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    Berlusconi Faces New Criminal Probe in Italy

    Authorities have launched a criminal investigation of the scandal-prone prime minister for allegedly having sex with a teenage prostitute and for allegedly trying to cover up the affair.
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    Paulo Coehlo Banned in Iran

    Over the years, Iran’s theocracy has fearlessly thumbed its nose at Israel, the United States, and the United Nations. But now Tehran has taken its row with the West a disturbing degree further. This week the Iranian government reportedly banned all works by Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian mystic and author of international bestsellers such as "The Alchemist," "Diary of a Magus," and "Veronika Decides to Die."
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    Nepal’s Restive Revolutionaries

    After several extensions, the U.N. Mission in Nepal charged with overseeing the country’s postwar transition says it’s packing up for good. And its scheduled departure on Jan. 15 has cast further doubt over the fate of Maoist combatants, whose confinement had been one of the few stabilizing developments in an otherwise fractious, unfulfilled peace process.
  • lebannon-hariri-obama-wide

    A New Stalemate in Lebanon

    At about the same time that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was meeting President Obama in Washington on Wednesday morning, trouble was brewing back home: Hizbullah and its allies withdrew 11 ministers from the cabinet, effectively causing Lebanon’s government to collapse. As political hardball goes, this is a pretty difficult move to top.
  • haiti-anniversary-wide

    One Year Later, Rubble Still Chokes Haiti

    Haitians have little reason to feel optimistic about the process of rebuilding their lives and their nation. Only 5 percent of the debris has been cleared, and 1 million people remain displaced, scraping by in shacks made of sticks and tarps, many without access to proper hygiene, food, and drinking water. And even that unstable existence is now being threatened, as landlords begin to evict squatters in order to rebuild.
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    Beleaguered Chávez Adopts More Tempered Tone

    Hugo Chávez went on the offensive in Caracas following his party’s poor election showing this fall, pushing through a slate of measures that amounted to a sustained political power grab ahead of the swearing-in of the new Parliament last week. On the international scene, though, the famously combative Venezuelan president has been striking an unusually conciliatory tone.
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    Feared Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iraq

    After more than three years of self-imposed exile in Iran, the Shiite leader is back in the holy city of Najaf. Sadr kept a relatively low profile during his time in Iran, but he is unlikely to do the same in his home country.
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    Yuri Milner: Facebook's Russian Sugar Daddy

    Yuri Milner has singlehandedly made Russian capital a significant player on the Internet market. Owen Matthews on the Russian entrepreneur behind this week's $500 million Facebook investment.
  • taseer-pakistan-mumtaz-wide

    Blasphemy Backlash

    Within hours of the slaying of Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, people who supported it had built a social-media shrine to the assassin, lavishing praise on him on Facebook.
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    Key Pakistani Governor Killed by Own Bodyguard

    Extremism associated with Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law appeared to claim another victim Tuesday, when the governor of Punjab, the country's wealthiest and most politically powerful province, was gunned down in Islamabad by a member of his own security detail. Here are excerpts from a recent NEWSWEEK Pakistan interview with the governor, Salmaan Taseer.
  • Hu Jintao's State Visit: What News From Pyongyang?

    The White House is impatient for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s Jan. 19 state visit, but not to talk about China. Instead, the critical agenda item is North Korea. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg recently led a delegation to Beijing seeking help in persuading Pyongyang to cease its provocations. Publicly, Beijing has stood by its neighbor through it all, from the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in May to the lethal shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November. Privately, though, U.S. officials are convinced, China’s support is wearing thin.
  • Venezuela's Hugo Chávez: Nice Weather for Autocrats

    Leave it to Hugo Chávez to turn natural calamity into political opportunity. As torrential rains left 130,000 Venezuelans homeless, the president leveraged the elements to his advantage. He won the legislature’s blessing to rule the country by decree for the next 18 months “on humanitarian grounds.” But his plans go way beyond aiding storm victims. Bundled into the package are measures that would allow confiscations of private property, higher taxes, state takeovers of banks and private companies, and cuts to foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations.
  • Bina Agarwal on Women's Role in Conservation

    In early December, nations met for another round of climate talks in Cancún, Mexico, where a joint initiative was launched to make women more integral to the process known by the acronym REDD, which aims to compensate developing countries for protecting forests. NEWSWEEK’s Katie Baker and Tania Barnes spoke with noted Indian economist Bina Agarwal on how women are central to global conservation efforts. Excerpts:
  • What's Fueling China's Real-Estate Fever?

