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  • Mideast: Crossover Radio Opens New Channels

    A new Mideast radio station is attracting both Palestinians and Israelis. How a format created during South Africa's apartheid era is offering a fresh forum in a troubled region.
  • Water World

    The forecast just seems to get gloomier. Climate change may dramatically increase the risk of flooding across the globe, even far from shorelines, say scientists in the journal Nature. The reason: plants won't soak up as much moisture in a world with more greenhouse pollution. When plants are exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide, holes in their leaves, called stomata, react by getting smaller. The trouble is, smaller stomata also reduce the evaporation of water. Plants that retain more water don't need to soak up as much from the ground. Rain falling on water-saturated soil will run off into the rivers, causing floods. "There's a positive message to be taken from this, too," says co-author Richard Betts, a climate scientist at the U.K.'s Met Office Hadley Centre. The phenomenon could help regions that now suffer from drought.
  • Learning Game

    If you see someone on the Tokyo subway fiddling with a Nintendo DS handheld, chances are he's not just playing videogames, but engaged in self-improvement. In recent months millions of Japanese have been using their thumbs to sharpen their minds, thanks to new educational programs introduced for the Nintendo DS.The trend is all the more remarkable because educational software has always been the videogame version of spinach—good for you, but no second helpings, please. That changed two years ago with the success of Brain Age software, which offers mental drills. Nintendo and other software makers followed with dozens of programs for education, physical training and practical skills. The software is catching on among gamers and nongamers alike—from baby boomers and salarymen to housewives and students. The top-selling programs concentrate on cultural literacy, vocabulary building, math drills and English-language instruction. According to the latest figures from Enterbrain, a Tokyo...
  • Nick Foulkes: Luxury Can't Be Taught in Class

    The dawning of the new academic year reminds me of my distrust of vocational education. Of course, there are exceptions: medicine, say, or the piloting of large aircraft. However, I believe that the line should be drawn long before one gets to luxury. Don't get me wrong; craftsmen should be skilled in their disciplines. But it is the pernicious cult of the M.B.A. and its increasing influence on the world of luxury that concerns me.Luxury is not something you can pick up in a classroom. The appreciation of true luxury is a lifetime's work. I find the idea that one can be taught luxury—and the thought that the world's great brands are going to be run by a bunch of spreadsheet jockeys—really rather dispiriting. This sense of gloom was compounded by the death of British luxury-nightclub owner Mark Birley last month.I was privileged to count Mark as a friend. More than 40 years ago he founded the world's grandest nightclub, Annabel's, in Berkeley Square, and every decade or so thereafter...
  • Hi-End Decorative Drains

    Anyone can jazz up a bathroom with fancy tiles or a gleaming curvy faucet. But some high-end companies have come up with a way to add sparkle and luxury appeal even to waste water: by creating dazzling plugs and drain fittings. Murano House makes stunning handmade Venetian fixtures; its latest jeweled vanity range incorporates precious stones like emeralds, rubies, amber and amethysts set in glass on refined gilded silver, gold or platinum mountings (muranohouse.com). The company also features a more masculine sink fitting that doubles as a timepiece. The Watch Waste not only looks intriguing but will guarantee you'll never lose track of time while conducting your toilette.The Arizona-based company Linkasink also stocks an interesting range of decorative drain fittings, including beautiful beaded shell, carved stone and even cloisonné drains (linkasink.com). They're a welcome distraction from flossing.
  • Maximalist: The Locus Car

    Made entirely of carbon fiber, Canada's new Locus Plethore—also known as the Quebec Bomb—features a rip-roaring 8.2-liter V-8 engine but no subframe, making the chassis exceptionally rigid. This baby will set you back a cool $314,000, but you'll have to wait until next summer to get your hands on it.
  • Four Hours In…Macau

    The former Portuguese enclave may be small, but it's packed with history, beaches, fantastic food and a burgeoning gambling scene that may someday rival Las Vegas. Don't miss out. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the old city. Visit the Fortalezado Monte, which houses the Museum of Macau, showcasing the formercolony's origins (macaumuseum.gov.mo). Buy almond cookies, crunchy peanut candy and other treats at one of the eight Pastelaria Koi Kei locations (koikei.com). Eat at Restaurante Fernando, a Portuguese beachside joint serving oven-roasted suckling pig, clams and crab, among other delicacies (fernando-restaurant.com). Play a hand of blackjack at Wynn Macau(wynnmacau.com) or the newly opened Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel (venetianmacao.com).
  • Long Sweater-Coats for Fall

