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  • Family Ties of Asia’s Women Leaders

    In Asia, a surprising number of women hold powerful political positions. For better or worse, they have their family connections to thank for that.
  • Few Battlefield Romances From Iraq

    What's striking about this conflict is not that Americans and Iraqis have met on the battlefield and fallen in love and married. It's that so few have. In their stories lies the sad, tortured tale of the war itself.
  • Power To The Party

    Vladimir Putin says he may lead United Russia when he leaves office. That will solidify his control, and turn the party into a new center of political might.
  • Mail Call: America’s Schools

    Readers of our Aug. 20/Aug. 27 coverage on global education offered their own views. One wrote, "America's not keeping pace." But another said, "The [high] cost of Harvard is money well spent."Your cover package on global education (Aug. 20/Aug. 27) pointed out critical issues in America's school system. Maintaining U.S. scientific and technological leadership is essential to the future of our country and work force; however, the United States is not keeping pace with foreign competition. Fewer American students are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and they are performing at levels far below students in competitor nations on international standardized tests in these subjects. Meanwhile, international students educated in America are facing misguided immigration policies that hamper their ability to apply their skills and knowledge in the United States. That is why businesses and technology associations are working to double the number of science,...
  • Apocalypse Now

    Dhia Abdul Zahra claimed he was the messiah. And on the eve of the holiest day in the Shiite calendar, Ashura, when believers beat themselves bloody with chains and swords, Zahra tried to deliver salvation. Hundreds of his followers, armed with heavy weapons, clashed with Iraqi and American soldiers northeast of the holy city of Najaf on Jan. 28. The Soldiers of Heaven, as the cultists called themselves, apparently planned to storm Najaf and assassinate top Shiite clerics. They fought fiercely: an American helicopter was shot down, killing two soldiers, and Iraqi forces called for reinforcements at least twice. Iraqi police say this was no ordinary enemy. Fighters repeatedly tapped into their radio frequency and repeated an ominous message, "Imam Mahdi is coming." The return of the Mahdi--the 12th and last Shiite saint, who, believers say, vanished in the ninth century--signals the end of times.It would be easy to write off the thirty-something Zahra, who was killed along with more...
  • Raúl Looks To The East

    After months out of the public eye, Fidel Castro was suddenly back last week, appearing on Cuban TV for a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Though he's put on some weight since his last appearance, the mumbling Cuban dictator was an apt symbol for the island he's led for 48 years: too sick to function properly but not quite dead. Castro is like an ailing dinosaur; his Cuba remains stuck in the mud, with an antiquated government and a stagnant Soviet-style economy. On the surface, little seems to have changed in the six months since the 80-year-old Fidel ceded power to his brother Raúl.But look beneath Cuba's petrified façade, and you'll find changes afoot that foreshadow what will come when Fidel finally expires. Under the 75-year-old Raúl's quiet stewardship, the country has begun to take a hard look at the many problems plaguing its 11.4 million inhabitants. And some Cuba analysts believe the younger Castro may have picked a new model to emulate: Beijing, where the...
  • The $100 Un-PC

    In a humble residential neighborhood in the south Indian city of Chennai, Hema Malini--a quiet 13-year-old girl whose hair was braided with jasmine flowers--switched on the family television and a curious new device called Nova NetTV that was connected to the TV and a keyboard. In a few seconds, the Microsoft Windows logo appeared, and suddenly her TV was transformed into a PC. With her mother looking on proudly, Hema fired up encyclopedia software, checked her e-mail and Googled for a site that offers free versions of Nintendo's Mario Bros. games.If Rajesh Jain is successful, the NetTV, which hooks up to any television, could be the first in a family of devices that connect the next billion people to the Internet. Jain, 39, is cofounder and chairman of Novatium, the Chennai-based company that makes NetTV and NetPC, a similar product that uses a normal computer monitor. Both are based on cheap cell-phone chips and come without the hard-disk drive, extensive memory and prepackaged...
  • Laughing All The Way

