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    Ichiro Ozawa Is Japan's Unlikely Savior

    To his detractors, Ichiro Ozawa represents the worst of Japanese politics. Self-righteous, corrupt, a power-hungry political operator, “shadow shogun.” He has been called all these things, as well as “the destroyer” for the way he has created and wrecked three parties in two decades. Three months ago, he resigned from his post as secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Japan, which he helped lead to victory in last year’s historic elections, amid a scandal over finances.
  • Struggling Automakers Find Open Road in Brazil

    There aren’t many bright spots in the global auto industry—so when carmakers find one, they go all in. With ebbing demand in the United States, and subsidies propping up Japan’s industry set to expire, the real bright spot is Brazil. In 2003 the country was the world’s 10th-largest car market; this year it is on pace to surpass Germany as No. 4. By 2014, demand is forecast to hit 4 million new cars per year. Sensing opportunity, Asian auto companies are leading a surge of investment. Toyota is building its second Brazilian factory for $600 million, due in 2012, the same year the country’s first Hyundai-owned plant will come on line. China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. is also investing $700 million to open its first factory there. Together, the three plants will create more than 400,000 new vehicles a year.
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    Castro Tells the Truth About Cuba

    He has outlasted eight U.S. presidents, survived countless CIA efforts to do him in, and his communist regime has remained in power for a generation after the collapse of his Soviet sponsors. So what does the leader of the 1959 Cuban revolution think now of the system he created? Last week The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg reported Fidel Castro’s startlingly honest assessment: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”
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    German Scholar Rauf Ceylan on Integration

    Germany’s immigration fears have been on full display thanks to a new book by provocateur Thilo Sarrazin that claims the country is being undermined by its growing Muslim population. NEWSWEEK’s Mike Giglio spoke with Rauf Ceylan—a leading religious scholar at the University of Osnabrück who is leading a pilot imam-education program this fall, and whose new book, The Preachers of Islam, features interviews with nearly 300 imams in Germany—on the challenges of integration:
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    Morocco Surges Ahead in Solar-Power Race

    For decades, Morocco, the only North African nation without large quantities of oil, combed the surrounding desert in search of fossil fuels. But roughly a year and a half ago, the country shifted gears and turned to a resource that exists in abundance across the region: the sun.
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    Mexico Divides and Conquers the Cartels

    Events in Mexico’s drug war grow more horrific by the day. The recent killing of 72 migrants and a shootout between the Army and 27 cartel gunmen prompted a warning last week from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Mexico’s cartels are adopting tactics akin to those of an “insurgency.”
  • Why Russia's Occupation of Georgia Won't Last

    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is a troubled darling of the West, a Columbia-trained lawyer now struggling to reassert Georgia’s independence after losing the 2008 war with Russia over two disputed territories.
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    Earth Doesn't Care What Is Done to It

    The cover of The American Scholar quarterly carries an impertinent assertion: “The Earth Doesn’t Care if You Drive a Hybrid.” The essay inside is titled “What the Earth Knows.” What it knows, according to Robert B. Laughlin, co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics, is this: What humans do to, and ostensibly for, the earth does not matter in the long run, and the long run is what matters to the earth.
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    Stoning Decision Leaves Tehran With Credibility Gap

    Human-rights activists have won a partial victory in Iran. In the face of a worldwide outcry, Tehran confirmed late last week that it had suspended a sentence of death by stoning against a woman accused of adultery.
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    Heliskiing: For the Slope Less Traveled

    Contrary to the macho James Bond image it may conjure, heliskiing at first seemed to me like a sport for lightweights. My pilot met me at the Santiago airport in Chile, made a fuss about taking my bags, and then shuttled me into his helicopter for the 15-minute transfer up Maipo Valley.
  • A New Weapon in the War on Terror

    The land battle in Afghanistan grinds on, but the drone war is accelerating. So far this year there have been 62 reported strikes against Afghan Taliban and affiliated insurgent groups in Pakistan. This compares with 53 strikes in 2009 and 35 in 2008, according to local media and the Pakistani military.
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    Rediscovering the Political Power of Rock and Roll

