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  • Ex-Liberian President on Trial for War Crimes

    He is accused of backing rebels in some of the most atrocious crimes of our time: the slaughter and looting of entire villages, the use of child soldiers, rape, and the systematic amputation of hands and limbs by axes and machetes. So when it was determined that Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, would be brought to trial--the first African head of state ever to be tried for war crimes--the indictment was hailed as a landmark for war-torn western Africa. Taylor, who was elected president in 1997, would face charges of crimes against humanity by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a tribunal created by the United Nations to seek justice for Taylor's role (which prosecutors have described as "the very worst humans are capable of”) in the neighboring nation's 10-year civil war.But last Monday, the 59-year-old Taylor plunged the opening day of his trial into chaos, boycotting the hearing and firing his court-appointed lawyer, who walked out of the courtroom after receiving...
  • Caught Between Russia and the U.S.

    What a difference a year makes. Last summer, when Vladimir Putin hosted the G8's annual summit in St. Petersburg, the Russian president—supercharged by his country's oil-fueled economic boom—seemed the star attraction. He and the Bush administration hammered out a joint strategy on Iran, and Putin expansively welcomed his European neighbors into a new "energy partnership."...
  • Cannes: Defending Terror

    On Sept. 30, 1956, a beautiful young Algerian revolutionary named Djamila Bouhired planted a bomb in an Algiers bar that killed 17 people. The bombing was the turning point in Algeria's fight for independence from France. Bouhired was arrested, tried in court, found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to death. Then a young French lawyer named Jacques Vergès who supported Bouhired's anticolonial cause took on her case. Through a relentless press campaign in France and wily legal moves in Algeria, Vergès managed to get Bouhired pardoned and released. She went on to become the emblem of Algeria's successful fight for independence—the French withdrew in 1962—as well as Vergès's wife and the springboard for his career as the defender of terrorists and despots.Director Barbet Schroeder explores the enigmatic Vergès in "Terror's Advocate," a clear-eyed documentary that debuted to raves in Cannes last month and hits French movie theaters this week. Schroeder has a history of examining the...
  • China's Inflation Fears

    The price of bacon and eggs in China is soaring, another worrisome indicator the economy may overheat.
  • Giving Cash to the World's Poor

    The last thing you'd probably expect to see a Malawian drought victim do is whip out her ATM card and pull cash out of a machine. But that's exactly how some aid recipients in this beleaguered African nation now receive their monthly entitlements. As part of a relief experiment, the British government is handing out £750,000 of aid in the form of cash rather than food. Instead of standing in line for hours waiting for a sack of rice, Malawians simply swipe a card in one of several special mobile ATM machines located in pick-up trucks, then use the local currency to buy food, medicines, fertilizer or even pay for housing or school fees for their children. "Often, people affected by disasters are the ones who know best what they need," says Chris Leather, an adviser for Oxfam, the nonprofit group carrying out the program.It's a novel development idea that's catching on around the world. Until recently, most of the world's relief aid came in the form of material goods like food, water,...
  • Energy: Smart Bulbs

    With all the talk about reducing carbon footprints, energy-efficient light bulbs are all the rage. Australia, Canada and the European Union plan to phase out incandescent bulbs within five years, and similar proposals are afoot in the United States. But the leading replacements, fluorescent lights, contain mercury, a toxin, which can cost thousands of dollars to clean up, by some estimates. Another alternative is light-emitting diodes. An LED—a semiconductor that glows when an electrical current runs through it—contains no mercury or gas, so it's inherently safer. LED bulbs also use 80 percent less energy than comparable incandescent bulbs and emit no heat. An LED lasts up to 17 years (at eight hours a day)—50 times longer than incandescents and five times longer than fluorescents, says LED firm Lighting Science of Dallas, Texas. The drawback: LEDs cost about $100 for the equivalent of a 100-watt bulb. It would take five years or so to amortize that expense.
  • Zimbabwe: An Archbishop Takes On Mugabe