    When Coco Chanel decided to branch out from selling hats in her Paris boutique, she turned straight to sweaters. They're versatile and comfortable, and women can't seem to have too many. Since then, knits have become a Chanel mainstay.This season, they're hotter than ever. Belted, buttoned, zipped or tied, these knits can be worn as coats, dresses or in place of a blazer around the office. Chanel's current collection includes two sweater dresses, both elegantly subdued: a plum wool-jersey jacket and a stunningly sexy cashmere variation on the little black dress ($3,351 and $2,758; chanel.com).The world's largest cashmere manufacturer, Loro Piana, offers a wealth of sweater dresses and jackets, often pairing them. Its wool minidress and coat combine comfort and couture, in the true spirit of sweater chic ($1,595 and $2,500; loropiana.com).Other top designers are using some of the finest wools available to go bold and quirky. Stella McCartney makes her sweater-coats playful and...
  • Barton Biggs: Why Markets Are So Shaky

    Since mid-July, equity and fixed-income markets across the world have endured sickening declines and startling volatility. Major financial institutions have suffered grievous wounds, and numerous lesser bodies have drifted to the surface belly-up. On Aug. 28, a beautiful, relatively rumorless, late summer day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average abruptly collapsed 280 points,with the volume in falling stocks 10 times that of rising shares. Most of this rout came in the last two hours of trading. The next day there was a massive surge up of 247 points, again concentrated in the final hours. And so it has gone. The number of extreme days in the last six weeks is unprecedented, begging an explanation.First, volatility breeds fear and therefore more volatility. The giant hedge funds and proprietary trading desks are run by people who, like us, are susceptible to fear and greed. Most are not particularly intellectual, analytical or studious. They rely on their intuitions, and their basic...
  • William M. Pollack: Picturing Iraq Without Maliki

    Next week's report to Congress by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top American leaders in Iraq, will probably be anticlimactic. Among the many things we already know, it will tell us that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki—try though he might—has not been able to set Iraq on the right path. Whether we like it or not, he is a weak man in a weak position.The problems at the top loom large in part because there is finally some sign of life at the grass-roots level: the Petraeus report will likely confirm what the intelligence community and others (myself included) have already reported—the surge and its attendant new counterinsurgency strategy are making progress in some important regions and allowing modest political and economic development at local levels. Of course, this does not mean the war is won: although security has improved in the west and north, it is still up for grabs in Baghdad, and the south is run by feuding Shiite warlords beyond anyone's control. The...
  • Last Word: Craig Venter

    In what may be remembered as the age of biology, Craig Venter is the field's pre-eminent innovator. He startled the world by making rapid strides towards sequencing the DNA of a human genome at Celera Genomics. (His well-publicized race with Francis Collins, president of the National Human Genome Research Institute, ended in a gentlemen's tie when the two scientists and President Bill Clinton heralded the project's completion in 2001.) Last week, Venter announced that his private institute had achieved another milestone: a far more complete sequencing of one man's genome—his own. (The earlier genome was a composite of several different people.) Venter is hoping that his genome will be the first of thousands to join a database that could yield breakthroughs in preventative medicine. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Fred Guterl. ...
  • The Comeback Artist

    Nawaz Sharif used to be the most reviled man in Pakistan. Now he may become an unlikely hero.
  • Mail Call: Quality vs. Cost?

    Readers of our July 16 report on Chinese goods had mixed reactions. One said, "Your story's an eye-opener." Another wrote, "China makes high-quality products, too. You get what you pay for." ...
  • Brainiac Brigade

    Some of the military's finest minds helped craft the strategy that has produced some signs of good news out of Iraq. But even they don't know if it will work.
  • The Role Of A Lifetime

    In his 60s, the star has discovered that his basic instinct is to be a good husband and father—and to make pancakes.
  • Troops Cuts: Which Unit Leaves First?