    Larry Gonick, a polymath with a sense of the absurd, has mastered the art of producing graphic, pun-filled books that simultaneously entertain readers and educate them about the past. Publishers Weekly aptly described his multivolume "Cartoon History of the Universe" as "hilariously informative," and his "Cartoon History of the United States" took playful potshots at many patriotic conceits. Now Gonick has re-entered the historical fray with "The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution" (259 pages. Collins), the first in a series devoted to tackling the complexities of our increasingly interconnected modern world.In this volume, he demonstrates his usual combination of winning traits. He can be erudite, especially when treating the history of scientific subjects, such as the ideas of Galileo and Copernicus. He can be irreverent; he titles his chapter on Columbus "Visionary Bungler." And he can display a madcap sensibility. In a full-page...
  • A Reluctant Rebel's Yell

    Chuck Hagel wears pain on his face. The senior senator from Nebraska earned two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, where a mine blew out his eardrums and delivered a sharp burn up the left side of his head. When he is thinking hard, his brow droops low, weighted and weary; when he smiles, his eyes slip into thin slits. His brother Tom calls this Hagel's "running gear"--the thick mask of intensity he shows the world.That intensity was on display last Wednesday as he sat and stewed at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The panel was considering a resolution condemning President Bush's proposal to send 21,000 additional troops to Iraq; Hagel, a cosponsor of the resolution, would be the only Republican on the committee to vote for its passage. As he listened to his colleagues make their cases for and against the president's plan, Hagel told NEWSWEEK he noticed something missing: an acknowledgment that the Senate was talking about committing real troops, the men and women whose ...
  • Want To See A Movie? Just Look Up.

    Half a mile north of the graphic overload of Times Square, pedestrians have a reason to raise their weary eyes skyward again. "Sleepwalkers," a series of silent short films by the artist Doug Aitken, is a site-specific installation projected on the exterior walls of the Museum of Modern Art. From 5 to 10 each night through Feb. 12, eight films will play simultaneously on eight façades of the museum, following five characters as they make their way through New York City. In one film, Donald Sutherland portrays a businessman whose run-in with a taxi inspires an impromptu tap dance on the hood of the cab. Meanwhile, singers Cat Power and Seu Jorge do stints as a postal worker and an electrician; Tilda Swinton passes a day as an office drone, and Ryan Donowho lets loose from his job as a bike messenger by drumming on a plastic bucket. As the characters go about their business, they are surrounded by images of circles, from the setting sun to red and green traffic lights to the rims of...
  • How To Sell The Joke

    In a happy accident of geography, two shows in midtown Manhattan present work by three of the most iconic street photographers of the past century. Many photos are familiar, but considered as a group, the pictures appear fresh--and remarkably funny. The comedy is inherent in Elliott Erwitt's photographs at the Edwynn Houk Gallery (through Feb. 23); around the corner at Laurence Miller Gallery, the humor becomes apparent mainly in the juxtaposition of the works by Diane Arbus and Helen Levitt (through March 10).Levitt, who photographed New York street scenes in the 1930s and ' 40s, predated Arbus by a generation, yet anticipated many of Arbus's obsessions: children, couples, family life and solitude. The exhibit pairs 20 black-and-white Arbus images with similar-ly themed shots by Levitt. While Arbus is known for chronicling humanity at its most undefended, Levitt's gaze is tender, leavening the impact of Arbus's work. One of Arbus's best-known pictures, a 1970 shot of a dwarf...
  • Interview: It's A Source Of Stress

    Since her husband became prime minister last September, Akie Abe--who at 44 is Japan's youngest First Lady ever--has quietly revolutionized her unofficial office with her charm, fashion flair, frankness and steady advocacy of several causes. In an interview in the prime minister's Tokyo office in January, she spoke to NEWSWEEK's Christian Caryl and Akiko Kashiwagi about how she sees her job. ...
  • The First Lady Steps Out

