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  • Follow The Eyes

    It's sometimes known as the trigger, the kicker or the launching pad: the part of a package a shopper is looking at when he decides to flip the cereal box to read the back. The gesture is a strong indication that the sale has been clinched. Attempts to locate and understand that sweet spot have traditionally entailed guesswork. Now marketers are beginning to crack the mystery.Devices that measure the direction of a person's gaze have dropped so far in price that the technology is now within reach of the most modest of marketing teams. By detecting the reflection of infrared light shone into an eye, video cameras mounted on the head of a test subject or on a computer gather data that allow software to chart a moving gaze. Two years ago San Francisco marketing firm Eyetools charged $30,000 per study. The fee is now $3,000, and revenue is up 50 percent over last year's.InVivo Marketing in Paris fits test shoppers with goggles that transmit data wirelessly. It runs 15 mock supermarkets...
  • Global Investor: Shoe on the Other Foot

    When asked why evil exists in the world, the Indian saint Ramakrishna answered: "To thicken the plot." Well, volatility plays a similar role in the financial marketplace. Major trends tend to last for years and often define a decade, à la Japan in the 1980s, the U.S. tech boom in the 1990s or emerging markets since. But in between there are several twists and turns to juice up the plot.The latest bout of global market turbulence should be viewed from that perspective. Financial-market volatility fell to record low levels earlier this year, signaling investors had become too complacent. While trouble had been brewing in the U.S. housing market for several months, many investors were willing to overlook it, instead holding on to the belief that in an environment of easy money and strong world growth, no problem could be serious enough to derail the global bull market for stocks.However, with the crisis of confidence in the U.S. credit market over the past few weeks, assumptions...
  • Reuel Marc Gerecht: U.S. Must Be Firm With Iran

    Two weeks ago, the Bush administration announced it may designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization—the first time a foreign military body has received that label. Days later, a top U.S. general in Iraq accused Tehran of training Shiite militants inside the country. The moves came at an already precarious time in U.S.-Iran relations, and have greatly worried Washington's European allies, who see the steps as a prelude to war and fear they will make ongoing nuclear diplomacy with Tehran much more difficult.Such fears are unfounded, however, and rest on several basic misunderstandings. For one thing, the terrorist label is nothing new, and thus will do little to change the current state of play. For another, Iran represents a much greater threat than Europe typically recognizes. It is not a status quo state that favors stability, as most pundits and governments portray it. Iran is, instead, a radical revolutionary force determined to sow chaos beyond its borders....
  • Soner Cagaptay: Turkish Secularism is Withering

    This fall, I plan to teach a course on Turkish secularism at Georgetown University. The class was originally listed as current politics. But given the direction in which Turkey's headed, it could well become a history course instead. For after some 80 years, Turkish secularism is withering away.In late July, the ruling Justice and Development Party (known in Turkish as the AKP) won 47 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections, strengthening its already commanding position. Now the AKP, a party with an Islamist pedigree, seems set to elect its foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, as president. Once marginal, Turkey's Islamists have become mainstream, and the consequences could prove enormous.To understand the stakes, it helps to grasp the particular nature of Turkish secularism. When Kemal Ataturk founded Turkey as a secular republic after World War I, he looked to Europe for his model, especially France. Whereas U.S. secularism provides freedom of religion, the French version that...
  • Hotspot: Al Gallopapa, Italy

    Located inside the medieval stone tunnel built to protect this charming Tuscan town, al Gallopapa is a rustic but serious eatery serving up confident nouvelle Italian cuisine in an atmospheric setting. ...
  • 4 hours in…Leipzig, Germany

    Once East Germany's hotbed of culture and resistance, this eclectic and energetic city is worth a look, however brief.Listen to the 800-year-old Thomanerchor boys' choir in the St. Thomas Lutheran Church, where Bach spent the last 27 years of his life as cantor (Thomaskirchhof 18).Visit the Museum in der"Runden Ecke," the eerie Stasi museum housed in the former East German state security ministry's district headquarters. The sophisticated tools of state surveillance on display are chilling (Dittrichring 24).Stroll through Mädler-passage, the most famous (and gorgeous) of Leipzig's historic shopping arcades, built around Auerbachs Keller, a 1525 restaurant that features in Goethe's "Faust" (Grimmaische Strasse 2-4).Eat hilariously elaborate ice-cream sundaes on the shady terrace of the old-school EiscaféSan Remo. Great for people-watching, too (Nikolaistrasse 1).
  • Powerful As Dung

