The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was so fond of raki that he died of liver disease. But alcohol is becoming the latest battleground in Turkey’s culture wars. New regulations introduced this month by the conservative, Islamic-leaning AK Party government have caused a storm of protest from the imbibing elite.
Venezuela has seized the property of more than a dozen American companies in the past 20 months, including Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, McDonald’s, and Hilton Hotels—part of the president’s ongoing nationalization project that has appropriated more than $23.3 billion in assets since 2006. Chávez usually offers compensation, but it’s seldom paid. As a result, enraged firms such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips are seeking tens of billions of dollars of relief from the World Bank’s International Center for Settlements of Investment Disputes.
In a week of tumult since the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, one of the most significant developments has been the new freedom for religious Tunisians to preach and worship openly. But could that bring about another Iran?
Outgoing Mossad director Meir Dagan told reporters this month Iran is at least four years away from developing nuclear weapons. Just 13 months ago, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak estimated Tehran could build its first bomb by 2011. Why, just as Iran is starting to feel the pressure, would the Israeli intelligence chief risk lulling the international community by offering upbeat news?
As Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Washington this week, Chinese officials have launched a charm offensive with an ad that will be shown on American TV as well as on the screens of Times Square. But the ad has mostly created confusion.
In future wars America's nearly radar-invisible Boeing F-22 Raptor was supposed to allow U.S. pilots to shoot down an enemy jet from 50 miles away, before the opposing pilot could see even a speck on his screen. But that dream of the easy score was dashed this month, after China introduced its own stealth fighter jet, the J-20.
British trade unions have a sure touch when it comes to antagonizing the public. Drivers on London’s Underground are considering strikes to coincide with the royal wedding—blighting the occasion for tens of thousands of well-wishers. Overseas visitors hoping to join Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 may also face disappointment: British Airways cabin crews have proposed strike action around the same time.
Amid what the West fears as a politically motivated witch hunt, Ukrainian prosecutors have charged former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko with misusing about $500 million in state funds. If convicted, she faces prison time and disqualification from future elections. Tymoshenko spoke with NEWSWEEK’s William Schreiber about what she describes as a Soviet-style crackdown on opposition.
Hu Jintao’s wife is, by many accounts, stern but low-key, the latest in a long line of near-invisible first ladies of China. Since the death of Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, a Shanghai actress who became notorious for her brutal part in the Cultural Revolution, the wives of Chinese leaders have been conspicuously absent from the public stage. But that’s all about to change.
The traditional Chinese model of economic growth required the U.S. and a few other countries to be consumers of first and last resort, spending more than their income and running ever-larger trade deficits—so that China could be the producer of first and last resort, spending less than its income and building ever-larger trade surpluses. That model is now challenged, if not altogether broken, because the excessive accumulation of private and public debt and deficit by the U.S. has forced a painful deleveraging.
At the end of this century’s first decade, we can observe how the locus of power has shifted in world politics. The G20 is replacing the G7 as the overseer of the global economy. The need to restructure the U.N. Security Council to be more representative of the international order is profoundly pressing.
Angelina Jolie is to blame, really. Because of something she said to me in India four years ago, I have quit my 13-year career as an entertainment journalist, have given away almost everything I own, and at 43, have joined the Peace Corps.
The data would seem to be in: China is poised to become the world’s economic leader within the next few decades. But there are those under the impression that this will mean a sea change in the world’s linguistic terrain as well.
Though Jews and Arabs have been sharing Israel for more than 60 years, most Jewish Israelis tend to know little about the lives of Arabs, who make up 20 percent of the population. So when Arab Israeli novelist Sayed Kashua showed up at a trendy Tel Aviv bookstore for a reading recently, the crowd peppered him with questions.
Washington is a city that loves to tweet—more than 200 members of Congress are avid users of Twitter, obsessively sharing their real-time thoughts on every legislative decision to pass through the House or Senate these days. And now the rage has spread to D.C.’s foreign diplomats.
My father, Salmaan Taseer, governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab, was murdered on Jan. 4, shot dead in broad daylight by the policeman tasked to protect him. Acting out of a twisted piety, the man—Malik Mumtaz Qadri—shot my father because of his belief that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been misused to persecute religious minorities.
Miriam Fekry, a 22-year-old Egyptian, savored her life as she updated her Facebook page. “2010 is over. This year has the best memories of my life. Really enjoyed this year. I hope that 2011 is much better. Plz God stay beside me & help make it all true.”
Nearly a year ago, Pakistani security forces acting on U.S. intelligence arrested the Taliban’s senior leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, brother-in-law and No. 2 to the reclusive, one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar. Now the Taliban have finally anointed his successor.