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  • Mail Call: Making a Difference

    Readers applauded the health initiatives and other philanthropic projects described in our cover story "Giving Globally: How to Heal the World." One wrote, "The question is, how can we tailor solutions that empower local communities and lessen long-term dependency on foreign aid?" ...
  • When Mao Meets Youtube

    You can always count on the Olympics for drama. Next summer's Games in Beijing will produce powerful stories and riveting television. But much of the action this time will occur outside the stadiums: in the streets, where Chinese police will clash with activists from around the world. These clashes promise to be spectacular and well documented—by protesters' camera phones, if not by professional news crews. Given that, the next Olympics will offer more than another opportunity to test the limits of human athletic performance. They will also test China's ability to thwart a nebulous swarm of foreign activists who will be well-armed with BlackBerrys. A police state organized according to 20th-century principles will meet 21st-century global politics; Mao will meet YouTube.Like the athletes, the China's government and the activists from around the world are already training hard for the showdown. Beijing, which will spend a total of $40 billion on the Games, has, according to the...
  • The Threat Of Islamic Fascism

    In recent months, some world leaders have begun equating today's Iran with Hitler's Germany and suggesting that Tehran, like the Nazis, wants to annihilate the Jews. On Oct. 17, for example, President George W. Bush—citing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial—warned that the Iranian government is out to destroy Israel. And former British prime minister Tony Blair recently compared Iran to the rising fascist powers of the 1930s.Alarm over the rise of fascism in Muslim society is nothing new. Twenty-one years ago, I published an article in Iran warning that elements in the regime were trying to interpret Ayatollah Khomeini's theory of government—velayat-e faqih (rule of the Islamic jurist)—along fascist lines in order to monopolize power and silence dissent. Eleven years later, I gave a talk at an Iranian university—for which I received a one-year prison sentence—in which I again warned against such readings of religion.But there are important differences between what I...
  • 1968: The Year That Changed Everything

    In Europe and the United States, the generation of 1968 had an idealistic core expressed in culture, politics and a distinct way of looking at the world. Its legacy lives on.
  • Getting Together For Water

    Meeting for cocktails is so passé. The latest trend is schmoozing over fancy bottled water. At Claridge's Hotel in London, asking for a "bottle of the house" will likely result in a liter of water instead of wine; the hotel recently launched a 30-bottle water menu, including 420 Volcanic from New Zealand, which sells for €71 per liter, and a vintage bottle of 10 Thousand BC from British Columbia, which claims to be sourced from ancient glacier ice (€31 for 75cl; www.claridges.co.uk). The water bar in the basement of Colette, Paris's über-chic fashion and design boutique, offers patrons a selection of more than 100 varieties—among them Celtic delights like Tau from Wales and Speyside Glenlivet, from the makers of the famed brand of Scotch (www.colette.fr).Via Genova in Chappaqua, New York, bills itself as a water bar and "eclectic café," serving up mixed fare like Belgian waffles, antipasto and caramel cheesecake. It also features the preferred waters of the stars, including Elsenham...
  • 4 Hours in Accra

    By day, Ghana's busy coastal capital offers colorful markets and luxurious beach resorts. By night, the city boasts some of the region's classiest clubs and a music scene that fuses African sounds with hip-hop beats.Lounge in the sun at the posh La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, which features a private beach and lagoon-shaped swimming pool complete with swim-up bar. Non-guests can visit for the day (gbhghana.com/lapalm.html).Browse the stalls at the Art Center, where merchants from all over Ghana sell wood carvings, clay jewelry and traditional kente cloth, which can go for well over $100 for a full piece.Savor local dishes such as jollof rice and fufu (pounded yam and plantain) with soup at Maquis Tante Marie, a breezy two-story restaurant in the upscale North Labone neighborhood (233-21-778914).Sip a Star, the popular local beer at Bywell's, a low-key club that draws a mix of locals and expats. Go Thursday nights for live high-life music, Ghana's answer to reggae.Dance with the young...
  • Hot Spot

    A stunning conversion of a traditional Beijing courtyard house (siheyuan), this new outpost of the legendary spot on Shanghai's Bund gives "old China" a thoroughly contemporary twist. A striking multitude of birdcage lamps at the entrance promise diners a feast for all the senses, not just the palate. ...
  • Taking Your Favorite Shows On The Road

    Thanks to a new wave of handheld, video-friendly devices, it's never been easier to keep yourself (or the kids) entertained. If you plan to eye lots of video, consider a display of at least 7.5 centimeters. Expect to squeeze 20 to 60 hours of video into 16 gigabytes. For the video itself, iPod owners can download movies and TV shows from Apple's iTunes Store, while other devices play videos bought from services like Amazon, Unbox and Wal-Mart.The iPod touch features a roomy 8cm screen, built-in wireless and a slick touchscreen interface ($299 for 8 Gbytes, $399 for 16 Gbytes; apple.com). Samsung's YP-P2 features its own 7.6cm widescreen touch-controlled display and stereo Bluetooth for wireless listening. But with only 8 Gbytes and no expansion slot, storage runs out quickly ($200 for 4 Gbytes, $250 for 8 Gbytes; samsung.com). At 6cm, SanDisk's Sansa View screen is as small as we'd go. But it does claim to have the longest battery life—seven hours for video versus five for the...
  • Made Expressly In Modena