    Now that President Bush has approved a plan to gradually bring home some U.S. troops from Iraq, some of the families of the first unit to ship out are, surprisingly, not happy.
  • Maddie McCann Case Splits U.K., Portugal

    Many Portuguese rallied around Kate and Gerry McCann after their daughter Madeleine vanished during the British family's vacation in May. Now the still-unsolved case has taken on ugly nationalist overtones.
  • Why the Pentagon Builds Toilets in Africa

    The U.S. military is hoping that soft projects like drilling wells and building schools will help it win friends in a volatile part of Africa. It's a risky strategy.
  • Zanzibar: Island of Spice

    Known as Spice Island, Zanzibar is a beguiling mix of Arabic, African and Indian cultures. From the frenzied maze of Stone Town's tiny streets to the breezy beaches and isolated coral reefs, this paradise off the coast of Tanzania draws everyone from honeymooners to harried business execs looking for a chance to chill. Stone Town is the best place to start. Stay at the seafront Serena Inn, where rooms overlook the Indian Ocean and the interior celebrates the island's Persian and European influences (from $285 per person; serena hotels.com). Set aside an afternoon to get lost in the city's labyrinth of whitewashed houses, bazaars and courtyards. Dine on fresh prawns at Mercury's, named after Queen's Freddie Mercury, born just around the corner.Head out of town to enjoy the powdery white beaches. Each of the nine rooms at Matemwe Bungalows features a porch with huge hammocks and a sumptuous bath. Delicious meals are served on the patio, and guests can relax at the two pools or sip a...
  • Hotspot: Restaurant WH in Aarhus, Denmark

    Situated in a vast Zen-inspired Japanese garden, this eatery (open Wednesday to Saturday) features a thatched roof and neo-minimalist pagoda theme. But don't let the Japanese influences fool you: all dishes are international, representing the whims of the eclectic 26-year-old chef, Wassim Hallal. ...
  • Jeffrey Garten: The Weak Dollar Is More Dangerous Than It Appears

    So far, serious currency turmoil hasn't been a part of the subprime-induced credit crunch. Nevertheless, the monetary system could be more fragile than it appears. In fact, the way Washington has handled the U.S. dollar these past several years could be part of a future problem.President George W. Bush has seen a steadily weakening dollar as an answer to its ever-widening current account deficit. After all, the dollar has depreciated about 25 percent against a basket of currencies since 2002 without a peep from Washington. The United States has been pushing relentlessly for China and other Asian countries to revalue their currencies, thereby trying to make the greenback relatively weaker. And we've seen no sign that the United States is ready to broker a more orderly rebalancing of key currencies among major countries.Indeed, the Bush administration has been relying entirely on a depreciating dollar to increase exports and restrain imports. It has done little to rein in federal...
  • Call Them Booties, Shoes or Short

    Chanel calls them "short," Gucci calls them booties. Jimmy Choo labels them shoes, and Manolo Blahnik, naturally, gives them complex and arty names like Kandos (an Australian town) and Kokkani (an Indian dialect). Whatever they're called, they're in for fall: footwear with the 10cm heels of boots, the ankle cut of a flat shoe and, always, very good leather. Christian Louboutin has embraced embellishment with the front-fringed Goya boot, available in caramel and black ($1,145;christianlouboutin.fr). Jimmy Choo's Seville comes in pearlized patent leather ($820;www.jimmychoo.com). Chanel offers three varieties, the most luxurious of which features "ultrasoft" quilted lambskin ($1,295; chanel.com). Taking softness one step further, Manolo Blahnik has used pony skin (with fur) in the Kokkani, a fuzzy orange shoe-boot with royal-blue accents ($1,265; manoloblahnik.com). Bergdorf Goodman has an excellent selection of short boots, including Prada's pleated version ($595), Versace's metallic...
  • American Actress Jodie Foster Talks About Playing a Vigilante

    Over the course of her new film, "The Brave One," Jodie Foster kills eight people. The two-time Oscar winner plays a public-radio host named Erica Bain who survives a brutal attack in New York's Central Park during which her fiancé is killed. After she heals, she slowly transforms into a vigilante and puts herself on a collision course with the thugs who attacked her. Foster says the film, directed by Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game"), appealed to her not only for its resonance with "Taxi Driver," the nightmarish 1976 film that made the teen actress a star, but also for its exploration of living with fear in post-9/11 New York. She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Devin Gordon on the set last summer. Excerpts: ...
  • Four Hours in Seattle

