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  • The Great Moqtada Makeover

    American commanders hope they can turn Sadr's Shiite supporters the same way they have former Sunni insurgents.
  • Gaining Speed

    There's a new game in town for thrill-seekers: a lightning-quick tear down an icy half-pipe. Eight Olympic bobsled tracks around the world are open to the public, allowing adrenaline junkies to pull up to five G's in as many as 20 turns taken at 113 to 129kph. In about a minute it's all over, but it feels as if it took forever.In Park City, Utah, the 129kph "Comet" lets riders experience a 40-story drop in about 54 seconds ($200, ages 16 and up; olyparks.com). They can recover at the Canyons, which features world-class skiing as well as family-friendly accommodations (from $446; thecanyons.com).Opened in 1890, the world's only natural-ice bobsled track, in St-Moritz, Switzerland, takes riders up to 134kph in 75 seconds ($195, 18 and older; olympia-bobrun.ch). Those with energy to burn should stay at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, which offers curling, skiing and skating (from €344; www.kronenhof.com).In Igls, Austria, sledders can ride on the track built for the 1976 Winter Olympics (...
  • Avoiding The Abyss

    The U.S. stock market has just had its worst January start in history, and other bourses around the world are struggling. Yet by most standards, stocks are undervalued versus inflation and interest rates, and are cheaper than they were in 2002. There are vast amounts of cash on the sidelines, and investor-sentiment measures are very depressed. Meanwhile, the subprime-mortgage disaster continues, and an increasing number of economists are forecasting a recession in the United States this year. Even more frightening, many respected gurus are wringing their hands and warning that the housing and stock-market party bubbles have well and truly burst, and an abyss looms.The case for the abyss is straightforward: the subprime-mortgage disaster has already seriously weakened U.S. and European financial institutions, and plunging home prices in English-speaking countries are increasing the damage. The bears argue that the U.S. economy is now either in or on the verge of a recession, and the...
  • Where The Sari Meets Chanel

    Trailblazing designer Diane Von Furstenburg is credited with introducing the wrap dress to the world, but the Indian Subcontinent's sartorial innovation, the sari, was the original wrap star. Today, thousands of years after its debut, the sari is still seen in various incarnations all over India, from the marble-clad ballrooms of Mumbai's five-star hotels to the overgrown fields of rural villages. Silk or cotton, dyed, beaded or embroidered, this simple wardrobe solution is a trend with the kind of staying power that contemporary retailers kill to come upon; millions of variations on a theme later, customers are still queuing up.But recently, the Indian style scene has witnessed the arrival of a stranger in its midst: the high-octane socialite clad in, say, a couture chiffon evening gown instead of an elaborately embellished sari. Chanel. Vuitton. Gucci. Dior. Moschino. Burberry. Fendi. Versace. Armani. The Western luxury-brand fleet has begun to flock to the latest stop on the...
  • We Don’t Do ‘Regime Change’

    Ibrahim Gambari is the U.N. point man on one of the world's toughest regimes to charm, Burma. Since taking the job in May, Gambari has visited Rangoon several times, urging the junta to respect human rights and recognize the opposition led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. His last two visits came after the bloody September crackdown on monks protesting the rising price of fuel. Gambari is one of few outsiders to meet the secretive and isolated junta supremo, Than Shwe. He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Patrick Falby on the state of Burma. Excerpts: ...
  • Tales From The Crypt

    Recently released documents from the Soviet archives reveal a wealth of buried atrocities.
  • ‘Kept In a State of Limbo’

    Christmas came a day late for the inhabitants of Tham Hin, a Burmese refugee camp along the Thai border. On Dec. 26, U.S. President George W. Bush signed an omnibus spending bill containing two provisions that may change the lives of these refugees and the thousands of others around the world who live in fear of persecution in their home countries.For years these refugees were kept in a state of limbo, forbidden to go to the United States by overly broad antiterrorist legislation that labeled them threats to homeland security and defined terrorism in a way that goes far beyond the more traditional definition—violent activities aimed at civilians—to include the use of any "dangerous device" for virtually any purpose, even to resist oppressive regimes that the United States opposes, and even if committed under the threat of death. Among the groups deemed to have been involved with terrorist activities are the Hmong, Mustang, Montagnards and Alzados—freedom fighters from Laos, Tibet,...
  • Why Debt Hasn’t Killed Us Yet