    Any well-stocked kitchen is certain to have a bottle of balsamic vinegar straight from Modena, Italy. Or is it? If you bought it in a bottle bigger than a few milliliters, it's unlikely to be the real thing. Most of the stuff sold in supermarkets is nothing more than red wine vinegar with caramel coloring and flavoring—even if it purports to be "di Modena."Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena (aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena) is rare and expensive, starting at about €400 a liter. It has only one ingredient: the "must," or residue, from cooked grapes, mostly grown within 30 km of Modena. The must is divided among barrels made from different woods—balsam, cedar, chestnut, oak, juniper or cherry— and ages for a minimum of 12 years.The barrels are tipped periodically to absorb the essence of the wood. When the contents are aged, producers blend bits from each barrel as if they were concocting a potion, then allow that mixture to age for another six months. Professional vinegar...
  • The Oil King’s Diplomat

    This week Saudi Arabia hosts a summit of the Organization For The Petroleum Exporting Countries at a time when the cost of oil is soaring toward $100 a barrel, with tensions in Iraq and the Persian Gulf making matters worse. Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister for 32 years, is working to calm disputes that plague the region and threaten the global economy. He spoke last week with NEWSWEEK's Christopher Dickey. Excerpts: ...
  • Waning Days Of The Dollar

    The U.S. dollar took another big hit last week, not only because of more news around subprime mortgage losses, but also thanks to comments from a Chinese official that the country has a "very clear plan" to diversify its currency reserves. Most economists believe that further weakness lies ahead, and one of the big questions is how this will affect consumers and investors around the world.The dollar's decline is part of a much larger and more consequential rebalancing in the global economy, the impact of which will differ significantly from country to country. With the United States continuing to run a large trade deficit, the depreciation of the dollar is largely unavoidable over the medium term. Moreover, investment flows into dollar-denominated bonds are likely to slow as the Federal Reserve continues to cut interest rates and, more generally, the U.S. financial system works through the damage from the subprime debacle.So far, the dollar has fallen by about 40 percent since its...
  • How to Avert a Global Downturn

    Central bankers must act to rescue U.S. and European banks from the subprime loan crisis, says the chairman of Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia.
  • Musharraf Frees Taliban Militants

    If you think Musharraf's wrong to free jailed Taliban members while he busts dissidents, wait until you hear who's back on the loose.
  • Darfur Experts Debate Conflict

    A human rights activist and an Africa scholar disagree—vehemently—on the best way to help Sudan. An exclusive online forum.
  • Pakistan: Bhutto Fights Back

    Unexpectedly, the Pakistan opposition leader is throwing down the gauntlet to Musharraf. Can she stay the course?
  • Musharraf Has Few Options

    To keep Pakistan from falling into the abyss, General Musharraf has few options. Will he choose correctly?
  • Turkey Steps Back From the Brink

    How the Bush-Erdogan meeting produced a solution that allows Turkey to step back from the brink of an invasion of northern Iraq.
  • Asia’s Rich-Poor Divide

    Ifzal Ali, the chief economist of the Asian Development Bank, argues that the region's growing rich-poor divide could become a political flash point.
  • Dialog of the Deaf

    Until the free marketers and the protectionists start talking to each other and finding common ground, the divide between rich and poor will continue to widen, says former U.S. secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich.
  • Perfecting Pinot

    Scientists—from France, no less—now want to tinker with the DNA of wine.
  • MySpace Is Glam, Facebook Is Geek

    Do you Facebook or MySpace? Increasingly, membership in one social network does not necessarily rule out the appeal of belonging to the other. Of course, each company wants you to visit their site more often than the other, if not exclusively. But both sites have been taking steps to sharpen the differences between them. "MySpace is Hollywood and Facebook is Silicon Valley," says David Card, a senior analyst for Jupiter Research. Or you could put it this way: MySpace is glam; Facebook is geek. Not that there's anything wrong with either.MySpace seems to be morphing into an entertainment portal where everyone is in your extended network and a potential member of your audience. Its splashy licensing agreement with Sony BMG—the world's second largest label—announced earlier this month will give its members access to streaming videos, music and other types of content (the social-networking giant and the music studio plan to share advertising revenue). In a bid to conquer the social...
  • Fit for a King

    Ask any Londoner about the King's Cross area and you'll likely get an earful about drugs, prostitutes and run-down buildings. But that view is fast becoming outdated. More than $2 billion is being spent to regenerate the neighborhood, including a makeover of the vast St. Pancras station, new office complexes, swanky restaurants, hotels, boutiques and markets. The rebirth officially kicks off on Nov. 14, when the new Eurostar terminal opens at St. Pancras (stpancras.eurostar.com), bringing Paris and Brussels 20 minutes closer by high-speed link.The interior houses Europe's longest champagne bar, a daily farmers market and several shops, including Hamleys toy store.Renaissance Marriott is taking over an abandoned hotel inside the terminal, planning to open a 245-room, five-star hotel in 2010; 67 loft-style flats, which have all been sold for between $500,000 and $12 million, are expected to be ready for occupancy in 2009 (marriott.com).The area is also the new hot spot for cutting...
  • Driving the Little Boxster that Could