    It’s Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Cathedral in downtown Bulawayo and the pews are crowded.  Pius Alick Ncube, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church here in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, peers out at the assembled parishioners over the rims of a pair of thick bifocals and takes a breath.  Then he bellows forth his rage. "This government doesn't have the holy spirit," he fumes. "They know what I think of them." A collective sigh moves through the crowd. In the farthest aisles, men and women clutch at each other, laughing and snickering. A few exchange knowing glances. "I'm not going to let them off the hook," Ncube continues. "These men are liars. They are murderers. They are only working to make themselves rich."It is not easy to be a voice of opposition in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe; legions of secret police and government enforcers make sure of that. When opposition activists do speak out they are often kidnapped and beaten and left in the open, or by the roadsides miles from...
  • Worldview: A Showdown In Ankara

    Turkey suffers a political crisis once a decade or so. The showdown now looming, however, may not end as such confrontations have in the past, with Islam in retreat. The conflict is also highlighting a key question with repercussions throughout the Muslim world and the West: namely, what role should Islam play in political life?Ten years ago the generals who guard Turkey's secular tradition overthrew a coalition government headed by an Islamic fundamentalist and banned his party. This time, however, the ruling party (known in Turkish as the AKP) is refusing to go gently into the night. True, it has bent in the face of military and judicial pressure by withdrawing the nomination of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for the presidency—a revered bastion of secular power. Yet the AKP has also contested the military's diktat by calling a general election. And it's in a strong position to do so: the party already enjoys a majority in Parliament and widespread popularity thanks to five years...
  • Talking Softly Won't Work

    Few people know more about dissidence than Natan Sharansky. Charged with treason in the Soviet Union in 1978—he denied the accusations of spying for the United States—he served nine years in a gulag. In 1988, he was elected president of the Zionist Forum, a group of former Soviet dissidents. Even as an authority figure—he became a member of Israeli Prime Minister ArielSharon's cabinet in 2003—Sharansky remained defiant, resigning in 2005 over its withdrawal plans from Gaza. Now he has adopted a new controversial role as a key neoconservative ideologue—President George W. Bush called Sharansky's 2004 book, "The Case for Democracy," "part of my presidential DNA." This week, Sharansky is hosting a conference in Prague dubbed "The Davos of Dissidents." Among the dozens of democracy advocates from Iran to North Korea will be cohosts Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president, former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar and a VIP visitor, Bush himself. (The U.S. president is slated to...
  • France: Another Win for Sarkozy

    Was it only six weeks ago that political suspense reigned in Paris cafés? Could conservative Nicolas Sarkozy really win the nation’s highest office? People wondered if he might be thwarted by the Socialists’ comely comer, Ségolène Royal. Or perhaps even trumped by the engaging centrist François Bayrou? Well, no. And since Sarko’s triumph on May 6, this take-charge kind of guy has, yes, taken charge. In the first round of legislative elections yesterday, his UMP party steamrollered much of the opposition and it looks very likely to finish the job in runoffs next Sunday. So here’s a prediction for the next five years of French politics: all-Sarko all the time.Of the 577-member National Assembly, a record 110 candidates were elected outright last night by winning more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round. Of those, 98 are from Sarkozy’s UMP party. Only one is a Socialist. Projections for next Sunday are wide-ranging, but all forecast a Sarko landslide. With between 383 and...
  • Mail Call: Soldiers Write Home

    Our April 2 issue on America's war dead moved readers. "The soldiers' words made me emotional," wrote one. Another said, "The voices of the fallen made for sad reading." A third advised, "Quit Iraq." ...
  • Levy: Is MySpace Losing Its Audience?

