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  • The Two Shades Of Gloom

    A mood of crisis hangs over the west, or perhaps it is more accurate to say two moods. In America and Europe, gloom rather than joy has accompanied the growth of wealth and affluence, but the gloom has more than one timber. Europeans express fear—a response to an identifiable and objective threat like global warming, pollution and military conflict. Americans wallow in anxiety—a more generalized, inchoate reaction to anticipated or subjective threats. While Europeans strive to identify specific dangers they can rally against, American anxieties are more amorphous.Why is this? Europeans still recall and tremble at the thought of the catastrophes between 1939 and 1945. Despite the American obsession with terrorism on its soil, Europeans are profoundly conscious of the fact that all subsequent major terror events have taken place in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and despair at their possible repetition. Moreover, a long history of political protest and communitarian politics,...
  • Let Them Eat Cake

    Food inflation used to be a problem for poor countries. Now the French are feeling the pinch.
  • Khalid Mishaal: The Spoiler Speaks

    The Bush administration scored a coup by luring Arab states to its Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland, last month. But one party was glaringly absent from the table: Hamas, the Islamist militant group that won an overwhelming victory in legislative elections last year and now virtually runs its own state in the Gaza Strip. Its leader, Khaled Mishaal, is currently making the round of Gulf States to keep Hamas relevant. NEWSWEEK's Zvika Krieger spoke with Mishaal in Doha, Qatar, about the escalating Palestinian civil war. ...
  • Redefining The Epic

    China's latest big-budget drama has plenty of grit, gore and action but not a flying swordsman in sight.
  • Global Investor: The Forecast: Cloudy

    It's a confusing time for investors as equity markets around the world display considerable volatility. This reflects more than just uncertainty about the economic outlook. It is also due to an unusual set of competing influences on global markets.In the past few weeks, daily triple-digit moves in the Dow Jones industrials have become unusually common. And the moves have not been in one direction. Instead, the roller-coaster ride has included a 4.1 percent fall between Nov. 13 and 23, followed by a 6.4 percent surge since then (as of Dec. 12). No wonder analysts have fluctuated between predicting prolonged market weakness and a sharp recovery.In trying to make sense of such market conditions, I employ a tool that I learned from Bill Gross, whom I will be joining shortly at Pimco. Widely respected for his consistently superior investment results (which earned him the title of "bond king"), Bill advises investors to distinguish between what they know and what they know they don't know...
  • Top Department Store Restaurants

    Like running a marathon, last minute holiday shopping requires stamina, concentration, sharp elbows—and just the right kind of fortification. A food court? Please. Some of the world's top department stores feature restaurants that would be worth visiting even if you couldn't pick up a pair of Manolos on the way out.At the bright and airy Forth Floor Restaurant in Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh, shoppers can reflect upon their purchases while savoring glorious 360-degree views of the city and dining on tasty treats like roast-parsnip soup with nutmeg and truffle oil ( Isetan department store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district recently opened Rejiig, a coffee shop designed exclusively for men that serves aromatic coffee and champagne, as well as posh takes on macho food, such as the foie gras burger ( shopper could spend the whole day exploring the elaborate Food Hall on the seventh floor of Milan's La Rinascente, which includes coffee, mozzarella,...
  • Hotspot: Beach House, Manafaru, Maldives

    A welcome change from the international chains littering the country's southern atoll, this new five-star resort offers an intimate experience in a gorgeous setting. Composed of grass-topped huts and lush vegetation, the resort blends a natural environment with cutting-edge technology.Rooms: Sixty-eight waterfront villas are available at four price levels, ranging from $700 to $4,680 per night. Each is outfitted with a flat-screen TV, fiber-optic-lit pool, Wi-Fi and an iPod connector in the bathtub. The palatial Grand Beach Pavilion also boasts a sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room.Food: Maldivian cuisine extracts the best of Indian, Thai and other Asian fare for an eclectic mix of spicy and savory tastes. The resort's three restaurants serve dishes for every palate, from pumpkin curry to tuna tartare.Spa: The state-of-the-art spa boasts 10 individual cabanas and an extensive menu of Shui specialties. The Veli Modun energy massage incorporates sand, ocean water and fresh coconut oil ($150...
  • Four Hours in Siem Reap