    For nearly a decade, many economists have warned that the U.S. trade deficit cannot keep swelling indefinitely. At some point, they insisted, it would have to start shrinking, perhaps so sharply that it will shake the economy. Last year, when the gap narrowed a bit, some observers speculated that the turnaround might have begun. Not necessarily. On the contrary, the downtick in 2007 could have been a mere breather in the run-up of a deficit that can grow much larger, quite comfortably. According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, the U.S. current account deficit—the broadest measure of the trade gap—could rise from 5 or 6 percent to 9 percent of GDP, or $1.6 trillion, by 2012 as long as foreigners are eager to invest there.The pessimists failed to foresee three key developments in global capital markets. First, Asian manufacturers, oil exporters and other commodity producers are flush with surplus capital to invest. Second, there is growing interest in cross-border...
  • Fruits of Their Labor

    Fifteen years of record growth is finally changing what it means to be middle class in Britain.
  • The Populists Retreat

    Why Latin America's firebrands are softening their rhetoric—and emboldening the opposition.
  • Mail Call: Shaping Giuliani

    Readers of our Dec. 3 profile of Rudy Giuliani questioned his electability. One said, "Haven't we had enough of the politics of fear and divisiveness?" But another observed, "Giuliani's intense mix of moral certitude and ethical relativism seems oddly evocative of the collective American psyche." ...
  • Q&A: Top U.S. Diplomat on Kenya

    In Kenya, a contested election has polarized the nation and sent shock waves across the region, says the United States' most senior diplomat on African affairs.
  • Lost In Translation

    Does the next generation of American executives have what it takes to lead the rest of the world?
  • Sex Murder Prison Diaries

    The couple held in connection with Perugia's 'extreme sex' murder release their account of events.
  • Pakistan's Troubled Economy

    The news from Pakistan is all nuclear weapons and suicide bombers. But the average citizen cares much more about the economy.
  • Drezner: Improving U.S. Image

    The competitive race for president may help repair the damage to America's image abroad, even before George Bush leaves office.
  • Italy: Naples Still Trash City

    Naples is enduring yet another garbage strike. But if the rats, cockroaches and stench are familiar, the outcome may be different this time around.
  • Musharraf’s Last Stand

    By clinging to power, the president is making Pakistan fight the wrong battle—against him, rather than the extremists destabilizing the nuclear-armed nation.
  • Battle Lost, Industry Born

    In the $10 billion videogame industry, war has always been marketable. But one war in particular has captured the imaginations of gamers: World War II. More than 100 titles are dedicated to the struggle between the Axis and the Allies, at least 70 of which have been made in the past five years. Medal of Honor: Airborne, the latest installment in Electronic Arts' WWII franchise, focuses on the close-range infantry combat of Operation Market Garden, part of the Allies' 11-month campaign across Europe to Berlin. It was "to a significant extent a rifleman's war," says historian Niall Ferguson. Soldiers "had to do a lot of ditch-to-ditch, house-to-house fighting—the perfect setting for first-person shooter games." Operation Market Garden features in at least 12 videogames, including four of the 14 Medal of Honor titles, and will be the focus of Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, due out early this year on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. "More than any other conflict, World War II is an...
  • Black Market In Bad Code

