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  • Why America’s Point Man On China Is Running Into a Wall

    Is Henry Paulson's big China offensive dead in the water? As the U.S. Treasury secretary preps for the next meeting of his widely hyped Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing this week, some China watchers are heralding its demise. Paulson left as CEO of Goldman Sachs and took the Treasury post on condition that he'd be America's point man on China, yet so far he's not even meeting the right people. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao declined to lead China's side, shunting the job off to Wu Yi, who will be a lame duck when she meets Paulson this week. Worse, her likely successor is thought to be Zhang Jiang, a provincial party chief who learned his economics at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, hardly a bastion of free-market liberalism.Treasury officials hope Paulson will end up working with Li Keqiang, a highly regarded reformer and rising star in the Communist Party. But it's unlikely anyone on the Chinese side will give much more anyway. The dialogue was supposed to work like this:...
  • Panda Lovers Love Coal

    It isn't just pandas the World Wildlife Fund is hugging. In a major policy shift, the group is cautiously embracing a longtime foe of the greens: King Coal. Its report, "Climate Solutions: WWF's Vision for 2050," maps out a plan for doubling global energy consumption while slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 percent—the minimum necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees C. Amid the usual call for renewables, WWF envisions coal delivering 20 percent of global energy needs in 2050.Why coal? Because "there is no silver bullet" to stop global warming, says Liam Salter, head of WWF's climate-change program in Hong Kong. Nor is it practical to rule out the dirty but abundant fossil fuel. The report envisions "a clearly defined, though limited, role for coal in a climate-friendly economy." Coal would fire highly efficient (and still experimental) power plants that store CO2 underground. Conservation would help bridge the gap between now and 2030, when the new coal plants will be...
  • Cashless In The Hinterlands

    Mobile banking might save the government and banks money and reduce fraud that plagues the public-distribution system.
  • Mail Call: A Terrorist Haven

    Readers of our Oct. 29 cover story on where the jihad is sent in hundreds of passionate cheers. "You're right. Pakistan is the hub of jihad," wrote one. "It's the breeding place and haven for terrorists," said another. A third echoed what many claimed: "America is the most dangerous nation today." ...
  • Cool Drawers

    The refrigerator never seems big enough to hold all those holiday leftovers and half-drunk bottles of champagne. But appliance-makers have devised an innovative solution: refrigerated drawers, which can fit under counters or stand alone and dramatically increase cool-storage space. Aga's two-drawer refrigerated units come in black, blue, claret or cream, and include an extra-deep drawer that can fit wine bottles standing up ($2,950; aga-ranges.com). The commercial refrigeration company Perlick recently introduced a residential line, which includes two-drawer ($2,978), four-drawer ($5,257) and six-drawer ($7,936) stainless-steel units (the larger ones include freezer space) that can be built-in or freestanding. Built-ins are available in stainless infused with copper or amethyst color (perlick.com). And Sub-Zero makes a double-drawer refrigerator, freezer or dual model, which comes in various shades of stainless or custom panels (from $3,126; subzero.com). Chillin'.
  • Visiting the Newest Wonders

    Intrepid travelers who missed visiting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by about 500 years now have a chance to visit the New Seven Wonders—a list of the top man-made landmarks chosen earlier this year via Internet by millions of voters around the world. Marriott is marking its 3,000th hotel by launching a series of luxury tour packages that allow visitors to experience the new wonders in style (marriott.com).Lovers should head to the world's most romantic monument, the Taj Mahal. They can stay in oceanfront rooms in frenetic Mumbai, and indulge in world-class Indian spa treatments ($6,660 per person, three nights). Marriott visitors to China can scale the Great Wall with their own private tour guide, then relax with a Zen-inducing yoga class ($3,806 per person, three nights). Packages to the lost city of Machu Picchu include forays into Peru's happening capital, Lima ($3,000, four nights). Visitors to the world's last Mayan temple at Chichén Itzá can exfoliate with spa...
  • Four Hours In Montevideo

    Often overshadowed by neighboring behemoth Buenos Aires, the Uruguayan capital is a bustling port and financial center that mixes modern culture with historic charm. It's also becoming a popular spot for Hollywood film shoots. ...
  • Hot Spot: Singapore

    This traditional Chinese shophouse has been converted into a hip new fantasy-theme bar built around a giant, whimsical tree hosting strange creatures on its walls.Ambience: The darker, ground-floor décor forms the trunk and features a funky art installation by local artist Donna Ong of creepy-crawlies made out of old clock mechanisms. The tables on the second level boast intricate sculptured centerpieces and unusual wall panels with oak-leaf motifs. The treetop third floor showcases a deep-blue mural with scenes from children's nursery rhymes; a canopy of LED lights provides a tranquil night-sky effect. ...
  • Home, Sweet Home