    Best known as the gateway town to the ancient Khmer temple complex of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap has become a compelling destination on its own, juxtaposing sophisticated hospitality with traditional arts and culture.Watch a traditional Khmer dance performance, complete with elaborate costumes, talented musicians and stylized movements in the elegant setting of the Apsara Theatre (angkor on a gourmet seven-course seasonal Khmer tasting menu, incorporating exotic ingredients such as dried snake and green mango, at Meric, set in the ultracontemporary Hotel de la Paix (hoteldelapaix for everything from fine silks to fresh eels at the cavernous Old Market complex. Be prepared to bargain for some of the most stylish souvenirs in Southeast Asia.Visit the FCC complex, which offers a deco-inspired hotel, spa, restaurant and bar, as well as a selection of chic boutiques (fcc Tiger Lily sells flawlessly crafted artwork and sculpture ...
  • Prettier Than a Package

    Large bows have become an integral part of handbags this season, making the latest must-haves utterly girly affairs. Valentino has come up with a side-bow, zip-top satchel, in either a gorgeous red or walnut brown, which sports an oversize bow on the front to great va-va-voom effect ($1,795; For the evening, the Italian designer offers a big side-bow clutch in black-and-white stripes or a striking leopard print. The bow can be used to transform the purse into a wristlet, making it easier to dance the night away ($985; a more discreet look, Christian Louboutin makes a delicate clutch with a tortoise pattern and gathered bow flap featuring the label's signature red-satin lining ($1,060; Gonzalez's croc clutch in red or black features an oversize bow detail at the front that doesn't detract from the simple beauty of the material ($1,650; neimanmarcus .com). It just adds the finishing touch.
  • Ferrari's 430 Scuderia

    Ferrari has tweaked ITS F430 to make it lighter and faster. The 430 Scuderia goes from zero to 100 km in a body-flattening 3.7 seconds, and has shorter braking time. The hand-built 4.3-liter, V-8, 503-horsepower engine is visible through a glass cover. But act fast: only 350 will be made in 2008 ($270,000;
  • Periscope: Scorned No More: It’s A Warm Holiday Season For Dictators

    Life's not easy for a rogue—at least, it didn't use to be. Until recently, North Korea, Iran and Libya could all expect regular rhetorical pummeling and military threats from the West. Now, suddenly, change is in the air, and all three states have begun hearing much more moderate language from their old enemies.The change has been remarkable. Not long ago, Kim Jong Il was being called a "pygmy" by President George W. Bush. Yet in the last few weeks, North Korea—in an indirect "thank you" for the recent nuclear-disarmament deal—got notice that the New York Philharmonic would soon visit Pyongyang, and Bush sent a personal letter to the Dear Leader respectfully addressing him as "Mr. Chairman." Another charter member of the "Axis of Evil," Iran, got its holiday gift in the form of a new U.S. intelligence estimate stating that Tehran had halted its nuclear-weapons program—a report the Iranian president has brandished as vindication for his nation. And in France, President Nicolas...
  • Mecca’s People Movers

    German engineer Dirk Serwill had one reaction when presented with his most recent assignment: "Oh, my God." God would actually play quite a prominent role in the project. Serwill was part of a team of German engineers hired last year by Saudi Arabia to help revamp the hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage, taking place this month, that draws millions to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The recent explosion in the number of pilgrims—from 1.5 million in 1996 to almost 4 million in 2006—has resulted in thousands of deaths in recent years. One engineer described it as "the biggest pedestrian problem in the world"—trying to fit millions of people speaking dozens of languages from 100 different countries into three square kilometers.The crux of the problem is three ancient pillars in the Mina Valley, which pilgrims are required to stone as a symbol of the Devil. Serwill watches on his video monitor as thousands of pilgrims surround the site, a scene he compares to the spin cycle of a...
  • Saving The World With Chickens

    Dung from chickens is turning into a green energy source in rural China. The De Qing Yuan farm outside Beijing is starting up a "biogas digester"—a plant that processes 192 metric tons of droppings a day from 3 million chickens and turns out electricity. The farm will get $1 million a year selling the power to the national grid.The plant is part of a push by Beijing to make use of dung that is piling up in farms (and spilling over into villages and lakes). Dung is a climate issue because it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Biogas plants, however, cook the dung in water to release the methane, which is then used to drive generators. The only byproducts are heat and solid waste that can be used as fertilizer. China has been using small biogas plants for decades, but now Beijing plans to install 4,700 big farm-based digesters by 2010, and to more than double the number of households that run on biogas from 18 million to 40 million. Last year the government increased annual...
  • Mail Call: Will Google Falter?