    I had some bad news for Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, the founders of MySpace who now run the business for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. They'd lost my son's high school. A year ago, he and nearly all his fellow students were fanatical MySpace cadets. But now, like bees abandoning a hive, they'd left and swarmed to Facebook.I'd anticipated that sharing this admittedly anecdotal item over lunch with the sharp co-founders of one of the world's most successful Internet sites would lead to an intense grilling as to why this sudden exodus occurred. (My son thinks MySpace has too many ads and the pages are ugly. He also doesn't like the spam from alleged "friends" selling ringtones and other stuff, a problem that MySpace is trying to address.) But DeWolfe and Anderson, who sold to News Corp. last year for $580 million, didn't ask. Instead, they cited statistics that showed that their numbers were strong and opined that the exodus might have been a geographical anomaly. Anyway, Anderson...
  • OnScene: Anti-U.S. Protestors Flood Rome's Streets

    A general rule of thumb when dealing with protesters is that they don't like to be tricked. So when hundreds of would-be demonstrators from across Italy took advantage Saturday of discount train tickets offered to those participating in the peaceful anti-Bush demonstrations in Rome, they were a little more than miffed to find their discount wasn’t exactly a bargain. The trains with high numbers of discount tickets were significantly delayed and one was even diverted to a suburban station rather than Rome's central station near the starting point of the organized protests. Anti-riot police in Milan blocked a protester-heavy train heading to Rome on the tracks for nearly an hour, prohibiting a handful of protesters from boarding after finding fire extinguishers and other telltale violent protest paraphernalia in rucksacks. By the time everyone arrived and the antiwar march began—nearly two hours late—tension was high.For the past week, many Italians have been grumbling about President...
  • Q&A: Ireland's President Sees a Bright Future

    In recent weeks, Ireland has served up a slew of political surprises. On May 24, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern was voted back into government for a record third term. Sixteen days earlier, longstanding Roman Catholic and Protestant adversaries stepped away from sectarian conflict to form a power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland.Mary McAleese, the president of Ireland and a devout Catholic, spoke to Edward Pentin during a visit to the Vatican about these historic developments, her hopes for the Ahern government, her family’s flight from Belfast because of “the troubles” and her efforts to bridge the sectarian divide. Excerpts: ...
  • Past Newsweek Coverage

    She was beautiful, of course; she was young, and she was royal. In the shock of her death, the world struggled to reconcile the seemingly contradictory sources of Diana's appeal: the Princess of Wales was both pop icon and the mother of kings, a very modern woman who owed her fame to the most archaic of institutions. Her secret was that she was all these things. Diana was capable of profound change—both in her private life and in her public image—while maintaining a passionate link with her public. Such graceful resilience is a rare gift.When she married Charles in 1981, Diana personified the fairy-tale version of royalty. The awkward teenager, a cloud of hair dipping over her eyes, captured the world's most eligible bachelor. Her wedding gown seemed to stretch the length of St. Paul's, and when the bridal couple chastely kissed afterward on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, millions thrilled to the spectacle. In time, the public untangled the truth from the tableau. This was not a...
  • South Africa: An Unlikely Opposition Leader

    Helen Zille is in a hurry. As the newly elected head of South Africa's largest and most influential opposition party and also the mayor of Cape Town, she spent one recent day catching up with hundreds of cell phone messages, meeting with a few dozen worried parliamentarians from her caucus and welcoming President Thabo Mbeki for a ceremony—all while trying to look composed for the cameras of a television crew that had been following her since 4 o'clock that morning. But Zille’s real scramble is her work to recast South African politics.When an American delegation from the Harvard Black Law Students Association visited her offices a few weeks ago, Zille challenged them. "Why aren't you just the law society?" she asked. "If people from the most advantageous position in the world are still defining themselves by race, it shows how far we have to go in South Africa." Zille admits she was "depressed" by the encounter. "If we decide that race is the automatic override then we can't have a...
  • Ban Ki-moon: Why the World Has Changed in the U.N.'s Favor