    ENERGYIsrael just bought into one of the crappiest ideas around, and it's paying off. A few years ago, amid a nationwide effort to clean up manure, which emits methane (a greenhouse gas), the Minister of Environment told 55 farmers in Hefer Valley to bury the dung from their 12,000 dairy cows. So the Hefer farmers teamed up with a water-purification company to create a power plant fueled by dung. Their recipe: mix the dung with water, then stir and heat, releasing methane that turns turbines. The plant, about 50 kilometers north of Tel Aviv, went live on July 31. It processes 272 metric tons of manure a day and produces 1.6 megawatts of electricity, which is mainly funneled into Israel's power grid. Full capacity, expected by the year-end, will be 2.4 megawatts. That's less than half a percent of Israel's electricity capacity, but suppliers of the technology insist that methane from manure could eventually be a cheaper energy source than fossil fuels.
  • Style: Seeing Blue

    Before the Taliban, the Soviet intervention and even the poppy, Afghanistan had lapis lazuli. And now everyone else wants a piece of it, too. The stone once relegated to casual jewelry has resurfaced in luxury lines for both men and women. Karen Karch, who designed Uma Thurman's engagement ring in 1998, has developed a new lapis lazuli line featuring rose pendants and chunky 18kt gold and lapis rings ($1,500–$5,345; karenkarch.com). Tiffany designer Elsa Peretti created an eye-popping round lapis pendant on a chain of 18kt gold mesh ($2,500; tiffany.com). Aaron Faber Galleries carries a striking brooch that contrasts quartz's angular perfection with the fluid pyrite-flecked veins of lapis ($14,900; aaronfaber.com). And historic New York jeweler De Natale carries stunning lapis-and-diamond flower earrings ($1,070; denatale.com). For men, Touch of Luxury carries a classy pair of cuff links with checkered lapis and mother-of-pearl inlaid in 18kt gold ($875; touch ofluxury.com). And...
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    Into Thin Air

    This story was reported by Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; Zahid Hussain in Islamabad; Rod Nordland in Tora Bora; Mark Hosenball, Michael Hirsh, Michael Isikoff, John Barry, Dan Ephron and Eve Conant in Washington; Christopher Dickey in Paris, and Roya Wolverson in New York. It was written by Evan Thomas.
  • Isikoff: The Allawi Interview

    The surge is a dead end. The Iraqi government does not want to 'achieve reconciliation.' Steps must be taken to 'save the country.' Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi discusses his plans for Iraq.
  • Why We Need a Draft: A Marine's Lament

    He was in the firefights of Fallujah. He saw gaps in America's arsenal that he believes can only be filled when America's elite puts its sons on the battlefield. A plea for selective service.
  • Khmer Rouge Trials Turn to Farce

    Nearly 10 years after the Cambodian government first asked for help setting up a court to try leaders of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime, it has yet to hold a single hearing. Washington refuses to fund the court on the ground that it's not up to international standards, and its ambassador, Joseph Mussomeli, says, "no trial would be better than a trial that will be a farce." The court's foreign and Cambodian judges are deadlocked over procedure, and the foreign judges have threatened to walk out rather than participate in what they fear could become an exercise in politics over justice.It wasn't supposed to be this way. Since the Nuremberg tribunal after World War II, trials of brutal leaders have slowly become more common and established a moderately positive record. U.N. courts have convicted numerous individuals for the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the Rwandan genocide. A hybrid court under local and international auspices is slowly getting off the ground in Sierra Leone....
  • How You Can Help

    These charities were highly rated by multiple philanthropy watchdog groups:
  • Adventure: Boat Baja