    Readers hailed the new rivals to Google discussed in our Nov. 5 cover story. "This is just a part of globalization," one noted. Another added, "Business and technological innovation in accessibility, flexibility and ease of operation or service for users will determine whether Google remains the leader." ...
  • Movies: Revisiting Nanking

    A new documentary harrowingly revisits the atrocities of Nanking. Why it should be mandatory viewing.
  • The Battle for Rome’s Treasures

    Why did Italian leaders wait almost a year to unveil Rome's latest archaeological finds? The answer is as old as the city itself.
  • China’s New-Look Orphanages

    China's orphanages used to be seen as dumping grounds for unwanted children. No longer. An on-scene report from a volunteer caregiver.
  • The Transatlantic Gulf

    Times are tough in the transatlantic alliance. But Europe and America still have plenty in common.
  • Zakaria: The Fearful Giant

    It's not just Bush's fault. America is scared of the new world, and that's no way to run a hyperpower.
  • China Is Unlikely US Ally

    China's leaders, at least, still like the United States—but the reasons won't please Washington.
  • Repairing France's Suburbs

    The country's troubled banlieus, or suburbs, are partly the product of the best post-war intentions gone awry.
  • Fatah’s War on Hamas

    Palestinian spooks are finding inventive ways to undermine the Islamists in the Gaza Strip.
  • Why America’s Point Man On China Is Running Into a Wall

    Is Henry Paulson's big China offensive dead in the water? As the U.S. Treasury secretary preps for the next meeting of his widely hyped Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing this week, some China watchers are heralding its demise. Paulson left as CEO of Goldman Sachs and took the Treasury post on condition that he'd be America's point man on China, yet so far he's not even meeting the right people. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao declined to lead China's side, shunting the job off to Wu Yi, who will be a lame duck when she meets Paulson this week. Worse, her likely successor is thought to be Zhang Jiang, a provincial party chief who learned his economics at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, hardly a bastion of free-market liberalism.Treasury officials hope Paulson will end up working with Li Keqiang, a highly regarded reformer and rising star in the Communist Party. But it's unlikely anyone on the Chinese side will give much more anyway. The dialogue was supposed to work like this:...
  • Panda Lovers Love Coal

    It isn't just pandas the World Wildlife Fund is hugging. In a major policy shift, the group is cautiously embracing a longtime foe of the greens: King Coal. Its report, "Climate Solutions: WWF's Vision for 2050," maps out a plan for doubling global energy consumption while slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 percent—the minimum necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees C. Amid the usual call for renewables, WWF envisions coal delivering 20 percent of global energy needs in 2050.Why coal? Because "there is no silver bullet" to stop global warming, says Liam Salter, head of WWF's climate-change program in Hong Kong. Nor is it practical to rule out the dirty but abundant fossil fuel. The report envisions "a clearly defined, though limited, role for coal in a climate-friendly economy." Coal would fire highly efficient (and still experimental) power plants that store CO2 underground. Conservation would help bridge the gap between now and 2030, when the new coal plants will be...
  • Cashless In The Hinterlands

    Mobile banking might save the government and banks money and reduce fraud that plagues the public-distribution system.
  • Mail Call: A Terrorist Haven

    Readers of our Oct. 29 cover story on where the jihad is sent in hundreds of passionate cheers. "You're right. Pakistan is the hub of jihad," wrote one. "It's the breeding place and haven for terrorists," said another. A third echoed what many claimed: "America is the most dangerous nation today." ...
  • Cool Drawers

    The refrigerator never seems big enough to hold all those holiday leftovers and half-drunk bottles of champagne. But appliance-makers have devised an innovative solution: refrigerated drawers, which can fit under counters or stand alone and dramatically increase cool-storage space. Aga's two-drawer refrigerated units come in black, blue, claret or cream, and include an extra-deep drawer that can fit wine bottles standing up ($2,950; The commercial refrigeration company Perlick recently introduced a residential line, which includes two-drawer ($2,978), four-drawer ($5,257) and six-drawer ($7,936) stainless-steel units (the larger ones include freezer space) that can be built-in or freestanding. Built-ins are available in stainless infused with copper or amethyst color ( And Sub-Zero makes a double-drawer refrigerator, freezer or dual model, which comes in various shades of stainless or custom panels (from $3,126; Chillin'.
  • Visiting the Newest Wonders