    My experience, each morning, may not be unlike yours. We pick up our newspapers or turn on the TV—in New York, Lagos or Jakarta—and peruse a daily digest of human suffering. Lebanon. Darfur. Somalia. Of course, as Secretary General of the United Nations, I at least am in a position to try to do something about these tragedies. And I do, every day.When I took on this post, nearly five months ago, it was without illusions. A distinguished predecessor famously remarked that it was "the most impossible job in the world." I myself have joked that I am more secretary than general, for after all the Secretary General is no more powerful than his Security Council is united. In the past, as today, that unity has often been elusive. And yet, I remain as optimistic as the day I first entered this office.That might be hard to understand, given the dimension and intractability of many of the problems we face—nowhere more so, perhaps, than in the Middle East. With demands growing on every front,...
  • Scientists Push the Boundaries of Human Life

    It last happened about 3.6 billion years ago. a tiny living cell emerged from the dust of the Earth. It replicated itself, and its progeny replicated themselves, and so on, with genetic twists and turns down through billions of generations. Today every living organism—every person, plant, animal and microbe—can trace its heritage back to that first cell. Earth's extended family is the only kind of life that we've observed, so far, in the universe.This pantheon of living organisms is about to get some newcomers—and we're not talking about extraterrestrials. Scientists in the last couple of years have been trying to create novel forms of life from scratch. They've forged chemicals into synthetic DNA, the DNA into genes, genes into genomes, and built the molecular machinery of completely new organisms in the lab—organisms that are nothing like anything nature has produced.The people who are defying Nature's monopoly on creation are a loose collection of engineers, computer scientists,...
  • Level Up

    Peter Moore, Microsoft Corp.'s vice president for entertainment and devices, is responsible for the Xbox 360 gaming platform. While the original Xbox was a distant second to Sony's PlayStation 2, the 360 has jumped ahead of the PS3, but still trails Nintendo's Wii. That's where Moore feels at home—sneaking up on his competitors. ...
  • The Politics of Asia's Big Deals

    When the United States and South Korea announced their new free-trade agreement last month (details of which were released last week), the news was mainly economic. The deal, which will be the largest bilateral trade pact since NAFTA, would give American farmers and bankers alike better access to Korean consumers, and help Korean companies push more electronics, cars and textiles into the United States. Largely unreported was the political angle—the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement comes at precisely the moment when America's military presence on the Korean Peninsula is rapidly diminishing, anti-U.S. nationalism in South Korea is growing and China is playing an ever more important leadership role in the region. "This FTA is about countering China," says Yang Sung Chul, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, now professor at Korea University in Seoul. "It's much more significant in strategic than economic terms."You could say the same about any number of trade deals in Asia...
  • Jerusalem: A Holy City Loses Faith

    Moshe Amirav was dreaming about Jerusalem on the morning that he ended up with a bullet in his head. It was June 7, 1967, the climactic offensive of the Six Day War, and Israeli troops were inching closer to the Old City. To the 18-year-old paratrooper, the battlefield looked "apocalyptic"; pillars of black smoke towered above the brilliant gold capital of the Dome of the Rock. But before Amirav could rush with his squadron toward the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, a chunk of hot metal clipped him in the head, lodging itself an inch from his brain. His buddies slapped a stone on the wound, wrapped his head in a bandage and then bundled him into a jeep that sped toward the hospital.As Amirav lay in his recovery bed, he could not believe that he was missing the reunification of the Holy City, an ancient Jewish dream. As a boy, he had sat in on meetings of a secretive nationalistic sect called the Mourners of Zion—praying, listening to stories and poring over maps...
  • E. European Bands Storm W. Europe