    It's never too early to start cultivating a luxury property owner. Children now have a growing range of dream-home options, conveniently located in Mom and Dad's backyard. The latest crop of kids' playhouses combine fairy-tale designs with real, modern-day facilities like running water and beds, and maybe even a guest room for jealous adults.Lilliput Play Homes makes enough different structures to populate a town: houses, a cinema, a town hall and a schoolhouse, all crafted from quality materials and colorfully painted; the Cotton Candy Manor features an upstairs balcony and starts at $8,999 (lilliputplayhomes.com).The little historian in the family might appreciate Hamleys authentic-looking two-story Tudor playhouse, with oak floors and hardwood windows and doors ($52,621; hamleys.com). La Petite Maison's elaborate creations, which include such amenities as electricity, air conditioning and an intercom to the family home, can be custom-built anywhere in the world (from $7,000;...
  • Mind Buffett, Don’t Panic

    A year from now, stocks, the dollar and U.S. inflation will be higher, and oil, gold, the euro and the pound will be lower.
  • Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The Global Lawman

    Midway through his nine-year term as prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo is ebullient about the prospects—and progress—of the tribunal. As bureaucracies go, he says, the court has moved faster than expected against those accused of war crimes. In New York last week to testify to the United Nations Security Council on Sudan, Moreno-Ocampo, 55, spoke to NEWSWEEK's Arlene Getz and Jonathan Tepperman about the work of the court and its evolving relationship with the United States. ...
  • Adding Fuel to the Fire

    Thousands of vehicles are set ablaze each year in France. Blame the urban planners—and the media.
  • The Luxuries of Technology

    I am caught on the horns of an argumentum cornutum, pondering the question, "Can a technology product be a luxury product?" It is the sort of philosophical issue worthy of a 21st-century Aristotle or Socrates. After all, one could argue that almost any product, be it a car or a garden sprinkler, is a technology product by virtue of the inclusion of technology to enable it to carry out its function of transport or irrigation, respectively.But being that I am not a rigorous—nor indeed any kind of—philosopher, I take a technical product to be something electronic, the exact workings of which I would have trouble explaining to my children. I would further add that these days a technology product is often something that is more or less obsolete, or is about to be superseded by a new generation of similar products, typically as soon as one takes possession of it. And it is the rapid onset of obsolescence that prevents my accepting that a technological product can also be a luxury product....
  • The Great Race

    Craig Venter recounts bucking the system to decode the human genome.
  • A Rock Star Is Reborn

    Carlos Ghosn made history by saving Nissan from bankruptcy. Now for his second act, he's engineering a turnaround at his Franco-Japanese auto alliance.
  • Where ‘Guanxi’ Rules

    Party politics, cross-Strait relations and good old greed still trump everything else in China.
  • Japan's Mob Modernizes

    Like smart businesses everywhere, Japan's infamous underworld gangs are reinventing themselves to cope with increasingly global competition.
  • Italians Stand Up to Mafia

    Italian industry is pledging to banish the age-old practice of paying 'protection money' to the mafia, while brave citizens take to the streets. But can Italy really eradicate organized crime?
  • Bomb Blast Rocks Kabul

    Visitors may think that Afghans are numb to violence, having witnessed so much. But the opposite is true.
  • Author in Hiding From Mafia

    After writing a best-selling book about the Neapolitan mafia, Roberto Saviano was forced into hiding. With Italian police arresting dozens of mafia suspects, he comes out to talk about his nation's fight against organized crime.
  • Bhutto, Sharif Team Up

    Pakistan's leading opposition leaders have united (sort of) against President Pervez Musharraf. But their impact will probably be minimal.
  • Russia’s Election Problems

    Putin has killed democracy in the name of stability. How the tragedy of the latest election will haunt Russia in the years ahead.
  • Iraq: Slogans of War

    The Iraq conflict has given rise to some peculiar turns of phrase. A guide to strategic linguistics—and what it tells about the U.S. military message.
  • Bali and the Climate Fight

    Without the cooperation of China, climate talks in Bali this week won't do much good--and may even harm the fight against global warming.
  • Q&A: Why Japan Can’t Innovate

    Despite its vaunted high-tech industries, Japan's propensity to look inward is crippling the country's ability to innovate and compete.
  • Afghanistan's Troubled Border