    The White House has boasted its share of charismatic First Ladies; think Eleanor Roosevelt or Jackie Kennedy. But Japan has never seen the like--at least before last September, when Shinzo Abe became prime minister and unleashed his charming spouse on the nation. In previous eras, the main job of a political wife was to look pleasant and stay a respectful three steps behind her man. Trying out new flower arrangements was as edgy as it got. But Akie Abe is cut from a whole new cloth. She's got something to say and she's not afraid to say it--whether in a foreign language, in her own refined Japanese or on her blog. "I don't think I'm especially open," she said recently in an exclusive NEWSWEEK interview. "But because I'm a relatively young prime minister's wife, that has given me a lot of exposure in the media, so some people may see me like that."In a country where all public figures tend to sidestep delicate topics, Mrs. Abe, 44, approaches them head on. Some commentators speculate...
  • Interview: Ang Lee on Confronting Sex

    From "The Wedding Banquet" (1993), about a gay Taiwanese man in New York who feigns marriage to satisfy his parents, to "Brokeback Mountain," Lee, 52, has never shied away from difficult themes or bold sexuality. "Lust, Caution" is no different; it earned a rare NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America for its explicit sex scenes. Lee spoke by telephone with NEWSWEEK'S Andrew Huang. Excerpts: ...
  • Online: Do You Know Your Googlegänger?

    Eve Fairbanks knew something was up when her mother drove six hours to her college to have lunch with her. After a meal of risotto came the moment of truth: "I know about the porn," her mother told her. It was an honest mistake: Eve's name had been showing up on X-rated sites when her mother Googled her to keep tabs. But that Eve Fairbanks wasn't her Eve—it was a "Googlegänger," a virtual doppelgänger linked by a shared name thanks to the search engine Google.Much the way "Google" became a common verb, the term "Googlegänger" has caught on with a generation defined not so much by their accomplishments as by how Google-able those accomplishments are. A Googlegänger, they're finding, can be friend or foe or a bit of both.Matthew Slutsky considers his virtual double, for instance, to be a rival in a race to the top of the Google hit list. "Knowing that he's out there keeps me on my toes," says the 26-year-old Washington political blogger. But it's a friendly rivalry: Slutsky has met...
  • Dreaming Of Checkmate

    Chess is catching on across Africa and beginning to produce some formidable players. Kasparov, beware.
  • Four Hours in Mykonos

    Renowned as the Mediterranean's premier gay destination, Mykonos is one of the most sophisticated Greek islands, with lots of sandy beaches, whitewashed houses and seaside tavernas. Dive into the electric-blue Aegean Sea at Panormos, a sheltered cove sprinkled with beaches on the northern shore. Stroll the cobbled streets of the Hora (Mykonos Town), a maze of sugar-cube houses, blue-domed churches, bars and designer boutiques. Eat black cod with sweet miso at Matsuhisa Mykonos, the latest venue of Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa (www. Visit the 16th-century quartet of windmills (Kato Myli) on a cliff overlooking the waterfront— ideal for watching the sunset.
  • A Cautionary Tale

    Ang Lee's opulent new period melodrama is filled with explosive elements that never fully ignite.
  • Biology Reborn: A Genetic Science Breakthrough

    The year 1905 was an annus mirabilis, or miracle year—A rare historical moment in which key flashes of insight suddenly made the field of physics take off in new directions. That was the year Albert Einstein presented four papers that turned the conventional wisdom about how the universe works, from the infinitesimal realm of atoms to the vast reaches of the cosmos, upside down. During the next several decades, Einstein and a handful of other brilliant physicists went on to shape the 20th century and lay the foundation for all its technological accomplishments.A century later, the year 2007 is shaping up to be another annus mirabilis. This time biology is the field in transition, and the ideas being shattered are old notions of genes and inheritance.Ever since 1900, when Gregor Mendel's work on peas and inheritance was rediscovered, scientists have regarded the "gene" as the fundamental unit of heredity (just as the atom was regarded as the bedrock of pre-Einsteinian physics). Crick...
  • China’s New Guard

    They're called the Sixth Generation. (Everything starts with Mao, of course.) When their day comes, they may well be the country's best hope for change.
  • Museum Quality

    Sometimes a museum's best pieces are found not in its galleries but in the gift shop. London's Victoria and Albert Museum sells an unusual 18-karat gold ring set with pavé diamonds, designed for the shop by Alexandra Jefford, who was inspired by an 18th-century Japanese screen ($3,878; But nothing beats the Grecian- and Roman-inspired emerald wreath necklace offered by the Great Hall Luxury Boutique in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art ($38,500; It practically belongs in a museum.
  • The Einsteins of the 21st Century

