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  • Same Old, Same Old

    Italy's political leaders are older than most, which helps explain the slow, shuffling pace of change.
  • Japan And Then Some

    For those who lived through the late-1980s japanese bubble, today's rip-roaring bull market in Chinese stocks is déjà vu all over again. The similarities are striking—the seemingly unstoppable rise of a new economic superpower, eye-popping trade surpluses, oceans of liquidity and a bull-market psychology that is equal parts hubris, greed and gullibility.A Chinese bank is now the biggest in the world by market value. Back in 1990, the five largest banks in the world were Japanese (all of them went bust or had to be recapitalized). The Chinese today are paying top dollar for overseas assets, evoking memories of Mitsubishi Estate's 1989 purchase of the iconic Rockefeller Center, sold at a 50 percent loss six years later.The list of parallels goes on. Skyrocketing salaries for young analysts and fund managers? A boom in warrants trading? Corporate profits padded out by stock-market gains? An IPO market frothing like a malfunctioning cappuccino machine? It's the same movie with a...
  • Socializing With Your Friends Amid The Commercial Clutter

    Greg Benedetto believes in the old adage "the customer comes first." He worked for Canada's HMV record chain for two years as a teenager and, in that time, learned a thing or two about getting people to buy things. "A customer who is treated well probably won't say anything," he says. "But a customer who is treated poorly will tell everyone they know." And that is exactly what Benedetto plans to do if Facebook's new targeted ad campaign gets out of hand. Already Benedetto has invited all 562 of his Facebook friends to join the group Stand Up! Don't Let Facebook Invade Your Social Life With Ads!What's got Benedetto worked up is a statement from social-networking site Facebook earlier this month indicating that it would make data on its 30.6 million members available to advertisers, who want to tailor ads to members' hobbies and preferences. Under the new "Social Ads" program, anyone who, for example, lists an interest in travel will be served up ads for cheap fares and hotels....
  • Rough Justice

    Rwanda's experiment with grass-roots courts isn't helping this traumatized land.
  • Roll Over, Monroe

    The influence the United States once claimed as a divine right in Latin America is slipping away, fast.
  • Selective Memories

    Master spinners Bill Clinton and Karl Rove try to rewrite the roles they played in the run-up to war.
  • The Sunni Civil War

    They're fighting with words, not bullets. But the rift is still dangerous.
  • Gates: The 'Anti-Rumsfeld'

    The man in charge of America's warmaking machinery is also the best insurance it won't be used against Iran.
  • Dark Days For The Empire

    A corruption scandal is threatening to take down the Republic of Samsung, and reshape Korea Inc.
  • Old Friends Of Tehran

    Washington's economic sanctions have pushed Iran closer to trade partners like Russia and China.
  • The Price Is Right

    The U.S. dollar may be plummeting fast, but Anand G. Mahindra is moving faster. As CEO of India's $6 billion Mahindra Group (which introduced the Jeep to India and now leads the nation's SUV market), he intends to use the weak dollar to buy manufacturing plants in "bargain basement" America. On a recent trip to New York—to invest in an Indian film festival—the 52-year-old Harvard Business School grad expounded on the global economy, and his own ambitious expansion plans, with NEWSWEEK's Vibhuti Patel: ...
  • Pakistan: Musharraf’s Promises

    Musharraf has begun his second term as Pakistan's president with a pledge to lift the emergency. Why that's left him politically weakened.
  • Do Immigrants Make U.S. Safer?

    New immigrants may be the best thing that ever happened to American cities, but don't wait for the leading presidential candidates to tell you that.
  • Mideast: Reviving the Roadmap

    The Annapolis meeting is resurrecting an old blueprint for the formation of a Palestinian state. What that could mean for the Mideast.
  • Sharif Returns to Pakistan

    But can he roar? Exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan, pledging to restore democracy.
  • Nicole Kidman: The Lady in Waiting