    Time is the hacker's enemy. The countdown starts as soon as a hacker learns about a security loophole that makes an Internet site vulnerable to a break-in. Security and software firms have, by and large, succeeded in shortening this period, but hackers have responded in kind. They've created a brisk underground market for buying and selling "zero day" code—software that can be used instantly to exploit an as-yet-unsecured loophole.Zero-day code is a reaction to the increased sophistication of firewalls and other computer protections. Many individuals and groups wanting to commit online fraud or theft no longer possess the skills needed to compromise computers. Likewise, many talented zero-day programmers lack the know-how to turn a computer intrusion into cash by, say, laundering money stolen from corporate pension-payment systems. Zero-day code bridges these two talent pools. It can be used to steal credit-card and banking information and install malicious software. "There are a...
  • Finding The Right Stuff

    The oft-exchanged phrase among tech journalists at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, "more of the same," was a fair assessment of the gadgets on display. But we did dig up some products worth highlighting. The Neonode N2 mobile phone features an infrared-based touchscreen, making it more rugged than an iPhone or Palm. Seagate's D.A.V.E., a Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled pocket-size hard drive , allows users to access audio or video files from such diverse devices as iPhones, laptops and car stereos. But our favorite was Jook, a hardware add-on for MP3 players that permits you to broadcast music wirelessly to other Jookenabled devices within 30 feet, or tag songs broadcast by other users for purchase the next time you sync your player with your PC. It's nice to share.
  • Dashing Through The Snow

    Forget that old Flexible Flyer hanging in the garage, or even the handcrafted wooden toboggan. Like vehicles of all sorts, sleds are now being made from a variety of lightweight, high-tech materials, drastically speeding them up in the process. For sheer speed, the Airboard Classic 130-X is a sleek, aerodynamic, blow-up board with lashings of street cred ($279; www.backcountry.com). Aspiring racers can gain status on the slopes with the svelte Super Tramp Snow Champion Deluxe ($200; www.toboggans.co.uk). The prestigious carmaker Porsche has gotten into the game, creating the Kinderland Bob, a slick silver snow bike for kids ($120; porsche.com). And for a supersmooth ride, the Alu High-Tech Sledge has built-in shock absorbers that help riders glide unruffled over uneven surfaces. The buckle-resistant, ergonomic aluminum frame even folds up into a chic carry-all, so you can sashay off the slope in style—or haul it up to the top for one last run ($640; bornrich.org).
  • 4 Hours In: San José

    Costa Rica's capital is also the coffee capital of Central America, and many—though certainly not all—of its economic and cultural activities revolve around the caffeinated crop.Tour the pride of the city, the National Theater. Built in the 1890s by wealthy coffee growers, the theater is a temple to the lavish European tastes of the time, with exquisite architecture, 24-karat gilded adornments and inlaid parquet floors (Avenida 2, Calles 3/5).Visit the National Museum for a crash course in Costa Rica's history and environmental riches. Bullet holes from the country's civil war bear testament to the museum's former life as a military fort (Avenidas Central y Segunda, Calle 17).Lunch at the fair-trade Doka Estate in the fertile Central Valley. You'll enjoy local specialties; a tour of the fields and roasting processes, and enough samples to wire you well into the evening (dokaestate.com).Stroll the historic district of Barrio Amon, once home of the city's elite, where quaint Caribbean...
  • Hot Spot: Sake No Hana, London

    In the midst of historic Mayfair—just a stone's throw from the rococo splendor of the Ritz— the latest gastro-haunt for London's hip haut monde serves simple Japanese fare in slick, über-modern surroundings. ...
  • The Kiwi Boutiques

    Traveling to middle earth doesn't mean you have to settle for middle-of-the-road accommodations. New Zealand—just now hitting the height of summer—has some boutique hotels dazzling enough to match its scenery. Most travelers spend a night in Auckland before venturing out. Mollies, an elegant inn owned by an opera coach, is built around music. Some of the country's finest opera singers perform nightly in the lounge, and each room is decorated with musical antiques, like a grand piano (suites from $381; mollies.co.nz).On the north island, near Rotorua—the heart of Maori country—the charming Solitaire Lodge sits on a private peninsula in Lake Tarawera. The resort offers gourmet meals and grand lake views, as well as a private dock and helipad (deluxe from $986; solitairelodge.co.nz). An hour's drive from Wellington, the sheep station Wharekauhau houses a luxury estate with 12 gloriously designed cottages. Guests can partake in horse trekking, clay-pigeon shooting and archery (doubles...
  • Passing The Devalued Buck