    In the end it was a battle of the Slavs. Earlier this month, in front of a TV audience of 100 million, Marija Serifovic, a pudgy Serbian singer, beat out Ukraine's Verka Serduchka in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. And though Eurovision may not represent the cream of Europe's musical crop, it certainly earns winners recognition; last year's victor, Lordi—a heavy-metal band from Finland whose members dress up like monsters—became a household name across the Continent. That's good news for other East European musicians hoping to break into the wider (and richer) West European market; eight out of the top-10 bands in this year's contest hailed from former communist countries.This summer expect to hear a lot more music echoing out of the East. In July more than 150,000 fans will converge on the grounds of an old fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, to listen to the likes of the Beastie Boys, Robert Plant and Snoop Dogg—as well as lesser-known bands like Serbia's Obojeni Project and...
  • Maher: Hillary Equals France

    New rule: conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word France. Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. "Aw, you want a health-care system that covers everybody and costs half as much? You mean like they have in France? What's there to say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?"Earlier this year, the Boston Globe got hold of an internal campaign document from GOP contender Mitt Romney, and a recurring strategy was to tie Democrats to the hated French. It said, in the Machiavellian code of the election huckster, "Hillary equals France," and it envisioned bumper stickers that read FIRST, NOT FRANCE.Except for one thing: We're not first. America isn't ranked anywhere near first in anything except military might and snotty billionaires. The country that is ranked No. 1 in health care, for example, is France. The World Health Organization ranks...
  • Q&A: Craig Venter's Next Quest

    Craig Venter is the rude boy of molecular biology. He made himself famous by decoding the human genome faster and cheaper than anyone expected, beating a team of rivals led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Since then, Venter has spent much of his time aboard Sorcerer II, his high-tech research vessel, trolling the seas in search of new proteins. The findings will be helpful, he says, on his next project: synthesizing a living organism from a handful of inert chemicals. If he succeeds, he'll be able to turn cells into biochemical factories that can churn out biofuels. NEWSWEEK's Barrett Sheridan spoke with him by phone from Edinburgh, Scotland, on the problems and potential of synthetic biology. Excerpts: ...
  • Touring Europe's Museums

    The world is nervous. War-bruised, jittery about climate change and terror, worn down by the diplomatic acrimonies between Iran and the West, Europeans could be forgiven for taking refuge in pretty, apolitical art. The impulse, in such turbulent times, might be to run to your nearest waterlilies or Delft still life. And summer is traditionally the season for crowd-pleasing museum shows. Luckily, "anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity," as T. S. Eliot observed, so current nerves have produced a clutch of vibrant shows this summer. Across Europe, curators have mounted exhibits that reflect and refract geopolitical realities, from the rise of China to the evolution of the modern metropolis.If news headlines bolster cultural stereotypes, art breaks them down. That's, in part, the aim of "Persia, 30 Centuries of Art and Culture," at the Hermitage Amsterdam (through Sept. 15), the Dutch satellite of the venerable St. Petersburg museum. Clichés of Iran as a dour, monocultural society...
  • Last Word: Richard Rogers

    British architect Richard Rogers first seized the international spotlight in 1971 when he and Renzo Piano beat out 680 entries with their outrageous design for the Pompidou Center in Paris. Their brash building—its brightly colored tubes, ducts and pipes exposed on the outside—landed in an old neighborhood like an alien spacecraft. Not long afterward, Rogers began his own practice in London, where he once again rocked the old guard with his gleaming, stainless-steel Lloyd's of London headquarters slapped down among the dowdy office buildings of the financial district. Though he now carries a British title—Lord Rogers of Riverside—the 73-year-old architect is actually Italian by birth (his great-grandfather Rogers was an English dentist who settled in Venice); the family moved to England on the eve of World War II. Not that it matters—Rogers's outlook is clearly global. And on June 4 he'll be officially awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. In honoring him, the...
  • Ruchir Sharma: The New World Order Is All About China and Europe