    With gentle waters, whales, abundant wildlife and 300 days of sunshine, Loreto is a prime location for kayaking Baja Mexico's Sea of Cortés. Paddle to Isla Danzantes and snorkel in a secluded inlet surrounded by pelicans. For boating excursions, Paddling South is Loreto's best outfitter and offers a kayak/mountain-bike tour whose participants camp on secluded beaches and feast on tamales and local seafood; six-day tours from $595 (tourbaja.com). Back onshore, stroll Loreto's cobblestone walkways and seaside boardwalk, shop for handcrafted silver jewelry and visit the 300-year-old Spanish mission in one of Baja's oldest communities (loreto.com). At night, dine on seviche and traditional dishes under starry skies in the adobe courtyard of El Canipole restaurant. Book an oceanfront room and whale-watching package to see gray whales and calves spout water within reach of your boat ($252 per night; innatloretobay.com).—Paul Tolme
  • Uffizi Expansion: Making Room for Art

    By 7 a.m. on a winter's day in the heart of medieval Florence, the queue for the Uffizi Gallery's ticket booth already winds around the block. Bundled against frigid winds off the nearby Arno River, thousands of tourists wait outside for two hours or more for a glimpse of the world's best collection of Renaissance art. In the summer, the weather is better and the lines even longer; the wait just to get to the entrance can easily exceed four hours. For a hefty premium, tourists can skirt the queue with a reservation. But they still can't beat the press of the crowds inside—melding into what can only be compared to Dante's "Inferno"—as nearly 5,000 people a day jostle through the ancient galleries for a glimpse of masterpieces by Cimabue, Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Giotto and Raphael. "Right now the experience could be a lot better than it is," admits Marco Fossi of the superintendent's office of the Uffizi. "The overall crush does not enhance the value of seeing...
  • Global Investor: China Exports Trouble, Too

    China, the so-called factory of the world, has just produced its newest product—a global stock-market correction. The 9 percent plunge in the Chinese stock market late last month was a shot heard around the world. The hows and whys of this contagion speak volumes to the new and important role China now plays in driving the global economy and shaping trends in world financial markets.There are three key pieces to this puzzle—the first being China's disproportionate impact on the global economy. While a $2.6 trillion Chinese economy amounts to only about 5 percent of overall world output, it makes up a much larger share of the growth in the global economy. In 2006, for example, China's surging economy accounted for about one third the total increase in world GDP. Moreover, during the past four years, China has been responsible for about 50 percent of the cumulative growth in economically sensitive commodities such as oil and a variety of base metals, like aluminum, copper, lead,...
  • Commentary: A Revolution Is Possible

    The 18th-century French philosopher Diderot, visiting the Netherlands in 1773, reported that it "was more interested in getting richer than getting bigger." France, by contrast, has always been more obsessed with le rang—rank and status. Few French political leaders have realized that being rich equates to being powerful. President Jacques Chirac talked big but carried a small stick.After 12 years in power, it is hard to credit him with a single memorable achievement.Not so Tony Blair, who leaves office around the same time with a record in the history books. Blair was able to walk tall because he delivered the most robust period of economic growth and wealth creation seen in Britain in a century—lending him a stature rivaling that of France's beloved de Gaulle. But the French tend to forget the real secret of Gaullist success—sustained economic growth. Throughout the 1960s and '70s, the French economy grew two to three times faster than Britain's. It prospered under a strong...
  • Live Talk Transcript: Marcus Mabry on Condoleezza Rice

    As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sets off on another round of Middle East diplomacy this week, meeting her Egyptian--and possibly her Iranian—counterpart, the challenge of a nuclear Iran and the lagging peace process between Palestinians and Israelis will never be far from her mind. Since coming to lead the State Department, Rice has already convinced Bush to make major changes in his stance on key issues: offering direct U.S.-Iran talks for the first time since the 1979 hostage crisis if Tehran would end its nuclear-enrichment program and making a deal with North Korea to halt its nuclear buildup. But the main reason Rice is still grinding the midnight oil with the Bush camp, she says in Marcus Mabry's new book, is I thought there was more we could do. Over the first three years we'd basically broken down a lot of the old system and I've been very cognizant of the need to put it back together in a different configuration, one that lays a foundation. And so I thought, 'Well, I...
  • World Opinion: China vs. America