    As China’s economy roars into another year, analysts are keeping a wary eye on the country’s land and housing prices. Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics reported a 7.7 percent rise in those prices over the past year, and many experts believe that the actual increase was far more steep than that.
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    Egypt Bombing Raises Fears of More Sectarian Attacks

    The new year began in the Arab world’s most populous country with an explosion of long-simmering sectarian tensions. Thirty minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, during a New Year’s Eve mass, a bomb exploded in front of Saints Church in the northern port city of Alexandria, killing 21 worshipers and injuring about 100 others in the deadliest attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in more than a decade.
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    Stanley Fischer on Israel's Brain Drain

    Stanley Fischer is an oddity in Israeli government service. A renowned economist who spent most of his life in the U.S., he moved to Israel five years ago, at age 61, to be the Bank of Israel governor—a post roughly equivalent to America’s Federal Reserve chairman. He had to learn Hebrew and take on Israeli citizenship. He has kept the country’s economy stable through two wars and a global financial meltdown. In October, Euromoney magazine declared him Central Bank Governor of the Year. Fischer spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Dan Ephron. Excerpts:
  • pompeii-cu01-hsmall

    Pompeii's Second Destruction

    You may have thought Pompeii died after that battle with Vesuvius in A.D. 79. In fact, the gloriously preserved Roman town is being destroyed now, thanks to human neglect.
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    Lakes Disappearing After Glacial Outburst Floods

    Two and a half years ago, the Baker River in Chilean Patagonia suddenly tripled in size, causing a virtual river tsunami. In less than 48 hours, roads, bridges, and farms were severely damaged and dozens of livestock drowned. Residents were in disbelief. Jonathan Leidich, an American whose company regularly leads tourists on treks up to nearby glaciers, hiked to the Colonia Glacier at the eastern flank of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field and discovered the source of the mysterious flood: Lake Cachet 2 had vanished. This enormous, two-square-mile glacial lake had emptied its 200 million cubic meters of water in just a matter of hours. What happened? Glaciologists say it was yet another “glacial lake outburst flood,” or GLOF. An increasing rate of melting at the Colonia Glacier swelled the lake so much so that the resulting water pressure gradually forced the creation of a tunnel beneath the surface of the adjacent ice and drained the lake. Since Cachet 2 emptied in 2008, the lake...
  • A page from the Talmud, the book consisting of early rabbinical writings that inform the Judaic tradition.

    In China, Pushing the Talmud as a Business Guide

    An apparent affection for Jewishness has led to a surprising trend in publishing over the last few years: books purporting to reveal the business secrets of the Talmud that capitalize on the widespread impression among Chinese that attributes of Judaism lead to success in the financial arts.
  • gold-mcguire-ISS18-wide

    Everything Gold Is New Again

    In stormy times, investors look for something solid to hang onto—something like gold. The World Bank president himself, Robert Zoellick, suggested in November that the world’s economies could use the old reliable metal to help stabilize their currencies. For these and many other reasons, professional gold-fund manager Shayne McGuire argues that gold has nowhere to go but up. The following essay is adapted from McGuire’s latest book, Hard Money: Taking Gold to a Higher Investment Level.
  • italy-greek-embassy-bomb-hsmall

    Behind Rome's Embassy-Row Bombings

    The Italian capital's tony diplomatic neighborhoods are in a panic after the discovery of another parcel bomb, days after two others exploded.
  • corporate-cash-ISS14-vl

    Companies Flush With Cash

    The recession has been over in most countries for more than a year now, and as economists continue to decipher how and why this downturn differed from others, an interesting anomaly has emerged. While nations like the United States, Great Britain, and Japan are saddled with debt, companies in the U.S. and Europe have more than $1.5 trillion sitting on their respective balance sheets. In normal times, this abundance of cash would be good for the economy, as companies would invest, expand capacity, and create jobs. And indeed, over the next year, analysts say there may be a slight uptick in spending as cash-heavy firms turn to mergers and acquisitions, dividend payments, capital expenditures, and a variety of job-creating investments, particularly in high-growth countries such as China, India, and Brazil.
  • Protesters Cry Shame, but Verdict No Surprise

    Angry protests underscored that even after 22 months of hearings, not many in Russia understood how prosecutors could accuse Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his codefendant of stealing billions of dollars' worth of oil from their own company.