    Sometimes the most telling event is the one that did not happen. The lack of any global contagion from the U.S. economy's weak growth path over the past year has confounded analysts conditioned to consider the United States as the sole engine of the world economy. That continued single-minded obsession with the U.S. economic trajectory has led many investors to prematurely bail on the bull run—the sharp but short-lived sell-off triggered by convulsions in the U.S. housing market earlier this year being a case in point. For them, it was unimaginable that global growth could power ahead when the United States has been expanding at an annual rate of just 2 percent, as has been the case for the past five quarters.But a new world order has been in the making, defined by China's growth surge and a European economic renaissance. At just under $3 trillion, the Chinese economy in nominal terms is still less than a quarter the size of the U.S. economy. But with a pace of expansion now more...
  • Mail Call: Celebrating Europe

    Readers of our March 26 report on the EU at 50 were delighted. "Your analysis was first-rate," praised one. Another called it "a complex and sophisticated portrait." A third found it "ambitious and informative." ...
  • N. Korea: Decoding Conflicting Info on Kim

    If you're confused by the reports coming out of North Korea, you're probably not alone. Take the recent slew of conflicting reports about the health of the nation's Dear Leader. U.S. CALLS KIM JONG IL'S HEALTH A 'CONCERN,' ran one headline. The body of the story, quoting a senior U.S. official who was himself referring to reports from other unnamed officials in Seoul, alluded to a "monthlong disappearance" by Kim and noted that the North Korean dictator suffers "from advanced diabetes and heart disease as well as high blood pressure." Around the same time, another analysis claimed that Kim had recovered from these "chronic diseases." The report, which based its account on the usual anonymous senior officials in Seoul and obscure North Korea wonks, also asserted confidently, that "intelligence" in the hands of the South Korean government indicates that Kim will choose his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor.So what are we to think? Does that mean that everything we read about...
  • The Tribes of Iraq: America's New Allies

    Pungent smoke floats through the chandeliers of the tribal chief's reception room. At his home in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province and a onetime Iraqi insurgent stronghold, Sheik Shakir Saoud Aasi is enjoying after-dinner cigars with his guest of honor, battalion commander Lt. Col. Craig Kozeniesky of the 2/5 Marines. Around the room, Marines and Iraqi tribesmen and police are sitting together, swapping jokes and stories. Some of these Iraqis were probably shooting at Americans less than a year ago. Now they and the Marines are fighting side by side against Al Qaeda. "We are not just friends but also brothers," the sheik tells Kozeniesky. "This is a new beginning for both of us." Kozeniesky can only agree: "Things have changed dramatically." A 5-year-old Iraqi boy in traditional robes and headdress is racing around the room and vaulting into U.S. troops' laps. What does he want to be when he grows up? He proudly announces: "American general named Steve!"The Pentagon is praying that...
  • Security: Wiring the Ports

    The prospect of terrorists' getting hold of nuclear weapons became a tangible fear in the weeks after September 11. As the United States scrambled to assess its weak spots, customs officials took a closer look at the nation's seaports, and shut them down. Things got moving again, but many security experts don't think ports in the United States and other countries are as secure as they should be. The main problem: a shipping container is subject to byzantine regulations and many levels of bureaucracy in its journey from home port to port of call, creating myriad security holes.One port operator in Philadelphia recently decided to take an unusual tack. It is implementing its own high-tech container management system that improves the port's ability to detect problem shipments and to react to emergencies if they occur.Philadelphia's strategy addresses a key vulnerability: the practice of prescreening shipments. For one thing, it relies on the honor system—officials trust captains to...
  • The Demise of the Dollar

    Since the dollar's peak in February 2002, it has now fallen 20 percentage points against a basket of global currencies including the Indian rupee, Canadian dollar and the Brazilian real, with 3 percent of that fall coming in the last three months. This slow slide is helping to offset the massive U.S. trade deficit. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris predicts that U.S. GDP will rise only 2.1 percent in 2007, down from 3.3 percent last year. But the world's economic picture will be better than what it has been in years, thanks to the resurgence of Europe (led by Germany), the revival of Japan and the growing importance of countries like China and India. So how exactly does the dollar stack up? The following data, compiled by NEWSWEEK using historical currency exchange rates and a 2007 report from Deutsche Bank Research, gives a glimpse:
  • Musharraf's Fragile Hold on Power