    Beijing’s leaders and diplomats have labored hard to portray their homeland as benign, well mannered and neighborly. And according to a new global opinion survey, their efforts have paid off--to some extent. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org poll, conducted among 18 countries over the last year and released this week (in conjunction with research centers around the world), finds that a majority of citizens in 8 of 14 countries surveyed expect that China will eventually catch up with the United States economically—and are utterly unconcerned by the prospect. Yet surprisingly, the survey also reveals that a majority or near majority of respondents in most countries don’t trust China to act responsibly beyond its borders. China’s score on trustworthiness is virtually the same as that of the United States, which has seen its popularity slide precipitously since the 1990s. Both states were deemed untrustworthy global actors in 10 of 15 countries surveyed....
  • Bringing the War Home

    With dust flying everywhere, Lt. Russell Archer orders a half-dozen soldiers to drop their sandbags and get to work. The men, engineers from Britain's 16th Air Assault Brigade, are building protected bunkers, a mortar pit, a mobile army hospital and a fortification atop an existing building. Dressed in khaki camouflage, the men hustle about unloading flat packs, shoveling sand and nailing down protective metal coverings. It looks like any standard base in the dusty landscape of Afghanistan's Helmand province—dubbed "Hell Land" by the men and women who have served there.But Archer and his colleagues are not in southern Afghanistan. Though it has the look and feel of a proper army camp, this "base" is being erected inside Britain's National Army Museum in the tony London neighborhood of Chelsea. It has been rebuilt by hand to give civilians an idea of what operations—and life—are like at Helmand's Camp Bastion. "We wanted to give people a flavor of what we can produce," says Archer,...
  • Blame It on Biofuels

    High food prices always hit the poor hardest, and these days there is plenty of bad news. Corn prices are nearly $4 a bushel, almost double their 2005 level. In Mexico, for instance, that translates into a 50 percent rise in the price of corn tortillas, which has elicited protests from tens of thousands of workers. Many blame the burgeoning U.S. biofuel industry, centered around corn-based ethanol, for the crunch. Fidel Castro says diverting corn into fuel is a "tragic" turn of events for the world's poor, while Venezuela's Hugo Chávez calls it "craziness."They aren't the only ones pointing the finger at biofuels for high prices—food makers like Kellogg's are also. While biofuels are a convenient scapegoat, global food economics are a complex phenomenon. A surge in global food demand, high oil prices, uncooperative weather, currency fluctuations and biofuels all play a part in explaining the new, stratospheric world of food economics.About a third of the recent corn-price rise is ...
  • No Longer So Special

    Ever since Tony Blair left office, a single question has dominated transatlantic discourse: will a rift open in the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States? Two months into the new government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the answer is clear: yes. A course correction is underway in the world's most durable strategic alliance. Both governments knew Blair's departure in June would leave a hole in the relationship. And both sides knew Brown would bring a less chummy, more businesslike personality to the duet with President George W. Bush. But only recently has it become apparent that London's drift from Washington is real. "It's looking like this is more concerted than accidental," said a U.S. source.The cracks began to appear in the early days of Brown's term, when two members of his government suggested the London-Washington bond would not be quite as tight as it had been under Blair. The fissures opened further on July 30 when the new prime minister had his...
  • Mohamed A. El-erian: Don't Fear the Credit Crunch

    When the U.S. subprime-housing crisis first made the front pages of the financial press a few months ago, it was generally dismissed as an isolated event that would not have wider implications. Fast-forward to today and the tone is very different. Increasingly, there is talk that it may be a preamble to a major credit crunch. The concern is that this could throw the United States into recession, undermining the global economy.Views differ on who is responsible for the crisis—reckless lenders, imprudent borrowers or lax regulators. What is undeniable is that it was facilitated by an innovation that is having an impact on many segments of the financial industry: the use of derivative products and "structured" securities. They are traded just like stocks or bonds and form the basis of what are more commonly known as exotic mortgages. Over the long term, such financial innovation is welfare-enhancing. It serves to reduce the cost of financial intermediation, to distribute risk widely...
  • Retraining Terrorists