    Nicole Kidman packs a one-two punch this fall with the indie "Margot at the Wedding" and the big-budget fantasy "The Golden Compass." The actress spoke with Nicki Gostin. Excerpts:"Margot's Wedding" is about a dysfunctional relationship between two sisters. You have a sister. Could you relate?In our early teens we were a little combative but subsequently we've become joined at the hip. I'd kill for her. In "The Golden Compass" you play a baddie. Was that fun?Yeah, I prefer the word "villain"—a little classier, right? Did you practice being mean in the mirror?No, no. When you play mean you don't focus on being mean. You focus, I suppose, on the motives behind it. It seems recently you've opened up about your personal life.Not really. In the last year there have been some things in my personal life that have been privy to the whole world and I haven't denied them. So you're like the queen of Australia.No, Cate Blanchett is. I'll be the lady in waiting.
  • Asia Gets Serious about Wine

    Asian drinkers have preferred beers and liquors to wine, but that may be changing. Most restaurants in Asia now offer wine, and wine bars are cropping up in the more cosmopolitan cities. At the ultrachic French restaurant Les Amis in Singapore (lesamis.com.sg), regular clients can create their own private wine lists by buying bottles from the restaurant and storing them in the cellar. Prices range from $60 to $16,500 a bottle.New cookbooks are also helping pair Asian food with wines. "Wine With Asian Food: New Frontiers in Taste" by Patricia Guy and Edwin Soon presents a systematic approach to matching food and wines. Because Asian cuisine is characterized by a multitude of spices, the European practice of pairing the wine to the primary ingredient—a full red wine with lamb, for instance—doesn't work. The trick is to focus on the sauce. Vietnamese shrimp rolls in rice paper call for a light, sweet Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Indian chicken korma takes Australian Shiraz. A Thai green...
  • Travel: 4 Hours in Aarhus

    Denmark's second city offers a range of museums, cultural institutions and fun, most of it packed into the center of town.DINE at one of the caf?s on the Vadested strip by the canal. Enjoy a long draft beer with quiche or traditional Danish herring. Stay for the raucous nightlife. ...
  • China Will Eat Our Lunch

    Most economists attribute the recent spike in Chinese inflation (6.5 percent in October) as an inevitable consequence of rapid growth. Few question why a country that has made tremendous gains in productivity, and that is responsible for lowering prices around the world, cannot deliver lower prices at home. In contrast, similarly rapid industrialization in the United States in the 19th century produced sustained price declines for more than 100 years.The truth is that high prices in China, and the rest of the world for that matter, are a direct result of low prices in America. When the Chinese government, and their counterparts in the Middle East and Latin America, finally move to snuff out local inflation, a massive realignment of global purchasing power will ensue, with Americans on the losing end.Despite economists' efforts to obscure the obvious, prices are a function of money supply. More money chasing a constant supply of goods pushes prices higher. More goods introduced into...
  • Burma: The Silence of the Monks

    Burma's rebellious holy men are now off the street, out of sight. Tales of collaboration and 'monastery arrest' from inside the closed regime.
  • Mail Call: Free the Burmese

    Readers of our Oct. 8 report and Fareed Zakaria's Oct. 15 column on Burma were shocked by the brutalization of the Buddhist monks. "Take positive action through the United Nations to end this massacre of innocents," recommended one. Another said, "Aung San Suu Kyi should be released immediately."
  • Books: A Hatchet to Tony Blair or Fiction?

    Picture a former British prime minister who got mired in a Middle Eastern war alongside the United States. He's charming, but glib for some tastes. By his side: a manipulative wife.Surely it's Tony Blair. Well, not quite. It's Adam Lang in "The Ghost," a new thriller from British novelist Robert Harris, which reviewers say is "a fictionalized attempt to stab Tony and Cherie Blair firmly in the front."It's a well-paced tale of wrongdoing in high places, but the familiar lead characters are what excited critics. Harris, an author of upmarket thrillers ("Fatherland," "Pompeii"), was formerly a journalist close to the Labour Party elite. He once praised "the consummate politician," then disenchantment set in after Blair reached Downing Street.Lang (a former college actor) is not quite Blair (a former student rocker). Yet the final verdict on Lang rings familiar: "In the flesh or on the screen, playing the part of a statesman, he seemed to have a strong personality. But somehow when one...
  • Controversial Advertising Strategy