    Bush's mortgage-freeze plan sets a disturbing precedent. What's next, a moratorium on car payments?
  • This Song’s For Iraq

    The winner of the Arab version of 'American Idol' talks about the emotional visit she made to her homeland.
  • The Long Career

    Westerns, comedies, dramas and silent films—a new box set proves John Ford mastered all at Fox.
  • Kenneth Branagh: A Man For All Seasons

    Kenneth Branagh—who won Oscar nominations in the 1990s for "Henry V" AND "Hamlet"—seemed to vanish after a few flops and his divorce from actress Emma Thompson. But 2007 was the 47-year-old's comeback. He directed Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and Michael Caine in "Sleuth." In 2008, he'll star alongside Tom Cruise in "Valkyrie," appear onstage in Chekhov's "Ivanov," play a detective on a British TV show and voice a radio adaptation of "Cyrano de Bergerac." Branagh chatted with NEWSWEEK's Ginnane Brownell in London. ...
  • Aid And The Unraveling Of Pakistan

    Democracy suffered a string of setbacks in 2007, many thanks to oil. Gushing oil revenues helped Vladimir Putin consolidate authoritarian rule in Russia, Hugo Chávez expand populism in Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confront the West. All the while, an analogous force was at work in Pakistan. For more than 50 years, Pakistan has reaped its own unearned manna, which has filled its coffers and kept its fragile state afloat. In this case, however, the money didn't come from the ground, but from massive military and other forms of aid, largely from the United States, China and Saudi Arabia. Yet while the source may be different, the impact of all this cash on Pakistan has been just as destructive as oil wealth elsewhere: bloating the military and creating a culture of violent instability, in which assassinations like that of Benazir Bhutto are sadly inevitable.It's impossible to understand Pakistan's current woes without examining the massive volume of aid it's amassed over the past...
  • Nuclear Help Wanted

    Plans for new plants have created a steep demand for engineering talent, but the students have fled.
  • Money For Nothing

    Asians are once again battling massive cash flows, but unlike in 1997-98, the tide is coming in.
  • Sorry, Not Interested

    Serbia refuses to give up Kosovo—even if it means giving up its shot at entering the European Union.
  • Supply-Side Nation

    The post-boomer career path--at nearly every level of the income ladder--is more like a maze than a straight line.
  • Anybody But Bush

    Europeans don't know much about the race for the U.S. presidency. But they know whom they don't like.
  • Leaders For A New Age

    As the post-boomers take power, they could bring big change in the U.S., Europe and beyond.
  • The Factory Of Factories

    How Germany's nimble manufacturers are besting not only their Western rivals, but the Chinese, too.
  • Mail Call: Print vs. e-Reading

    Readers of our Nov. 26 story on Amazon's e-reader, the Kindle, had reservations about digital books. "One objection is the lack of the ability to browse before I decide to buy; the other is the likelihood of advertising," one said. But another noted, "School texts on a Kindle would revolutionize the lives of millions." ...
  • Zakaria: Q&A With Musharraf

    Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf talks about fair elections, Benazir Bhutto's assassination and security in the region.
  • Iraq: The Cost of Protection

    Thousands of Iraqis are joining forces with American troops to drive out insurgents. What it's costing the U.S.—and why it could become even more expensive in the years ahead.
  • Liberia: Prosecuting Taylor

    Stephen Rapp, the U.N. lawyer prosecuting Charles Taylor, talks about his case against the Liberian ex-president and the power of international courts to stop slaughter
  • Dickey: Terror’s Real Frontline

    America still faces clear and present dangers. So why are the presidential debates about national security increasingly detached from reality?