the 1970s and '80s, the U.S. firm packaged and sold foreign politicians like consumer goods. Harding spoke with NEWSWEEK's Tony Dokoupil. ...
  • Movies: Wanna-Be Carrie

    Much has been made of "Sex and the City's" single-girl mythology, with its four Dolce-clad heroines who set off to conquer a larger-than-life version of New York. Now the prospect of seeing Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda go through one more mythopoetic cycle is causing epic preparations. To fete the film, which premiered May 12 in London and opens stateside the weekend of May 30, devotees will be able to indulge in a "Sex and the City" package at New York's Mandarin Oriental (with cocktails like the "Mr. Big Apple-tini" and outings to Jimmy Choo), brunch with female-only networking groups in Baltimore or enter a "SATC" look-alike contest at Boston's Underbar (break out your nameplate necklaces). Patricia Field, the show's designer, is peddling heart-shaped cosmo flasks on her Web site for moviegoers to accessorize.Most fans, though, are just planning to head to the theater in style. "I've always identified with Carrie," says Rozy Lewis, a Manhattan party planner who's...
  • Everest Torch: The Full Price Of The Peak

    On May 8, mountaineers finally raised the Olympic torch atop Everest, beating high winds and snowstorms that destroyed their camps and rope routes. Official congratulators noted how admirably the team had overcome their difficulties.They deserve their success. But let's look at the cost of the climb. The total financial burden will probably never be known, but it includes the road China built into the mountain, the media center erected at its base and the 50 mountaineers kept there for two months, awaiting favorable conditions. Then there's the compensation to Nepal for lost revenue (the country had to close its side of the mountain during the height of climbing season, while the Olympic team summited).After Everest reopened, commercial climbers faced a difficult choice. They'd already spent much of the season corralled at base camp. Now, to reach the top before the summer monsoon arrives at the end of May (with its heavy snows and greater avalanche risk) is a chancy bet. And with...
  • The Tumor That Changed Me

    Can your outlook change, even if your day-to-day actions don't? In my experience, it definitely can.