    Long a nature-lover's paradise, this gateway to America's Pacific Northwest also features world-class museums, cultural institutions, shopping and cuisine.Stroll through the Pike Place Market, celebrating its centennial this year, where local fishmongers, farmers and artisans compete for business on a bluff overlooking the harbor.Explore the Olympic Sculpture Park, a Z-shaped series of waterfront gardens showcasing works by Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero and Alexander Calder, among others (seattleartmuseum.org).Shop at Pacific Place, where dozens of high-end boutiques—including Tiffany & Co., MaxMara and Coach—connect by sky bridge to Nordstrom's flagship store (pacificplaceseattle.com).Visit the Rem Koolhaas-designed Seattle Public Library, whose steel-and-glass skin encases vaulted public rooms and a spiral ramp that houses the stacks (spl.org).
  • Pakistan: Sharif Deportation May Hurt Musharraf

    Pervez Musharraf may have won this round over Nawaz Sharif. But the deportation of the former prime minister could mobilize the opposition and put the Pakistani president on another collision course with the judiciary.
  • Virtual Epidemic

    We all know the warnings: addiction, isolation, a waste of time. But what if online games like World of Warcraft could be a new weapon for fighting infectious diseases?That's what epidemiologists at Tufts University argue, after studying a virtual disease outbreak that the creators of World of Warcraft introduced as an extra challenge to the game—and were shocked by how it raged. A virtual fluke? Maybe. But that plague is helping scientists plan for real life—illuminating the unexpected ways a disease can spread, and how we humans might react. In World of Warcraft, animals played a key role in transmission, while what scientists call the "stupid factor" (people getting up close to look, not thinking it will affect them) was another surprise. Virtual residents reacted in different ways: some selfless, some selfish—some purposely infecting others. Maybe those games aren't such a waste of time after all.
  • Morton Abramowitz: The Mass Exodus From Iraq Is Becoming An International Crisis

    Since the war in Iraq began, more than 2 million Iraqis have become refugees in their own country, and some 2 million have dispersed abroad. This massive exodus has already become a huge humanitarian disaster, and the worst may be yet to come. The crisis is engulfing Iraq's neighbors, and it could easily fuel greater instability in an area already notoriously unstable.The United States precipitated the chaos by invading Iraq in the first place. Yet Washington has not met its moral responsibility to aid the refugees. That said, the problem far exceeds Washington's abilities. Indeed, the crisis has further internationalized the Iraq dilemma; almost every country in the Middle East shelters fleeing Iraqis, with Syria and Jordan bearing the heaviest load. No one nation can deal with the problem on its own.Because addressing the cause of the refugee crisis—the unraveling of Iraq—will be an intensely political job, it will take a world-class political figure to lead it: U.N. Secretary...
  • The Index Design Awards

    Last week the prestigious European design organization Index held its annual Design to Improve Life awards in Copenhagen (indexaward.dk). Among the do-good winners: the lightweight, durable $100 XO Laptop, which is sunlight-readable and shock- and moisture-resistant; the Tongue Sucker, developed by four industrial engineers after the 2005 London bombings to suction the tongue out of the airway of an unconscious person, and the Antivirus cap, which turns an empty soda can into an enclosed container for infected needles. But nothing beats the fully electric Tesla Roadster, which produces zero emissions, accelerates from zero to 60 in four seconds and has a battery that takes less than four hours to recharge. It costs $100,000, but with a fuel-efficiency equivalent of 135 miles per gallon, Tesla claims you'll spend less than two cents a mile. And save the planet at the same time.
  • Leaving the Game

    Imran Khan on why he gave up cricket for the rough-and-tumble world of Pakistani politics.
  • Q&A: Gen. Sir Mike Jackson Speaks Out on Iraq

    The former head of the British Army is outspokenly critical of U.S. military policy in Iraq. Gen. Sir Mike Jackson discusses planning for the Iraq War, the problem with Washington's neocons and the military withdrawal from Basra City.