    The idea that genetic differences exist between ethnicities is the basis of a growing and controversial advertising strategy for a $2 trillion market. Much of the money is tied to skin-care supplies, such as Rx for Brown Skin, a line that debuted this fall at Sephora. GenSpec is the first "genetically specific" multivitamin for blacks, whites and Hispanics. And Nike makes the Air Native for Native Americans with wider-than-average forefeet. But experts doubt the data behind these products; New York University sociologist Troy Duster says the phony "biomarket" could lead people to "slip into thinking" that classroom and athletic performance are also explained by genetics.
  • Reality Check: War on Drugs

    The price of cocaine in U.S. cities rose 44 percent in the past nine months; Washington says this means it's winning the war on drugs. Critics say prices are spiking due to better border controls, but that most drug-war money goes to military aid and destroying coca crops, to little effect. Cocaine production is steady at about 545 metric tons a year in Latin America, and as traffickers find new routes, prices will drop.
  • World Leaders: Breaks in the Ranks

    More drama ahead in Venezuela's long-running political soap opera: after nearly nine years in office, radical leftist President Hugo Chávez is facing his strongest opposition in years and possibly his first-ever electoral defeat. Already, tens of thousands of students have hit the streets to protest the president's policies, and together with former Chávez allies like Raúl Baduel—the general who helped restore Chávez to power after a 2002 coup attempt—they are reshaping the political landscape. Venezuelans who once would have made excuses for the president are now criticizing him directly. Polls show voters are likely to reject a sweeping constitutional reform that would remove presidential term limits.At the heart of this ruptura afectiva—the crack in the almost religious bond between Chávez and his followers—is a political agenda that no longer resonates. Chávez's claims to be working for the poor are wearing thin when inflation is 17 percent and residents must queue for hours to...
  • Nuclear Relations: Loveboat Diplomacy

    Few things have been as dependable as animosity between the United States and North Korea—until now. This month, U.S. sailors helped a North Korean ship repel a pirate attack near Somalia, winning a courteous public "thank you" from Pyongyang. Earlier this fall, U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham chartered the first direct flight between the countries since the Korean War, bringing in a planeload of aid. Now there's talk of the New York Philharmonic visiting Pyongyang. North Korean U.N. diplomats have even been allowed to go sightseeing in Washington.The thaw shows just how determined the Bush administration is to ensure nothing derails its efforts to coax the North out of it nukes; a U.S.-led team recently began disabling the North's facilities. Never mind recent revelations linking a suspected Syrian nuclear site to Pyongyang. Washington has downplayed the tie. Seems George W. Bush, in his last days, is determined to strip the Axis of Evil of another charter member.
  • Perspectives: Quotes in the News

    "I tell a lot of my soldiers: a good way to prepare for operations in Iraq is to watch the sixth season of 'The Sopranos'."—Maj. Gen.Rick Lynch,commander of U.S. forces in central Iraq, on how the insurgency is increasingly fueled by"mafioso kind of activity"seen in the hit television show"We have never been experiencing such big pressure."—Chinese Prime MinisterWen Jiabao,on how the declining U.S. dollar is making it difficult to manage China's $1.43 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves"The idea that we are complacent about this is quite ridiculous."—British Prime MinisterGordon Brown,apologizing for his government's loss of 25 millionchild-benefitrecords on two missing discs"We will not surrender, and we will not retreat."—French PresidentNicolas Sarkozy,vowing not to back down from his confrontation with labor unions, as civil-service employees staged a walkout over job cuts and transit workers continued their strike"Last time around we removed three zeroes and they quickly...
  • Europe: Politicians Seek Middle Ground

    European politicians are looking for the ideological center. It is comfortable ground, and a good place to pick up votes, but where are the big, bold ideas?
  • Where Are The Monks?

    The junta has jailed some of Burma's Buddhist clergy, derobed others and driven many into exile.
  • Murder Most Wired

    Police in Italy have turned to the Web to unravel a gruesome and heartbreaking homicide mystery.
  • Messiah On A Hill

    Billionaire Munib al-Masri looks to capitalize on Palestinian anger.
  • Reclaiming My Voice

    After Creedence broke up, the musician spent years searching for his own sound. With love, he found it.
  • Mohan on India's Nuclear Deal

    It's a sweetheart deal for the country, but India's opportunistic politicians want a nuclear agreement with the U.S. to go up in smoke.