    Porsche may be a luxury brand, but its entry-level Boxster is anything but a cheap version of the real thing. And if you're worried about fuel consumption, the 2007 Boxster has improved economy, besting the majority of the cars on the road. Handling: The Boxster handles like nothing else in its class. It is perfectly balanced, weighted 50-50 front and rear, and responds the way the driver wants it to. Climb in, secure the seat belt and wear this car. Convertible top: Unlike many cars' tops that can't be put up or down while in motion, the Boxster's automatic roof can be activated at speeds below 40mph. Great for when the rain starts to fall. Trunk: Though the Boxster is a two-seater, there's plenty of trunk room, front and back, owing to the car's mid-engine placement. Mileage: 23mpg city, 32 highway Engine: 2.7-liter, V-6 Price: $45,600
  • The Thigh’s the Limit for Boots

    Over-the-knee boots are sexy, chic and warm. Try Christian Louboutin's Pretty Woman Cuissarde Tag python boots ($4,030; christianlouboutin.fr). Anna Sui's metallic leather boots feature a sundial appliqué ($1,080; net-a-porter.com). Manolo Blahnik makes a classic black suede version ($1,695; neimanmarcus.com) and Stuart Weitzman's are two-tone: black in front and dark blue in back ($566; footlux.com). Kickin'.
  • Do-Gooders Gone Bad

    Activists have brought issues like Darfur into living rooms. But they may be doing more harm than good.
  • ‘The Gap Society’

    Japan still prizes social harmony, but with a hint of nostalgia now that inequality is political issue No. 1.
  • How Brazil Reversed the Curse

    Latin America used to suffer the deepest gap between rich and poor. Now it is the only region narrowing the divide.
  • Gated Gardens

    Singapore has basically two kinds of real estate—luxury, or state-run.
  • Homegrown Luxe

    Asia's elite have fueled the growth of Western high-end brands. Now, they are creating their own.
  • Christine Lagarde: An American (Style) in Paris

    Christine Lagarde is a French powerhouse with an American sensibility. A former head of the global law firm Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, she is now the Finance minister of France—the first woman to hold that post in any G7 country. Helping President Nicolas Sarkozy dial back the 35-hour workweek and other perks of the cushy French labor market has put her on the front line just as unions shut down transport nationwide on Oct. 18. NEWSWEEK's Tracy McNicoll caught up with Lagarde in suburban Paris, where she talked of French pessimism, and why reform can succeed. Excerpts: ...
  • Mail Call: Greenspan Speaks

    Readers of our Sept. 24 cover story on Alan Greenspan found our story—and his views—refreshing. One approved of "his criticism of the Republican Party for abandoning small government." Another wrote, "It would have been vitally helpful for us if we had known earlier that 'the Iraq war is largely about oil'." ...
  • The New German Zeitgeist

    Angela Merkel's agenda is all but finished. Germans now prefer "social justice." Whatever that means.
  • The Best Is Yet to Come

    The Anglo-Saxon habit of borrowing against the house to buy a second car is all but unknown in much of Continental Europe.
  • Beware Pashtunistan

    Benazir Bhutto's narrow escape from assassination recently was a grim reminder she'll be lucky to get through the coming election alive. Even if she does, the vote may prove a charade, and Bhutto could end up providing civilian camouflage for continued military rule—provoking unrest and strengthening separatist forces in this deeply divided country.The January parliamentary race, like most Pakistani elections under military rule, will likely be rigged by the Army and intelligence agencies. EU observers called the 2002 presidential election "deeply flawed," and during the five decades I've covered Pakistan, I've witnessed repeated cases of intimidation of opposition figures. The country's Election Commission, appointed by President Pervez Musharraf, has already made an outlandish attempt to cook the books this year. In 2002, 71.8 million voters registered to vote. With the population growing at 2.7 percent a year and a voting age of 18, the number should have increased to about 82...
  • Split By Decision

    The rich are getting richer due to market forces—and to very human choices.
  • Pakistan Under Martial Law

    Pervez Musharraf holds onto power by declaring a state of emergency. But how will the opposition and the world react?
  • Q&A: Saban on Mideast Peace

    Haim Saban wants to discuss his latest Mideast initiative. Others prefer to focus on how he produced 'The Power Rangers.'
  • Q&A: Turkey vs. Iraq

    Turkey's ambassador warns that patience is running short. The military option is open.
  • Ethiopia-Eritrea: Border On-Scener

    As Ethiopia and Eritrea edge toward another conflict, refugees in a border camp are watching with trepidation. An on-scene report from Shimelba.