    Intrepid travelers who missed visiting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by about 500 years now have a chance to visit the New Seven Wonders—a list of the top man-made landmarks chosen earlier this year via Internet by millions of voters around the world. Marriott is marking its 3,000th hotel by launching a series of luxury tour packages that allow visitors to experience the new wonders in style ( should head to the world's most romantic monument, the Taj Mahal. They can stay in oceanfront rooms in frenetic Mumbai, and indulge in world-class Indian spa treatments ($6,660 per person, three nights). Marriott visitors to China can scale the Great Wall with their own private tour guide, then relax with a Zen-inducing yoga class ($3,806 per person, three nights). Packages to the lost city of Machu Picchu include forays into Peru's happening capital, Lima ($3,000, four nights). Visitors to the world's last Mayan temple at Chichén Itzá can exfoliate with spa...
  • Four Hours In Montevideo

    Often overshadowed by neighboring behemoth Buenos Aires, the Uruguayan capital is a bustling port and financial center that mixes modern culture with historic charm. It's also becoming a popular spot for Hollywood film shoots. ...
  • Hot Spot: Singapore

    This traditional Chinese shophouse has been converted into a hip new fantasy-theme bar built around a giant, whimsical tree hosting strange creatures on its walls.Ambience: The darker, ground-floor décor forms the trunk and features a funky art installation by local artist Donna Ong of creepy-crawlies made out of old clock mechanisms. The tables on the second level boast intricate sculptured centerpieces and unusual wall panels with oak-leaf motifs. The treetop third floor showcases a deep-blue mural with scenes from children's nursery rhymes; a canopy of LED lights provides a tranquil night-sky effect. ...
  • Home, Sweet Home

    It's never too early to start cultivating a luxury property owner. Children now have a growing range of dream-home options, conveniently located in Mom and Dad's backyard. The latest crop of kids' playhouses combine fairy-tale designs with real, modern-day facilities like running water and beds, and maybe even a guest room for jealous adults.Lilliput Play Homes makes enough different structures to populate a town: houses, a cinema, a town hall and a schoolhouse, all crafted from quality materials and colorfully painted; the Cotton Candy Manor features an upstairs balcony and starts at $8,999 ( little historian in the family might appreciate Hamleys authentic-looking two-story Tudor playhouse, with oak floors and hardwood windows and doors ($52,621; La Petite Maison's elaborate creations, which include such amenities as electricity, air conditioning and an intercom to the family home, can be custom-built anywhere in the world (from $7,000;...
  • Mind Buffett, Don’t Panic

    A year from now, stocks, the dollar and U.S. inflation will be higher, and oil, gold, the euro and the pound will be lower.
  • Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The Global Lawman

    Midway through his nine-year term as prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo is ebullient about the prospects—and progress—of the tribunal. As bureaucracies go, he says, the court has moved faster than expected against those accused of war crimes. In New York last week to testify to the United Nations Security Council on Sudan, Moreno-Ocampo, 55, spoke to NEWSWEEK's Arlene Getz and Jonathan Tepperman about the work of the court and its evolving relationship with the United States. ...
  • Adding Fuel to the Fire

    Thousands of vehicles are set ablaze each year in France. Blame the urban planners—and the media.
  • The Luxuries of Technology

    I am caught on the horns of an argumentum cornutum, pondering the question, "Can a technology product be a luxury product?" It is the sort of philosophical issue worthy of a 21st-century Aristotle or Socrates. After all, one could argue that almost any product, be it a car or a garden sprinkler, is a technology product by virtue of the inclusion of technology to enable it to carry out its function of transport or irrigation, respectively.But being that I am not a rigorous—nor indeed any kind of—philosopher, I take a technical product to be something electronic, the exact workings of which I would have trouble explaining to my children. I would further add that these days a technology product is often something that is more or less obsolete, or is about to be superseded by a new generation of similar products, typically as soon as one takes possession of it. And it is the rapid onset of obsolescence that prevents my accepting that a technological product can also be a luxury product....
  • The Great Race

    Craig Venter recounts bucking the system to decode the human genome.
  • A Rock Star Is Reborn

    Carlos Ghosn made history by saving Nissan from bankruptcy. Now for his second act, he's engineering a turnaround at his Franco-Japanese auto alliance.