    Rain poured over the crowd gathered for a rock concert in Moscow’s central Pushkin Square last month. Police sealed off the square, searched everyone coming in, and infiltrated the crowd with plainclothes officers. The musicians were only slightly more obvious than the police. They could barely be seen, performing from a stepladder in the center of the crowd, and singing into a megaphone in place of loudspeakers. Moscow city hall did not permit them to use real microphones, because the authorities didn’t want their message to be heard. This was a rare event in Russia: an anti-Putin rock-and-roll show.
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    Obama's 'New Beginning' Derailed

    Just more than a year ago the fledgling president of the United States stood before a capacity crowd at Cairo University in Egypt and promised "a new beginning" for relations between America and the Muslim world. But now controversy over the proposed Muslim center near Ground Zero, the much-publicized flap over Pastor Terry Jones's planned Quran burning, and allegations of atrocities by U.S. troops in Afghanistan seem to have dashed such hopes.
  • South Africa's Strikes Leave Country Reeling

    The three week strike by government workers in South Africa that was suspended last week ended badly for both the government and the public-sector unions. Teachers, nurses, and civil servants tentatively won wage increases of 7.5 percent—more than double the rate of inflation—but after going without pay during much of the strike, it will take far more than two years just to match what they would have earned had they accepted the government’s initial offer. But if there’s a silver lining for a country now being shaken by factory and mine workers trying to match raises won by their government counterparts, it’s that the enmity generated by the strike could yet lead to the fracture of the African National Congress’s ruling alliance and spur the formation of a stronger and more dynamic opposition. Bolstered by its stand against apartheid, the ANC has dominated the country’s parliament since the first all-race elections in 1994. But the party has become increasingly incoherent...
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    Colombia Wrestling to Quell Local Drug Gangs

    Although Colombia delivered some heavy blows in its war against the FARC, the country is facing violence on an entirely new front—from loose criminal networks rushing in to serve the ongoing demand for drug exports.
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    How Afghans View the Quran Burnings

    Even before any Qurans have been torched, Islamic extremist leaders are fanning the flames of the controversy, taking advantage of a propaganda windfall. Afghan insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist, issued a statement this week saying the Quran burning is "part of the American war against Muslims."
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    Eat, Pray, Hate

    The threat to burn Qurans in Florida is a perfect example of the way America’s own Christian Taliban are creating, promoting, and exploiting our national paranoia.
  • No Letup in Secret Drone War in Pakistan

    Three reported attacks with drone-borne missiles on Wednesday serve as a reminder that an intense secret U.S. air campaign is continuing against alleged terrorist targets in Pakistan's tribal regions.
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    How India Botched the Commonwealth Games

    The Commonwealth Games—in which 71 teams from 54 Anglophone nations compete in Olympic-style sports—were meant to showcase the country's emergence onto the global stage. Instead, they are turning into a grand humiliation.
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    Mystery Surrounding Death of U.K. Code Breaker Deepens

    A statement released by Scotland Yard on Monday and posted on the Web site of the London Metropolitan Police Service reveals more details about the peculiar death of Gareth Williams, a 31-year-old mathematics wizard who worked for Britain's electronic-eavesdropping agency, but sheds no light on possible causes.
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    Friday Caption Contest: Peace Talks

    As Obama’s summer of discontent marches into autumn, Hillary Clinton is looking rather pleased with herself. Perhaps she finally found the silver lining to losing the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Petraeus: 'Burn a Koran Day' Could Endanger U.S. Troops

    On September 11, pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., will lead a ceremonial burning of Qurans at his church. Amid protests in Kabul, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has now said that the book burning will endanger troops.
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    Mexico Dresses Up for Battle

    Despite the Mexican government’s high-profile capture last week of American-born kingpin Edgar Valdez “La Barbie” Villarreal, the country’s drug war continues to spiral out of control. A telling sign: ordinary Mexicans, who until now have largely been removed from the carnage, are turning to private security firms for help.