    Pakistani military dictators are not known for leaving office quietly. Each one of the country’s dictators has railed angrily and stubbornly against his fate to the bitter end. Yahya Khan (1969-72) led his country down the path of an ignominious defeat at the hands of India after bungling an internal crisis in East Pakistan. Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (1977-1987), who sent one of Pakistan’s few elected presidents to the gallows, ultimately died in a very mysterious plane crash.Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in 1999, now seems to have started down the same path. In all likelihood, his days as Pakistan’s leader are numbered. Protests, which started in the legal community, have expanded to students, journalists and political activists. Individuals who hardly knew Iftikar Chaudhry, the former chief justice of Pakistan, now see him as a potential savior. Musharraf has an opportunity to break the tragic pattern of military generals clinging to power. At very least, he should shed...
  • Q&A: How Cuba is Faring Without Fidel

    A Cuba expert discusses Fidel's illness, the nation's changing mood as he relinquishes power and how Havana could affect the U.S. presidential elections.
  • A Snapshot of Indian Consumers

    The demand for consumer goods in India is set to rise across the board, according to data complied by McKinsey. Here are the figures on nine major product and service categories. The growth rates below are an estimation of compound annual interest for market sizes between 2005 and 2025.
  • Putin's Powerful Youth Guard

    The Kremlin has a new weapon in its war on real or imagined enemies, from opponents at home to foreign revolutionaries.
  • Q&A: Sony Engineer Richard Marks

    Imagine being able to do everything that the Nintendo Wii's remote gestural control can do—without the remote—and you'll have an idea of where Sony would like to go with the PlayStation. Sony developed the EyeToy Webcam in 2003 for the PS2, and recently announced a more refined version, PlayStation Eye, for the PS3. We asked Sony engineer Richard Marks for the inside dope: ...
  • The Maestro of Mood

    William Chang Suk-ping is a man of few words. The Hong Kong film-industry icon rarely gives interviews and is not keen on talking theory. But his images say plenty. Known throughout Asia as the undisputed maestro of mood, Chang will soon be heard around the world with "My Blueberry Nights," his latest project with director Wong Kar Wai, which opened the 60th annual Cannes Film Festival last week. In Wong's first English-language effort, Chang—who is credited as production designer, costume designer and editor—tells the story of passion and loneliness on a road trip across America through the sexy golden stubble on Jude Law's jaw line, Natalie Portman's uncomfortably short blue floral baby-doll dress and Norah Jones's ringlets of dark curls cascading from under a green knit cap. "[Wong] owes a lot to Chang Suk-ping's genius," says film critic Perry Lam Pei-li, who edits Muse, a Hong Kong arts magazine. "Like all the best production designers, he has a great eye for detail. He makes...
  • Asian Beauty: Beyond Skin Deep

    When the Chinese blockbuster movie "Curse of the Golden Flower" opened last year, Gong Li's ample cleavage stole the spotlight. Historically, Chinese women have more commonly been associated with modesty, and many viewers thought Gong's revealing look was an anachronism in a film set at the end of the Tang dynasty (618-907). In fact, the film was reviving a long-forgotten image of Asian beauty as voluptuous. "In the Sui and early Tang dynasties [late sixth and seventh centuries], willowy figures were idealized in thousands of pottery figurines of female beauties," says University of Melbourne art historian Tonia Eckfeld. "But by the early eighth century, plump women were portrayed, signifying the popularity of that body type during the prosperous Tang era."A compelling new exhibit at Singapore's Asian Civilisations Museum tracks the changing ideals of beauty across centuries of Asian culture. By juxtaposing images of contemporary beauties such as Gong and Bollywood star Aishwarya...