    The revolution in physics in the 20th century rested disproportionately on the accomplishments of a handful of scientists (Albert Einstein comes to mind) who supplied key insights at just the right moments. The current explosion of discoveries in the biological sciences is no different. NEWSWEEK ASKED 10 of the most esteemed biologists where they think the revolution is taking us. Which among them will turn out to be the Einsteins of the 21st century? You decide. ...
  • Fancy Wristlet Handbags

    The latest, er, clutch of designer wristlets—miniature purses that dangle from a strap—look more like oversize jewelry than undersize handbags. Roberto Cavalli features gold leather and dark blue velvet clutches that hang from a gold spring-clasp snake bracelet with a lustrous stone eye ($940 and $975; The miniature version of Dior's plissé pleated black leather handbag has a more formal look, topped off by a shiny jewel lock closure ($990; Derek Lam's classic Marlene clutch dangles from a slender metallic chain instead of a leather strap ($990; And Jimmy Choo's Kaaren clutch in liquid metallic suede features gold hardware ($995; Just pack light.
  • Hot Spot: Peninsula Hotel, Tokyo

    Designed by renowned architect Kazukiyo Sato to resemble a traditional Japanese lantern, this glamorous new hotel is located in the prestigious Marunouchi district, fast becoming Tokyo's Rodeo Drive. ...
  • Mail Call: An Article of Faith?

    Readers of our Aug. 13 report on global warming were evenly split. One said, "It's a masterpiece—to be read by all presidential wanna-bes and voters." Another wrote, "Global warming has become a religion." A third claimed, "The U.S. energy lobby is accountable for the damage done." ...
  • Gen. Martin Luther Agwai: Force Dejection

    Gen. Martin Luther Agwai might have the toughest job in Africa. As commander of the new joint United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur, the former head of Nigeria's armed forces will lead the 26,000-strong force that will be deployed to the region next year. His mission suffered a serious setback last Saturday when unidentified rebel forces overran an AU base at Haskanita, leaving 10 of his troops dead. NEWSWEEK's Silvia Spring spoke with Agwai by telephone from Khartoum, where he was attending a ceremony honoring the dead AU forces, about the raid, the difficulties of his mission and how to be a peacekeeper where peace does not yet exist. Excerpts: ...
  • Sleepwalking To Sanctions, Again

    If the purpose of sanctions is to bring about a better system for a country, devastating its society is a strange path to the new order.
  • Iraq: With U.S. Help, Warlords Gain New Power

    Kanan Al-Sadid was not yet 10 years old on the afternoon that his father opened the trunk of the family car and Saddam Hussein popped out. It was the early 1960s, and the future dictator was hiding out from the Iraqi authorities, who accused him of plotting to assassinate the country's then strongman, Gen. Abdul Karim Qassim. Kanan's uncle was a member of Saddam's revolutionary Baath Party clique; when the conspirators needed to lie low, they would disappear to the Sadid family estate near the Syrian border. Once, when Syrian soldiers came looking for the men, Saddam and the boy's father ducked into a linen closet. Another time, as the family Volkswagen approached an Iraqi Army checkpoint, Saddam ordered all the children in the car to blow on the windows, steaming them up to conceal the fugitives. While visiting a family home in Baghdad one afternoon, Kanan's father told his sons to get into the car; they were going to a park to play. But after driving around for a while, the car...
  • Mail Call: An Unequal Society

    Our Aug. 6 report on the "new" U.A.E. left readers dissatisfied. "Success in business isn't enough to create a great nation," wrote one. Another said, "Unfairness, injustice and anger are being grown there." ...
  • Correspondents' Picks: Malta

    NEWSWEEK's Barbie Nadeau reviews her favorite sites, beaches and nightlife in the Mediterranean island of Malta.
  • Emerging Blue Chips: The Top 10

    Antoine van Agtmael, who coined the term "emerging markets," chooses the 10 new multinational companies he thinks shine the brightest.