    Wiry and lean, Abdullah looks on with a glassy stare as the instructor explains the subject for the day: revenge. The case study is the first gulf war, and the instructor lists religious and moral reasons why it was wrong for Iraqi soldiers to loot and kill in Kuwait. Abdullah, 17, and the nine other teenagers sitting with him on wooden benches in the class nod impassively. This isn't an ordinary high school. The teens, decked out in prison uniforms, are detainees at Camp Cropper, the high-security facility in Iraq that once held Saddam Hussein.Some of the kids may have tried to kill American or Iraqi soldiers; others have been picked up for smaller offenses like breaking curfew. But the group, all Sunnis, have one thing in common: they've been brainwashed for jihad. "If they let them out, they would all become suicide bombers," says Sheik Abdul Jabbar, 37, an Iraqi cleric working with the teens.That's what the religious-education program at Cropper is trying to prevent. Started two...
  • The Global Universities: How They Rank

    As growing numbers of international students cast about for prestigious degrees—particularly those offered in English—competition has stiffened up for the world’s top universities in the United States and Great Britain. Good schools around Asia and Europe have begun poaching talented students who, just years ago, would have applied to Oxbridge or an Ivy as a matter of course. The two biggest surveys of universities worldwide—one by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and one by Shanghai Jiao Tong University—show that, while the very best schools (topped this year by Harvard, on both lists) aren’t about to be dislodged, the best 500 schools now come from 50 different countries, according to THES. Here are its top 10, followed by some of the up-and-comers set next to more established schools for perspective:
  • Pakistan: America’s Dubious Ally in Terror War

    Pervez Musharraf has always been a dubious ally in George W. Bush's War on Terror—the kind of guy you avert your eyes from while patting him on the back. It's not that Bush doubts the Pakistani leader's sincerity—"He shares the same concern about radicals and extremists as I do and as the American people do," the president said at an Aug. 9 news conference—it's just that Musharraf is never going to make it into Bush's democracy club. And Musharraf's ability to stop his nation's Islamist radicalism from spilling over into terrorism has always been limited. A genial autocrat who seized power in a 1999 coup and has refused to relinquish his general's uniform, Musharraf has succeeded in keeping Washington on his side by regularly handing over second-tier Qaeda suspects and by keeping tenuous control over his increasingly Islamicized country. But now Musharraf may be losing his grip on power amid rising concerns by senior U.S. officials that a new safe haven for Al Qaeda has emerged in...
  • Dickey: How Homegrown Terrorists Are Made

    The real threat to the West is not from foreign jihadis but from 'unremarkable' civilians within our societies, says an insightful new report from the New York Police Department.
  • Mme. Sarkozy Shines As First Lady

    France's scene-stealing new First Lady made a spectacular foray into geopolitics last month with her controversial role in the liberation of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from a Libyan prison. Her actual influence in ending the eight-year ordeal remains ambiguous: "She was lucky," Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, the Libyan leader's son, told NEWSWEEK. Lucky or not, after two trips to Libya and a long conversation with the man who was once the most roguish of state leaders in his Bedouin tent, the mythmaking had begun....
  • Walter Veltroni: The Italian Bill Clinton

    In six years as mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni has calmed a notoriously fractious city built upon a 2,500-year-old infrastructure and centuries of ineffective management. He kept the budget in line, increased tourism and, after nearly a decade of stagnation, revved up the local economy, which has grown 6.1 percent since he took office, compared with 1.4 percent nationally. The mayor even brought back the kind of glitterati Rome has not seen since the days of La Dolce Vita in the 1950s, staging a 45th-anniversary party for the designer Valentino that actress Sarah Jessica Parker dubbed "the most glamorous fashion show of all time."Now Veltroni, 52, hopes to bring his touch to the prime minister's office. In late June, he called for an end to the "angry conflicts and poison" of Italian politics, announcing to raucous applause his candidacy to lead the center-left's new Democratic Party, a fusion of the two largest parties in the ruling coalition government. The party primary is in...