    Where the imperialists' Great Game once unfolded, tribal allegiances have made for a "soft border" between Afghanistan and Pakistan--and a safe haven for smugglers, militants and terrorists.
  • Q&A: Poor Progress on Forests

    The world's rainforests are deteriorating at an accelerating rate, but the Bali conference is only a baby step toward a solution. Renowned forest expert Thomas Lovejoy explains why the forests have gotten short shrift in the climate debate.
  • Periscope: World’s First Green Leader

    Commentators worldwide called Australia's vote last week the world's first "climate change election." After five years of drought, Australians flocked to the Labor Party's Kevin Rudd, who'd campaigned on a green platform. No sooner than taking office did he reaffirm his promise to sign the Kyoto Protocol and stake out a lead role at this week's Bali Climate Summit. To make the message extra clear, Rudd is creating a new Ministry of Climate Change—ending the skepticism that prevailed under his predecessor, John Howard.All this shows it's now official: the environment has been big business worldwide for years, with giants like GE and WalMart firmly seated on the green bandwagon; now it is key to mass-market politics too. In America "there has been a sea change in public opinion," says Anthony Leiserovitz, an expert on the politics of environmentalism at Yale. John Edwards has promised to end America's oil addiction and to create a million new "green-collar" jobs in enviro-friendly...
  • Perspectives

    "The days of bargain land prices are over. Well, unless there's another eruption."Albert Prigione, a property developer in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where gold, diamond, timber and cassiterite smuggling has funded a housing boom despite recent history of civil war, genocide and volcanic eruption ...
  • Dreaming Big

    8. Royal DeMaria 2000 Icewine: An award-winning Chardonnay. $50,000; royaldemaria.com9. VPL Tidal Tote bag: A sleek patent carryall to make her shine. $1,015; vplnyc.com10. H. Stern feather bracelet: Glamorous in gold.$15,500; neimanmarcus.com11. Brian Atwood red patent leather boots:Naughty but very nice.$1,017; neimanmarcus.com12. Lalique crystal Buddha: Guaranteed to make the holidays stress-free. $11,850; neimanmarcus.com13. Panasonic HDC-SX5: Now playinghome movies in high def.$900; panasonic.com14. Prada shoe polish kit: Buff up the wingtips.$220; select Prada boutiques15. HP Envy M:152 Notebook: Effortlessly combines high speed with high style. $3,520; voodoopc.com16. "New York" by Gloria Books. Limited edition collector's series exquisitely captures the city that never sleeps. $12,000; www.thenewyorkbook.com
  • Wish List

    1. Carolina Herrera strapless dress: For the life of the party. $3,290; saks.com2. Laure Selignac cache pot: Hand-painted, gold-rimmed porcelain. From $390; laureselignac.com3. Loro Piana cashmere bathrobe:Step out of the shower into luxury.$2,490; neimanmarcus.com4. Goyard shopper tote: The antidote to the plastic carry bag.$1,065; barneys.com5. Halcyon Jets Dream card: $5 million worth of private-jet flights.halcyonjets.com6. Maruman Majesty Prestigio Driver: Watch those tee shots fly.$2,000; golfio.com7. Boydster golf cart: Carry the new clubs in style. $18,750; luxurycarts.com
  • Wrap It Up

    It's our favorite time of year again: the season of indulgence. Holding back is not an option when it comes to eating, drinking, partying or buying presents. So we offer up to you a tiny sampling of the items we most covet. After all, nothing says "Happy Holidays" like a $62,000 lipstick. Love and kisses.
  • A Ghost Of War’s Past

    The Treaty of Versailles didn't just provoke World War II. It betrayed the very idea of the nation-state.
  • Roaring Into Fashion

    The 1920s saw the liberation of the female form—and the birth of haute couture.
  • Caught In The Middle

    Simply holding office in Iraq can be deadly; just ask its vice president, who faces enemies on all sides.
  • On Ability And Responsibility

    When the Bush administration first proposed holding a Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, some months ago, the idea was greeted with almost universal skepticism. Op-ed writers mocked the key participants—U.S. President George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—for their political weakness. Ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, aware of past failures, were wary. Even the protagonists seemed ambivalent. During the conference last week, the three leaders seemed to be hedging their bets rather than announcing anything groundbreaking.Olmert and Abbas, in a joint statement read by Bush, pledged to "make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008" on all outstanding issues separating the Israelis from the Palestinians. Yet when Abbas laid out his proposals for such a deal, Olmert and Bush avoided addressing them, sticking to nice words about "ending the occupation" and establishing "a new nation, a democratic...
  • 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.